FWD Group has agreed to acquire the Hong Kong insurance business of US insurance major MetLife for an undisclosed price.
As part of the deal, FWD through its Hong Kong-registered business FWD Management will acquire MetLife Limited and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Hong Kong Limited (collectively MetLife Hong Kong).
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Hong Kong was established in 1995 as the US insurance giant’s wholly-owned subsidiary in the region. MetLife Limited, on the other hand, was formed from Citi Fubon Life Insurance Company Hong Kong, a joint venture between Citigroup and Fubon Group, in which the MetLife companies eventually acquired 100% ownership in 2007.
MetLife Asia strategic growth markets head Rebecca Tadikonda said: “MetLife Hong Kong is a high-quality business based on innovative products and strong distribution, matched with high levels of customer service.
“FWD is well-positioned to accelerate the growth of this business and their commitment to growing the business makes them the right steward for our customers, employees, agents and business partners.”
For FWD, the acquisition is expected to further boost its market share in Hong Kong, while consolidating its position among the top life insurers in the city.
The company said that after the change in ownership, all existing MetLife Hong Kong policies will continue to be honoured by it. FWD also disclosed plans to rename and rebrand the business.
FWD Group CEO Huynh Thanh Phong said: “MetLife Hong Kong is highly complementary to our existing business and the acquisition is another step towards fulfilling our ambition to build a leading pan-Asian life insurance platform.
“The acquisition signifies our confidence in the long-term growth potential of Hong Kong and we will continue to commit substantial resources to grow our business in this compelling market.”
FWD, which was established in Asia in 2013, is the insurance arm of Pacific Century Group, a Hong Kong-based private investment group. The company offers life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, Shariah and family takaful products in Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan.
In March 2019, FWD acquired 49% stake held by HSBC Insurance’s Asia Pacific insurance unit in HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia), an Islamic insurance joint venture.