FWD Group Cuts 50 Jobs in Hong Kong and Singapore, Asia-focused insurer faces downsizing challenges

By Scott Murdoch and Selena Li

Sydney, Australia – 2nd February 2022

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Asia-focused insurer FWD Group has reportedly made the decision to cut approximately 50 jobs in its head offices this week, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The majority of these job cuts have been implemented in Hong Kong and Singapore, as confirmed by one of the sources who requested anonymity as the information has not yet been publicly disclosed.

In response to the job cuts, FWD Group released an email statement to Reuters, stating, “Like all successful companies, we routinely review and adjust our head office resources to ensure we have an appropriately skilled and sized team to support our fast-growing pan Asian business.”

Established in 2013, FWD Group is controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li. Despite attempts to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) in New York and Hong Kong over the past two years, the company has been unable to finalize a deal. However, during this time, FWD Group managed to raise nearly $1.8 billion through private funding rounds.

The job cuts come at a time of significant consolidation within Hong Kong’s financial services sector. Over the past year, investment banks in the city have been grappling with a major downturn in capital markets and corporate buyout activity. As a result, hundreds of jobs have been eliminated among the major bulge bracket banks.

The decline in Hong Kong IPO volumes, reaching the lowest level in more than a decade due to higher interest rates and ongoing global political tensions, has further exacerbated the challenges faced by financial institutions. FWD Group’s failed attempts at an IPO are indicative of the difficult market conditions.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Thursday that Richard Li’s Pacific Century group is currently seeking to sell its majority stake in asset manager PineBridge Investments.

FWD Group operates as a pan-Asian life insurance business, serving over 11 million customers across 10 markets. With a focus on the Asian region, the company offers a range of insurance products to meet the diverse needs of its customer base.

For media inquiries, please contact Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Selena Li in Hong Kong.

Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Michael Perry

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