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Japan’s Sumitomo Life forms unit to “monitor” US arm Symetra’s investments

By Hui Ching-hoo   
April 7, 2022

Japan’s Sumitomo Life Insurance has established an asset management unit to monitor the investments of its three-year-old US arm Symetra Investment Management, which primarily oversees the insurer’s 2 trillion-plus yen (US$16.1 billion) foreign corporate bond mandate.

The new unit, called Sumisei Asset Management, will “confirm [Symetra’s] investment behaviour and monitor its investment status including currency hedging”, Sumitomo Life says in a statement on April 2.

The company, which awarded the bond mandate to Symetra last October, says it aims to increase long-term yield by expanding investments in overseas credit assets, mainly in the US, and that it “will take a certain amount of credit risk over the course of the investment”.

“By moving the investment management of its foreign corporate bond portfolio to Symetra, this strategic move enables investment in the US directly and aims to increase asset management income through the effective use of resources such as human resources and knowledge of both companies,” the insurer says.

Osaka-based Sumitomo Life had 42.95 trillion yen of total assets as of December 2021.