Asset Management

Allianz Explores Majority-Owned China JV – Media

Editorial Staff 24 August 2022

Allianz Explores Majority-Owned China JV – Media

Several Western wealth and asset management firms have created majority-owned JVs with local banks in China. Allianz declined to comment to this publication about a report that it was in talks with banks about a China venture.

Allianz is reportedly talking to Chinese banks to create a majority-owned asset management venture in the Asian country, another example of a Western firm seeking to push into the market. 

The German firm's main asset management arm, Allianz Global Investors, has been holding talks over the past few months with Industrial Bank and China CITIC Bank, among other lenders, Reuters quoted unnamed sources as saying.

The newswire quoted AllianzGI as saying that it is committed to the China market but did not comment on specific plans.

Allianz declined to comment to WealthBriefingAsia on the matter.

Several Western wealth and asset management firms have created majority-owned JVs with local banks in China. Examples include BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Barclays. In 2019, Chinese regulators allowed foreign firms to create such ventures – Allianz is following this trend.

Such moves, including the launch of funds, have stirred controversy over the extent to which Western firms should do business with China at a time when Beijing has been at odds with the US and Europe over human rights, the autonomy of Taiwan, the national security crackdown last year in Hong Kong, and other topics. At the same time, China has been lifting restrictions on foreign wealth managers, for example, by ending restrictions on US asset managers selling mutual funds to individual investors.

Last September, BlackRock raised about $1 billion for the first-ever mutual fund solely run by a foreign firm that is allowed to sell to Chinese individuals. In the same month, Paris-listed BNP Paribas was reportedly preparing for its asset management arm to form a wealth management venture with a unit of Agricultural Bank of China. In May, it was reported that UBS and China Life Insurance Group's attempt to create an asset management joint venture in China had been thrown off course because the insurer was being investigated for corruption.

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