Cathay has agreed to acquire Conning from Aquiline Capital Partners for up to $240 million. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015. Headquartered in Hartford, Conn., Conning is a investment firm focused on the insurance sector.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN and HARTFORD, CT, USA — November 12, 2014 – Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. (“Cathay”) (TWSE: 2882), a leading financial services provider, announced that the Board of Directors of its subsidiary, Cathay Life Insurance Co, Ltd. (“Cathay Life”), approved the acquisition of Conning Holdings Corp. (“Conning”) and all of its subsidiaries.
Conning is a premier global investment manager focused on the insurance industry with capabilities in risk and capital management and insurance research. Under the terms of the agreement, Cathay Life will purchase Conning for up to US$240 million from funds managed by Aquiline Capital Partners, LLC (a New York–based private equity firm investing in financial services) and other shareholders.
The transaction provides complete continuity for Conning and its clients. Following the closing, Conning will operate as an independent company within the Cathay group and be governed by its own Board of Directors. Conning will be led by its current President and Chief Executive Officer, Woody Bradford, and the existing global management team. Conning’s teams across asset management, risk and capital management and insurance research will remain in place, serving clients from Hartford, New York, Cologne and London. In Asia Pacific, Cathay Conning Asset Management (a joint venture between Conning and Cathay) will remain a core part of Conning’s strategy, providing global investment and advisory solutions from its offices in Hong Kong.
“This transaction is good for Conning’s clients and employees, as well as the long-term strategy of our company,” said Mr. Bradford. “Cathay supports the continuation of our firm’s client-focused culture and service model and will provide additional resources to accelerate our business plans and further enhance the value proposition for our clients.”
The acquisition is a significant step towards Cathay’s goal to build a complete financial services platform with expertise in asset management, banking and insurance. This transaction will allow both Conning and Cathay to broaden the capabilities available to their clients, support their growth in the third-party asset management market, and benefit from the resources and expertise of each organization. Cathay has also expanded its investment management agreement with Conning to include additional asset commitments and growth capital.
“Cathay has been a client, shareholder and strategic partner of Conning since 2011,” said Mr. Hong-tu Tsai, Chairman of Cathay. “We are excited to broaden our relationship with Conning and support the leadership team as they continue to build the business, both organically and through acquisitions, across markets in Asia, Europe and North America.”
“We have enjoyed partnering with Conning over the last five years, are very pleased with this transaction, and look forward to continuing to work with both Cathay and Conning,” said Jeff Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Aquiline. “We have great respect for the Cathay organization and believe that they are an ideal owner for Conning.”
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2015.
About Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd
Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. (www.cathayholdings.com.tw) is the largest financial holding company in Taiwan and a leading provider of financial products and services. The company’s primary subsidiaries include Cathay Life Insurance, Cathay United Bank, Cathay Century Insurance, Cathay SITE and Cathay Securities. As of June 30, 2014, the company had total assets of over US$200 billion and over 11 million customers. In recent years, Cathay Financial Holdings has also increased its presence in Asia, including in China and Southeast Asia.
Cathay Life Insurance Company (www.cathayholdings.com.tw/life) is the largest insurance company in Taiwan. As of June 30, 2014, the company had total assets of over US$146 billion and serves over 7 million customers through over 20,000 tied agents. Cathay Life has also established life insurance companies in China and Vietnam.
Conning (www.conning.com) is a leading investment management company for the global insurance industry, with almost US$92 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2014, through Conning, Inc., Conning Asset Management Limited, Cathay Conning Asset Management Limited, Goodwin Capital Advisers, Inc., and Conning Investment Products, Inc. The company’s unique combination of asset management, risk and capital management solutions and insurance research helps clients achieve their financial goals through customized business and investment strategies. Founded in 1912, Conning provides clients with innovative solutions, leveraging its global capabilities, investment experience, proprietary research and risk management technology. Headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, Conning also delivers its services globally through its offices in New York, London, and Cologne, and in Hong Kong through Cathay Conning Asset Management, a joint venture between Conning and Cathay.
About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Aquiline is a private equity firm based in New York investing in middle-market businesses across the financial services sector in banking and credit, insurance, investment management and markets, and financial technology. Aquiline targets specialized businesses that have potential for improved performance and growth in conjunction with Aquiline’s equity ownership and active involvement. The Firm consists of industry experts who use their operating experience and a hands-on approach to build value in portfolio companies.