On 21 June 2019, Isle of Man based Hansard International Limited announced that it had secured an Investment Manager licence in the world's third largest economy, Japan.
The acquisition of this licence is the first of its kind for an offshore insurance company, and is a further significant strategic step in bringing a new chapter in the company's thirty-year history to life. Many in the industry have keenly followed Hansard's pursuit of this licence for a long time, and being listed on the London Stock Exchange, the company has observed its obligation to keep interested onlookers informed of its progression over the years.
So, whilst this is most definitely great news, it is not ‘by definition' new, or unexpected news. Hansard has been focused on securing licenced opportunities around the world over recent years, with the latest announcement being the third; following a strategic alliance with Union Insurance Company in the UAE in 2017 and the establishment of Hansard Worldwide Limited, operating out of the Bahamas, in 2018.
“IT IS ESTIMATED THAT $14TRN WILL BE SAVED IN JAPAN IN 2019, OF WHICH, $9TRN WILL BE COMMITTED TO LOW INTEREST, DEPOSIT TYPE ARRANGEMENTS” - Graham Morrall, Hansard International
CLICK HERE to view video: Gary Robinson speaks with Hansard's Global Sales and Marketing Director Graham Morrall who discusses the company's plans in Asia, including its landmark Japanese license.
Ever-confident of a positive outcome, Hansard has been busily working behind the scenes to have everything in place for the green-light
from the Japanese regulators, not least the appointment of a team of highly-experienced, bilingual Japanese nationals who will play a fundamental role in the implementation of the next steps; including the realisation of its business plan, the registration of a next generation product, the appointment of a general manager, and kick-starting conversations with distributors in the local market.
As Chief Executive Officer Gordon Marr, pictured left, explained: "The licence presents us with a very significant and material opportunity to achieve a step change in Hansard's future growth potential, but there is much work to do before we are operational."
Historically well-known for being relatively risk averse in its saving habits, the 128 million-strong population of Japan has shown recent signs of becoming more willing to look further than the ever-popular local postal saving schemes, available from over 25,000 branches across the country.
As Hansard's Global Sales & Marketing Director, Graham Morrall, pictured below right, explains "It is estimated that $14trn will be saved in Japan in 2019, of which, $9trn will be committed to low interest, deposit type arrangements".
As a provider of savings and investment products for over 30 years, this backdrop represents an obvious opportunity to Hansard, albeit one
that is not under-estimated in requiring significant commitment, investment and focus in delivering a proposition that will prove popular with clients and distributors alike.
Synonymous with being at the forefront of online developments within the industry, and having scooped numerous awards over the years
for its advisor & client platforms, it is no surprise to hear that technology will be central to the delivery of Hansard's ‘next generation' proposition in Japan, utilising a platform that will provide a truly paperless ‘end-to-end' transaction for clients, in local language.
As you would expect of a developed economy, highly regarded for its advances in technology, Japan is home to some of the largest financial service providers in the world, with lots of established players providing healthy competition to Hansard, so the size of the task in hand is not under-estimated.
It is fair to say, though, that Hansard is a company that has long ‘punched above its weight' in an industry that is home to a number of large, multi-national household names, and is therefore extremely well-placed and ready for the challenge that this new chapter in its extensive history presents.
This sponsored feature first appeared in the Special Report on Asia's rising IFCs - spotlight on Malaysia and Japan.
CLICK HERE to read/view the full report.