Conning, a provider of asset management solutions and services to the insurance industry, and Taiwan-based Cathay Financial, have formed a new joint venture to provide institutional asset management services in the Asia Pacific region.

Under the joint venture agreement, the new asset management firm will be formed with headquarters in Hong Kong. Both the firms will own each 50% the equity in the new company. The leadership of the firm is expected to be appointed before end of this year.

In addition, Cathay Financial will purchase a minority ownership stake in Conning.

Presently, Conning manages assets for Cathay Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Cathay Financial.

Conning said the joint venture will enable both the companies to grow their institutional investment management activities in target markets including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, while developing local investment products that can be distributed globally.

Cathay Financial president CK Lee said this partnership, including the establishment of a Hong Kong joint venture and an investment in Conning, is an important strategic transaction for Cathay Financial Holdings to further strengthen the asset management capabilities and expand presence in the asset management industry in the Asia Pacific region.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the first quarter of 2012.