Standard Life Aberdeen in China breakthrough

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 receive this approval.

China has long been identified as a strategic market for Standard Life Aberdeen.

HASL was formed in 2003 and offers a suite of health, life and savings products in China.

Edinburgh-based Standard Life Aberdeen has offices in more than 50 countries and employs 6,000 people. It controls £551.5 billion of assets globally.

“China represents a significant opportunity for both insurers and investment managers,” said Standard Life Aberdeen.

“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.”

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch 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.”

Heng An Standard Life CEO Gerry Grimstone said: “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.”