Newly merged MetLife to operate under single brand in China
21 April 2011
Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Company Limited has successfully completed the merger of its two joint ventures – Sino-US MetLife and United MetLife– in China. Going forward, the newly merged company will use the “MetLife” brand name for all of its business in China. The landmark announcement represents the first life insurance company merger in the PRC.
MetLife received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) last month and from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on April 12, 2011. The name has now officially changed, and Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Company Limited, is legally registered in Shanghai. The company is a 50-50 joint venture between MetLife, Inc. and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited (SAIL). As agreed by both joint ventures and approved by CIRC, United MetLife will acquire the assets, liabilities and operations of Sino-US MetLife and assume all rights and obligations towards the policyholders of Sino-US MetLife.
“We are embracing unprecedented business opportunities in China,” said William Toppeta, president of MetLife, Inc. International. “China’s life insurance market presents huge growth potential as continuous, steady economic development drives up market demand. The integration of our businesses across the country, lays a strong foundation for the company to enter a new phase of development. We will continue to increase our investment in China and to combine global best practices with our advantages in the local market, to build our joint venture into a leading foreign life insurance provider in China.”
Xiaohong Cai, president, Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited, said: “This is exciting news. We have been very satisfied with the performance of our joint venture and it is a natural progression for the two joint ventures to integrate and combine their strengths and competencies. This demonstrates our optimism in the outlook of the business as well as our long-term commitment to the partnership.”
Peter Smyth, managing director, MetLife Asia Pacific Limited added: “We are delighted to receive approvals to merge our two joint venture companies in China. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce for their guidance and support and to thank SAIL for its commitment to our partnership. We are dedicated to delivering long-term support and solid corporate strength to our policyholders in China, through continuing to strengthen our core competencies, increase the embedded value of the company and prudently expand our geographical coverage.”
MetLife’s head office plus all 27 branches in China have completed the business registration procedures and are now operating under the MetLife name. The company will operate a multi-city headquarters structure to leverage its strong advantages in both Beijing and Shanghai and to maximize synergies between the operations it has in different locations. MetLife China will continue to provide life, health and accident insurance products to Chinese customers through career agency, bancassurance, direct marketing and group channels.