FWD Group (FWD), the insurance arm of Asia-based Pacific Century Group, has secured regulatory approval to proceed with the acquisition of Great Eastern Life Vietnam from The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company.

Great Eastern Life Vietnam will become wholly-owned by FWD and will be rebranded. FWD said it plans to invest significantly to develop the company’s technology infrastructure and enhance customer experience with a vision of becoming a leading insurer in Vietnam.

The acquistion will mark FWD’s second new market entry in 2016, following the majority acquisition of group medical provider Shenton Insurance in Singapore in April this year.

Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD group CEO said: "The move into Vietnam will be an important strategic milestone for FWD’s South East Asian ambitions, as we expand our reach into underserved markets across the region to realise our vision to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

Economic transformation

"The economic transformation of Vietnam has been remarkable, and coupled with low insurance penetration, we see great opportunity in the Vietnamese market for a new, Asian-born insurer to meet the protection needs of the Vietnamese people."

The Great Eastern Life Vietnam business will continue as usual and FWD said it intends to retain and grow the current employee base.

FWD added that it is actively recruiting a solid senior management team with deep local experience to lead the organisation and is expecting to hire new talent at all levels.

Great Eastern Life Vietnam customers’ coverage and policies will be honoured by FWD and remain unaffected by the company’s transfer of ownership.

The headquarters will remain in Ho Chi Minh City, with a branch in Hanoi.

Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group.

FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, offering life and medical insurance, employee benefits, and general insurance across a number of its markets.