Insurance company FWD Group has laid off approximately 50 of its employees, reported Reuters, citing sources.  

The retrenchment exercise primarily impacted its staff based in Hong Kong and Singapore head offices.  

In an e-mailed statement to the publication, FWD said: “Like all successful companies, we routinely review and adjust our head office resources to ensure we have an appropriately skilled and sized team to support our fast-growing pan Asian business.” 

The insurer, owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, declined to elaborate on the matter. 

According to a source, this move is part of a strategic shift towards achieving sustainable profitability within the next year, marking a departure from its previous expansion-focused approach. 

The redundancies come amid a consolidation trend in Hong Kong’s financial services sector, which has seen significant job losses due to a downturn in capital markets and corporate buyout activity.  

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As per the report, the city’s investment banks have been particularly affected, with IPO volumes dropping to a decade low amid rising interest rates and global political uncertainties. 

FWD has been actively pursuing an IPO in both New York and Hong Kong over the past two years.  

Despite raising nearly $1.8bn (HK$14.08bn) in private funding during this period, the insurer has yet to finalise a public offering.  

Its latest IPO application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange lapsed in September 2023 and has not been renewed. 

FWD, which is focused on serving the Asian life insurance market, serves more than 11 million customers across ten markets.  

The company’s recent initiatives include the launch of ‘The One’ by FWD Philippines, a customisable insurance plan for gamers, and a collaboration between FWD Hong Kong and Club Care to introduce an online insurance platform that integrates with a health rewards loyalty programme.