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Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. will begin selling investment trusts later this year in a tieup with United Asset Management Corp., a major U.S. investment house, the nation’s leading nonlife insurance company said April 23.

Tokio Marine is the second Japanese nonlife insurer, after Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., to announce a plan to enter the investment trust market. Investment trusts, known as mutual funds in the U.S., are expected to play a key role in the management of personal assets in Japan in the ongoing “Big Bang” financial deregulations.

Tokio Marine expects its affiliate, Tokio Marine MC Asset Management Co., to obtain an investment trust license from the Finance Ministry next month and start selling funds around December, the nonlife insurer said. The affiliate, which currently manages pensions, will design various types of investment trust funds by using the knowhow of UAM, a holding firm of more than 50 individual investment firms, Tokio Marine said.

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