Hong Kong – 3 August, 2016 – FWD Hong Kong (“FWD”) and Sun Life Hong Kong Limited (“Sun Life”) today announced they have entered into an agreement for Sun Life to acquire FWD’s Mandatory Provident Fund (“MPF”) and Occupational Retirement Schemes (“ORSO”) businesses1, including the acquisition of the pension trustee entity of FWD, FWD Pension Trust Limited. FWD and Sun Life will also enter into a 15-year strategic distribution agreement allowing FWD’s tied agency to distribute Sun Life’s MPF and ORSO products in the Hong Kong market (Collectively the “Transactions”).
Jason Dehni, CEO, Sun Life Hong Kong, said, “We are excited about this agreement with FWD which is an excellent opportunity to expand our distribution network and further accelerate our already strong growth in the Hong Kong retirement market. Continuing to build our pension business is one of our key strategic business priorities.”
David Wong, CEO, FWD Hong Kong & Macau, said, “We welcome this partnership to give FWD’s customers broader pension facilities as part of their retirement planning. This agreement leverages the capabilities of the two companies to maximise the quality and value of retirement solutions offered to our pension customers who, for the duration of the strategic distribution agreement, will continue to enjoy the same strong customer services and the personalised support of FWD’s tied agents.”
David Wong continued, “The agreement with Sun Life will enable FWD’s pension customers to access and take advantage of a wider range of investment options in the future, as a part of our comprehensive offerings that also include life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits and financial planning to realise our vision to change the way people feel about insurance.”
Jason Dehni further remarked, “We look forward to serving the pension clients of FWD. Sun Life has nearly 125 years of history in Hong Kong, and we have demonstrated our strong commitment to providing the people of Hong Kong with compelling solutions that help them achieve lifetime financial security. This approach has helped us become a leading MPF provider with the highest growth in market share over the past five years2. Our partnership with FWD will further build on this strength and deliver even better value for the clients of FWD and Sun Life.”
The Transactions are expected to be completed during 2017 and 2018 subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
Members of FWD’s MPF and ORSO Schemes do not need to take any action and will be provided with timely updates by FWD and Sun Life. For instance, the members of FWD MPF Schemes will be notified that since the owner of the trustee will be changed to Sun Life, the brand name of the trustee will be changed accordingly. The sponsor of FWD MPF Schemes will be changed to Sun Life and the names of FWD MPF Schemes will be changed to reflect Sun Life’s branding. However, the custodian, administrator and investment managers of MPF schemes will remain unchanged. Further, the management fees and all the terms and conditions under these schemes will not be changed because of the Transactions. As the Transactions progress, more timely notification to the members of FWD’s MPF and ORSO Schemes will be issued and member seminars will be arranged. Further, the cost of the changes will be borne by FWD and Sun Life. As such, no expense needs to be paid by the participating employers or members of FWD MPF Schemes and FWD ORSO Schemes.
FWD’s MPF and ORSO Schemes members may call +852 3183 1900 if they have questions about the Transactions.
1. Including: 2 MPF schemes and 4 pooling agreements for ORSO schemes.
2. Market share growth based on Assets under Management (AUM) growth from 2010 to 2015.
Source: The Gadbury MPF Market Shares Report.
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About FWD Hong Kong & Macau
FWD Group’s businesses span Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. In Hong Kong, FWD offers life and medical insurance, employee benefits, pension, and general insurance. The life insurance and general insurance operating entities have been assigned strong financial strength ratings by international rating agencies — FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited is rated “A3” by Moody’s and “A” by Fitch; and FWD General Insurance Company Limited is rated “A” by Fitch.
FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by leading digital technologies. Through this customer-led approach, FWD will achieve its vision to become the leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.
Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group.
For more information please visit WWW.FWD.COM.HK or WWW.FWD.COM.MO.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Hong Kong Limited is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CDN$861 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
In this forward-looking information section, “we”, “our” and “us” refer to Sun Life Financial Inc. and its subsidiaries and joint ventures. Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking, including, but not limited to, statements that are not historical or that are predictive in nature or that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour provisions” of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements in this news release represent our current expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events as of the time of this news release and are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and are based on key factors and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including the assumption that the transaction will be completed. Except as may be required by applicable Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Forward-looking statements are presented to assist investors and others in understanding our objectives for the transaction, strategic priorities and business outlook following the transaction, and in obtaining a better understanding of our anticipated operating environment following the transaction. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements may not be appropriate for other purposes and undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Information about risk factors relating to us can be found in the annual information form of Sun Life Financial Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2015 under the heading “Risk Factors” and other regulatory filings filed with or furnished to Canadian and U.S. securities regulators available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov.