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J.P. Morgan Asset Management gets nod to buy out China joint venture partner

JPMAM
By Hui Ching-hoo   
January 26, 2023

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has won regulatory approval in China to buy out its local joint venture partner, the second foreign firm to get the green light after Beijing scrapped foreign ownership limits in mutual fund companies three years ago.

The joint venture firm, China International Fund Management (CIFM), is 51% owned by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and 49% by Shanghai International Trust Co.

The US company says it has secured approval from China Securities Regulatory Commission to acquire the Chinese partner’s stake, and that CIFM will be integrated with its wholly-owned unit in China.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management made the announcement in a statement on January 20, describing the moves as “significant steps in advancing its long-standing commitment to expanding in China”.

The acquisition price was not disclosed.

CIFM Chief Executive Officer Eddy Wong will become CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management China, reporting to Asia Pacific CEO Dan Watkins.

“We believe integrating the strengths of CIFM’s local operating expertise with the resources and global scale of J.P. Morgan creates powerful momentum,” Watkins says in the statement.

Canada’s Manulife Investment Management was the first foreign fund house to get the go-ahead to buy out its Chinese partner in November. It acquired Tianjin TEDA International Holding’s 51% stake in Manulife TEDA Fund Management for US$237.22 million.

New York-based J.P. Morgan Asset Management had around $2.45 trillion of assets under management as of December 2022.