The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has given Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corp. the green light to engage in trust and other fiduciary businesses in the Philippines, the firm announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, the trust company said the certificate of authority it received from the central bank would allow it to strengthen its business offerings in the Philippines and demonstrate a “commitment to deepening its relationships in Asia.”
Manulife Asset Management is the first trust corporation backed by the resources of a leading multinational financial services group in the Philippines, following liberalization measures initiated by the Bangko Sentral.
The firm said it would be able to take advantage of its parent’s global investment capabilities to offer a wide array of services to different types of clients in the Philippines, which it described as a fast-growing market for asset management in Southeast Asia.
It said it would bring an initial offering of unit investment trust funds to investors in the third quarter of 2017. It also plans to offer pension accounts, “bespoke” institutional mandates and segregated accounts.
“We have seen great interest in a wider range of investment solutions among Filipinos. With our global investment expertise and our deep local market knowledge, we are uniquely positioned to service individual and institutional investors in the Philippines,” said Aira Gaspar, chief executive officer of Manulife Asset Management.
Michael Dommermuth, Manulife head of wealth and asset management for Asia, said the launch of a trust corporation in the Philippines gave Manulife the broadest footprint among asset management firms in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“The Philippines is a promising market for the asset management industry given the rapid growth of the middle class population. We have, over time, already built a strong book of business in the Philippines through our investment-linked products,” he said.
“[It] is strategically important as we anticipate accelerated economic growth within the Asean region,” he added.
Ryan Charland, president and chief executive officer of Manulife Philippines, said the new asset management and trust business would give Filipino clients a wider set of options.