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T Rowe adds distribution partner in Hong Kong

It will be the first time that the firm has partnered with an insurer in the SAR.

T Rowe Price has partnered with Hong Kong-based insurance company FTLife to make three of its Sicav funds available to the insurer’s customers, according to a statement from the asset manager.

This is the first time that the manager partnered with an insurance firm in Hong Kong.

“Expanding distribution to the insurance industry further extends our reach to different client segments and is another step in our effort to have a diversified client mix,” Priscilla Leung, head of intermediary business for Greater China at T Rowe, told FSA.

With the partnership with FTLife, T Rowe Price will have access to the insurer’s 70,000 customers investing in investment-linked assurance policies and 3,300 insurance agents, according to Leung.

The three funds that will be available to FTLife’s customers are the US Large Cap Growth Equity Fund, the US Smaller Companies Equity Fund and the Diversified Income Bond Fund. Leung believes that these offerings are good options “for investors looking for a core holding”.

Other distribution channels

The partnership with FTLife adds to the other banking partners that T Rowe has in Hong Kong, including retail and private banks, said Leung, but did not name the firms.

The firm has also partnered with non-traditional distributors, such as online platforms.

“We are constantly accessing different ways to extend our product offerings to a wider range of investors, and we do partner with other platform businesses and online app platforms,” Leung said.

The firm has been active in its efforts of tapping Hong Kong’s mutual fund market in recent years. Since 2016, the firm registered 19 products with the Securities and Futures Commission, including six last year,  three in 2018five in 2017 and five in 2016.

“[We] will continue to build out our Asia intermediary distribution network and explore opportunities to register more Ucits Sicav funds with the SFC,” a spokeswoman of the firm said previously.

In total, T Rowe Price has 23 SFC-authorised products available to retail investors in Hong Kong, according to the statement.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.