FWD completes acquisition of HSBC’s Malaysian insurance unit, names new CEO

People walk past a major branch of HSBC at the financial Central district in Hong Kong, China February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Hong Kong-based FWD Group on Monday announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in HSBC Holdings’ Asia Pacific insurance unit, HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Bhd.

Owned by tycoon Richard Li, FWD is now the largest shareholder in the joint venture and intends to rename the business to FWD Takaful Bhd. It will be the company’s ninth market across the region and also the first takaful business unit of the group.

FWD is the insurance arm of private investment group Pacific Century Group, which operates across Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia.

“Malaysia represents another landmark market entry and strategic milestone in our journey. We see huge potential for growth in Malaysia and I’m excited to work together with our new team in Malaysia to grow our business and footprint through long-term investment and implementation of our customer-led strategy,” said FWD Group CEO Huynh Thanh Phong.

The insurer also appointed Salim Majid Zain as the CEO of FWD Takaful, who will be responsible for leading, overseeing and growing all aspects of the business. Salim was the CEO of Zurich Takaful Malaysia for 12 years.

Last December, HSBC Holdings received the go-ahead from Malaysia’s central bank to divest its 49 per cent stake in its insurance unit to FWD Group. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Besides FWD, other shareholders of HSBC Amanah Takaful include Malaysia’s JAB Capital Bhd (31 per cent) and the Employees Provident Fund (20 per cent).

Also Read:

FWD revives talks to buy Thai Siam Commercial’s $3b insurance unit

HSBC gets regulatory approval to sell Malaysian insurance unit stake to FWD

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.