UK’s Legal & General decides against pursuing China business license, reduces staff, sources report

UK’s Legal & General decides against pursuing China business license, reduces staff, sources report

Legal & General, a British insurer and asset manager, has decided to postpone its plan to obtain a China business license and has significantly reduced its onshore headcount, according to two sources familiar with the situation. This decision puts Legal & General among the global financial firms that are scaling back their operations in an uncertain market environment.

The company had been intending to apply for a QDLP (Qualified Domestic Limited Partner) license, which would have allowed them to sell offshore products to Chinese investors as part of their asset management business expansion. However, they have now put this plan on hold and downsized their local team to just two people, down from around 10 employees. These two remaining team members will focus on managing the offshore assets of Chinese institutional investors.

Although Legal & General did not directly comment on the shelving of the business license plan or the job cuts, they did state that China remains an important market opportunity for asset management in the long term. They explained that they are choosing to maintain a presence through a representative office with a small team and are actively seeking ways to grow their existing client base that invests in international markets.

This move by Legal & General, which manages assets totaling £1.2 trillion globally, reflects a broader trend of global financial firms scaling back their business ambitions in China due to market uncertainties, economic challenges, and geopolitical tensions.

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