Lombard International to expand into Asia

Life insurance company Lombard International has announced it will open offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, in what it said was the first step in a larger expansion into the Asian market.

The offices will be headed up by newly-appointed chief executive Tammy Lu Tsui, who joins the company from Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, where she was deputy chairman for Greater China, Luxembourg-based Lombard said in a statement today. Before Jardine Lloyd Thompson Tsui had been regional managing director of private risk at AON.

Lombard International, which also has offices in Philadelphia as a result of its integration last year with Philadelphia Financial Life Assurance, said in a statement that the new Asian offices will be named Lombard International Hong Kong Ltd, and Lombard International Singapore Pte. Ltd.

Approval from regulators in both jurisdictions is pending, Lombard said.

Ken Kilbane, executive vice president, global distribution for Lombard International, said the group’s expansion into Asia represents “a significant step for Lombard International’s strategic ambitions globally”.

He said Lombard International would recruit brokers specialising in the high- and ultra-high net worth markets, adding that the company has plans eventually to expand the Asian operations beyond Hong Kong and Singapore.

Lombard International began 20 years ago in Luxembourg. It was first acquired, in 2004, by Friends Provident, the UK life company, which subsequently sold it to the Blackstone private equity group in 2014. Blackstone immediately set about engineering its integration with Philadelphia Financial, another Blackstone holding, to expand its international presence.

Lombard specialises in unit-linked life insurance and private placement insurance, with a particular concentration on the high net worth and institutional end of the market, while also catering for the bank-owned and corporate-owned insurance market. It has assets under administration of US$75 bn (£51bn).

It is one of a number of life companies based in Luxembourg which take advantage of certain features of that country’s regulatory structure to market a particular type of single premium bond to high-net worth individuals keen for a safe and tax efficient place to park their wealth.

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