The insurance and wealth management firm has a strong presence in seven markets in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and India, but it is now looking to distribute in Singapore and Thailand.
“We feel both markets have strong underlying fundamentals,” said a Sun Life spokesperson.
“Singapore is a mature and competitive market for the insurance industry where we still see opportunities, while Thailand is emerging as an insurance market and has an attractive demographic make-up and long term growth prospects.”
The spokesperson added: “In all of our markets, we would seek to build sufficient scale, which usually requires a multi-distribution approach (agency and bancassurance) and so expansion would likely come through partnership and/or acquisition.”
“Singapore is a mature and competitive market for the insurance industry where we still see opportunities"
Sun Life’s primary focus is servicing those customers in the emerging middle class bracket, helping clients achieve lifetime financial security.
This news comes just two months after Standard Life announced it would exit Singapore.
When International Adviser asked whether Sun Life was concerned about this announcement, it said it “still sees opportunities in the Singaporean insurance market”.
“Proliferation of products”
Sun Life also said it was planning to launch an asset management business in Hong Kong. This new unit will operate as a fund of funds manager to capitalise on what it sees as a “proliferation of products” in the region.
The fund of funds manager will “focus only on the best performing assets to deliver our clients better deals and stronger performance”, the Sun Life spokesperson said.
Pending regulatory approval, the new business is expected to start operating later this year.