MetLife offloads Hong Kong life insurance business with global firm’s help

by Duffie Osental01 Aug 2019

Baker McKenzie has advised global insurance giant MetLife on the sale of its Hong Kong life insurance business to FWD Group.

In a statement, FWD said that its latest acquisition will further increase its market share in Hong Kong and reinforces its position as a leading life insurer in the territory. FWD also confirmed that it intends to rename and rebrand the business.

“MetLife Hong Kong is a high-quality business based on innovative products and strong distribution, matched with high levels of customer service,” said Rebecca Tadikonda, head of strategic growth markets, Asia at MetLife. “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.”

“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,” said Huynh Thanh Phong, chief executive officer of FWD Group. “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. We look forward to welcoming the agents and employees from MetLife Hong Kong.”

The Baker McKenzie team was led by Hong Kong partner Martin Tam, with support from Tracy Wut, Robert Wright, Tina Li, and Sharon Foo.

"We are pleased to have supported MetLife in this strategic transaction, involving our M&A and insurance regulatory practices,” said Tam.

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals.