Initially, the two companies will explore financial solution distribution opportunities.
These solutions will be offered by Manulife Teda Fund Management Company and the group’s insurance joint venture, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance, via the Agricultural Bank’s network.
Develop insurance-based retirement products
With $12.5bn (£9.35bn, €10.63bn) of assets under management, Manulife Teda says it is the first company in China to launch a target volatility fund, and is among the first batch of six asset managers qualified to offer Fund of Funds products, which the firm says will be highly relevant for the pension market.
Funds managed by Manulife Teda can also be potentially leveraged by Manulife-Sinochem for the development of insurance-based retirement products.
During the collaboration, Manulife and Agricultural Bank of China will jointly explore possibilities of distributing such retirement solutions “when available”, the firm said.
Anil Wadhwani, president and chief executive of Manulife Asia, said: “Retirement planning is becoming an imminent need for Chinese consumers as they think about their savings for after their active working life. This collaboration will allow us to join hands with a top bank in China to explore ways in which we can help our customers achieve their retirement dreams and aspirations.”
Manulife Investment (Shanghai) will look to support the retirement ecosystem by providing private asset and offshore solutions.
Vision for Chinese retirement
The Agricultural Bank of China offers a diverse portfolio of corporate and retail banking products with 474 million customers.
The agreement also covers the appointment of Agricultural Bank of China as the sub-custodian in China for select funds managed by members of the Manulife Group.
Michael Dommermuth, head of wealth and asset management at Manulife Asia, said: “Our vision for the China retirement business is one of interconnectedness. It is about bringing together our retirement strengths globally and from our different entities in China, and delivering them to customers in formats that will cover the full retirement solutions spectrum.
“Collaborating with one of the largest banks in China on developing the market means we can bring our global strengths to the country where we look to amass an unrivalled retirement footprint with existing and future solutions from Manulife Teda, Manulife-Sinochem, our [wholly foreign owned enterprise], and with Agricultural Bank of China.”