A group of global investment managers has garnered the first flurry of mandates from China's largest life insurer since regulators opened the door for offshore investments more than two years ago.
Analysts see those hires as the tip of an iceberg that will come into view over the next five or six years.
China Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Beijing, with an investment portfolio of RMB1.97 trillion (US$315 billion), announced Dec. 20 that its board had approved three-year contracts for eight managers of overseas assets: five for multiasset class strategies and three for global equities.
The announcement didn't name the firms or provide details on the size of the allocations.
But over the past week, two sources, who declined to be named, identified the five multiasset class managers as: Goldman Sachs Asset Management, New York; J.P. Morgan Asset Management, New York; Neuberger Berman, New York; Schroder Investment Management Ltd., London; and State Street Global Advisors, Boston.
The same sources agreed that two of the three global equity managers selected were American Century Investment Management Inc., Kansas City, Mo., and Franklin Templeton Investments, San Mateo, Calif. They also said — but with a lesser degree of certainty — that BlackRock Inc., New York, was hired for passive global equities.
Analysts and money management executives said the allocations range from US$100 million to US$200 million each.
Spokesmen for GSAM, Neuberger Berman, Schroders, American Century, SSgA and BlackRock declined to comment. Spokesmen for JPAM and Franklin Templeton couldn't immediately be reached. Lan Yuxi, a Beijing-based spokesman for China Life, also couldn't immediately be reached.