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Manulife secures Investment Company WFOE license


Manulife has become the first financial institution to be granted an Investment Company Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) license and will now be providing its public market and private assets solutions to China’s asset management industry via a new company, Manulife Investment (Shanghai) Limited Company.

Stringent requirements must be met in order to qualify for an Investment Company WFOE license compared to other WFOE categories. For example, the financial institution must own a majority stake in an existing entity in China.
Manulife met this requirement through its 51 per cent investment in the joint venture company, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd, based in Shanghai. 
Kai Sotorp, executive vice president, global head of wealth and asset management for Manulife, says: "Being the first financial institution to receive the Investment Company WFOE status puts us in an excellent position to expand our range of global product offerings to investors in China." 
Donald Guloien (pictured), president and chief executive officer of Manulife, says: “This underlines Manulife's commitment to China and to the city of Shanghai by supporting its vision as a regional financial centre. This also allows us to better fulfil our aspiration in serving Chinese investors to achieve their respective investment objectives."
The Investment Company WFOE license will pave the way for Manulife to serve a broader investor base such as small and medium-sized institutions, private banks and independent wealth management platforms. Potential solution offerings can range from traditional equities and fixed income products to private assets strategies, such as timberland, farmland and commercial real estate.

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