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“Source: Livemint”

MUMBAI : Mumbai: Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd, through its subsidiary Mahindra Asset Management Co. Pvt. Ltd, has entered into a joint venture with global finance services group Manulife, which will invest $35 million in the asset management business.

The 51:49 joint venture aims to expand the depth and breadth of fund offerings and retail fund penetration in India, Mahindra Finance said in a statement.

Manulife provides wealth and asset management, and life insurance solutions for individuals, groups and institutions around the world, with more than $849 billion (about 58.98 trillion) of assets under management and administration as of 31 March 2019.

“Mahindra Finance, with its strong financial services presence in India, and innovative products and services designed around evolving customer needs, has been adding value to customers across the country. Mahindra and Manulife share a common vision of building a market-leading asset management business, servicing the needs of retail investors and becoming one of India’s most admired asset management companies,” said Ramesh Iyer, vice-chairman and managing director, Mahindra Finance.

Iyer added that Manulife is investing $35 million in the company in primary capital that will be used to scale up the business.

Mahindra Asset Management Co. currently offers over nine different investment schemes. It manages 5,019 crore, and has over 160,000 customer accounts across 400 cities.

“Mahindra Asset Management Co. has, over the last few years, successfully made inroads into areas beyond the traditional investment markets of India. Our experience shows that there is tremendous appetite for investment products and potential for growth in these markets. Manulife Asset Management fits as the right strategic partner for Mahindra Asset Management as they bring an enormous pool of fund management talent, backed by global best practices and processes,” said Ashutosh Bishnoi, managing director and chief executive officer, Mahindra AMC.

According to Anil Wadhwani, chief executive and president of Manulife Asia, the group has been operating in several developing Asian countries for decades and, thus, has a good understanding and experience of serving the financial services needs of markets like India.

“We are excited to be partnering with Mahindra Finance to serve the growing middle class in India by drawing experience from our existing business in providing over 10 million customers across 16 Asian markets with our holistic investment offerings across mutual funds, investment linked products and pension,” he said.

Manulife has also been scouting for opportunities in the Indian insurance sector. In January 2018, Mint had reported that global insurance firms, including Manulife, were in discussions to acquire a 26% stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd. In February 2018, The Economic Times had reported that Manulife had also shown interest in acquiring IDBi Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

On Friday, shares of Mahindra Finance closed at 394.3 apiece, down 2.17%, on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed at 39,194.49 points, down 1%.