J.P. Morgan Asset Management and China Merchants Bank announced a strategic partnership focused on the Shenzhen-based bank’s recently launched asset management unit, CMB Wealth Management.
A joint news release Tuesday said JPMAM will be a “preferred product provider” to CMBWM, offering offshore and onshore capabilities complementary to those of CMB. A CMB spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for further details.
CMB and JPMAM will also work closely on product development, investor education and addressing emerging opportunities in the industry. In addition, the two will explore a financial technology partnership, the announcement said.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of a push by China to bring the banking industry’s huge, fast-growing universe of loosely regulated wealth management products into the more stringently regulated environment of the country’s asset management sector.
The strategic partnership adds another tine to JPMAM’s multipronged approach to building its China business, a market which Dan Watkins, the firm’s CEO, Asia-Pacific, in the news release, termed a “critical component” of JPMAM’s growth plans globally.
In August, JPMAM announced it had won an auction to purchase an additional 2% stake in Shanghai-based China International Fund Management from joint venture partner Shanghai International Trust Co., leaving the New York-based manager poised to become the first foreign firm to take a controlling 51% stake in a mainland-based fund management company.
The new strategic partnership is “complementary to our existing onshore business,” said Mr. Watkins.
CIFM “will have the opportunity to act as an onshore fund manager adviser to CMB, and CMB could also distribute CIFM products,” a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the firm said.
In 2016, meanwhile, JPMAM became one of the first foreign managers to win regulatory approval to set up a wholly foreign-owned asset management entity in Shanghai, with the scope to offer locally managed products to high net worth and institutional investors on the mainland.