Hansard Global, the specialist long-term savings provider, has revealed that it has moved into 'mature, advanced' stages for its Japan products roll-out, with all product regulatory steps on track and deals with three distribution partners readied for release into the marketplace, before the end of 2020.
Speaking to International Investment as it published its results for the six months ended 31 December 2019, CEO Gordon Marr revealed that the company is at a "mature, advanced stage" with three distribution partners from the Japanese banking network and is now finalising and tweaking its as yet unnamed new product for an expected roll-out before the end of the year.
While not ruling out any potential unforeseen future timetable delays due to Coronavirus, Marr said that company is confident that all distribution, regulation work and "tweaks to minor elements of the operating model" will be complete in time for a 2020 roll-out.
As reported, Hansard received its regulatory license in the Japan region last year and has been working on the second stages prospectus for its existing Aspire product and the as yet unnamed "innovative" new product for the lucrative Japanese local financial services market.
"We have passed he first stages of the regulation and the Securities Regulation Statement that is the prospectus of the product and we are now working with the distribution counterpartries to make sure that they are all signed off before we put it back to the regulator," said Marr.
Graham Morrall, pictured left, global sales and marketing director at Hansard Global, added the company has moved all of its Asian
sales team into Japan full-time. Morrall stressed that the company would still be continuing to operate other parts of Asia including the Labuan local markets, despite the refocus of its sales team.
As reported, today's results reveal new business levels for the group were £80.1m for 1H2020 (on a present value of new business premiums basis), up 8% from 1H2019.
The results, filed according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), show profits were £2.6m for the period, a fall from £3m in 1H2019.
The company said profits were impacted by a £900,000 decline in investment income as a result of foreign exchange movements and lower deposit interest rates. Underlying revenue, however, increased marginally with fees and commissions earned up to £25.5m compared to £25m in 1H2019.
Hansard said there is "good momentum" from changes made over the past year, with growth of the Japanese business a particular focus for 2020.
In a statement via the LSE, the firm said: "We remain focused on progressing our new Japanese proposition and will update the market when we achieve our next key milestone, the signing of formal distribution agreements."
Yet the statement also cautioned that the impact of the coronavirus could have a detrimental effect on business in the coming months globally. However CEO Marr added that the company has taken "all the correct steps to operate efficiently" in Japan and that technology could be utilised as a vital tool if face-to-face meetings become too difficult.