Prudential Plc is looking for acquisitions in Asian markets, as well as distribution partnerships with banks, as part of its growth strategy, according to an executive.
The undertakings are part of the British insurance powerhouse’s focus on Asia as a key driver of profits amid the company’s ongoing demerger, Reuters reported. Strong sales in several markets, including mainland China, Hong Kong, India, and Malaysia, are helping the company achieve its goal of doubling its Asian business every five to seven years.
“We are agency-focused in those markets, but we would love to do more on the distribution side,” Prudential Corporation Asia CEO Nic Nicandrou told Reuters. “We are on the lookout for the right partners.”
Aside from expanding their agency forces, Asian insurers are spending large sums of money for bancassurance deals, which tap banks’ branch networks and digital platforms to boost the insurers’ distribution capabilities.
Nicandrou added that Prudential is keen on making more acquisitions in Asia, but sellers are quite rare at the moment. He also responded to reports that Chinese mega-insurer Ping An is looking to buy Prudential’s Asian business, saying that no offer from Ping An has been received.
Additionally, he revealed that Eastspring, Prudential’s asset management arm, has registered for a licence to manage non-retail funds in China, and is expected to gain the regulator’s approval within the quarter.
“We can do some team lift-outs and bolt-on M&A there to grow [Eastspring] and get a bigger share of the asset management market in China,” Nicandrou said.