Heng An Standard Life granted approval to develop pensions business in China

20 March 2019

Heng An Standard Life (HASL), a joint venture between Standard Life Aberdeen and Tianjin TEDA International, has been granted permission to establish a pensions insurance company in China. It is only the ninth insurance company, and the first joint venture business, to have received this approval.

China has long been identified as a strategic market for Standard Life Aberdeen. The approval to move forward with the development of a pensions business for HASL reflects the strength of the proposition and the relationships the company has built in the region.

HASL was formed in 2003 and offers a comprehensive suite of health, life and savings products in China. For a number of years HASL has had ambitions to offer pensions products in China, reflecting the potential offered by China’s rapidly developing pensions market.

China represents a significant opportunity for both insurers and investment managers. It has an ageing demographic, with over 250 million people expected to be over 60 by 2020, and less working age people to support them. As a result, the Chinese long-term savings system is expected to shift from a predominantly state pension provision to a focus on occupational and individual savings.

Long-term policy reform – including the development of tax-incentivised savings – is underway to support this transition. It reflects a shift consistent with other markets across the world and one for which Standard Life Aberdeen has considerable experience and expertise.

Commenting on the approval of the pensions licence, Keith Skeoch, Chief Executive of Standard Life Aberdeen said:

“As the pensions market in China looks set to go through fundamental reform to meet the challenges of an ageing population, Heng An Standard Life is exceptionally well positioned to support pension savers in this important market.

“Through our long-term relationship with Tianjin TEDA International we have the infrastructure, distribution and local knowledge to develop our important strategic partnership in the world’s second largest economy. It builds on Standard Life Aberdeen’s long history in China.”

Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Heng An Standard Life, added:

“The announcement today marks the culmination of a significant piece of work by the team at HASL – to become the first foreign-invested joint venture company to be granted this approval is no small achievement. It’s a testament to our collaborative approach and the depth of expertise we have both in the industry and of the local market. I’m looking forward to us building on our success and to bringing our proposition to market.”

--ENDS—

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For further information, please contact Katy Hetherington:

Tel: +44(0)131 2452283 / +44(0)7841 344374

email: Katy.Hetherington@aberdeenstandard.com

Notes to editors

  1. Standard Life Aberdeen has a growing presence in Greater China, with offices in several mainland provinces as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  2. Heng An Standard Life (HASL) is a life insurer owned 50% by Standard Life and based in Tianjin. HASL has branches and sales offices in 8 provinces and over 80 cities.
  3. The pensions licence follows the announcement in December 2017 that Aberdeen Standard Investments, Standard Life Aberdeen’s asset management business, had received approval to create and sell investment funds to institutional clients in mainland China through its wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE). The Aberdeen Standard Investments WFOE is registered as a private securities investment fund manager in China.
  4. Standard Life Aberdeen plc is a leading global investment company; they have offices in 27 countries and employ 6,000 people. They manage and administer £551.5bn assets globally.
  5. Standard Life Aberdeen plc is headquartered in Scotland. It has over a million shareholders and is a FTSE 100 company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
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