Morley completes Chinese joint venture agreement

Article date: 10 April 2008

Morley Fund Management Limited, the UK-based asset management arm of Aviva plc1, is pleased to announce the completion of an agreement to form a joint venture in China with China National Oils and Foodstuffs and Cereals Corporation (COFCO) and Dongguan Trust and Investment.

The shareholder agreement was formally signed on 1 April 2008 in Beijing by Morley chief operating officer Nick Alford, COFCO chief financial officer Wu Xiaohui and Dongguan Trust and Investment chief executive officer Ding Nuanrong. The signing was also attended by Aviva Investors Asia Pacific chief executive officer Craig Bingham, vice mayor of Dongguan municipal government Mayor Leng, COFCO president Yu Xubo and Morley's chief representative in Shanghai Walter Lin (Lin Weiming).

"We are delighted to sign this shareholder agreement and to formally complete our partnership with COFCO and Dongguan Trust and Investment," Aviva Investors global chief executive officer Alain Dromer said.

"This joint venture is the next step in the development of our long-held ambitions in China, driven by both support for our parent company, Aviva, and the opportunities for our own profitable growth.

"Morley has exciting plans to develop and expand its business in China. We have applied for a QFII license2 to allow us to purchase domestic assets and look forward to working with our local partners to develop our QDII business3," Mr Dromer said.

Morley's parent Aviva has had a successful life insurance joint venture with COFCO since 2003. The Aviva-COFCO joint venture is ranked fourth in premium terms among 25 foreign joint venture life insurers in China, where it has businesses across 21 cities. In 2004, the joint venture became the first foreign-funded insurance company in China to issue group life insurance policies.

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1 On 28 February 2008, Aviva plc announced it was combining its asset management businesses to create a single, globally integrated asset manager to be known as Aviva Investors - to be launched formally in September 2008.

Aviva Investors will be the global asset management business of Aviva plc, the world's fifth-largest insurer. Firms that will become Aviva Investors have £316 billion (US$623 billion) of assets under management as at 28 February 2008 and significant growth potential.

2 QFII - Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors

3 QDII - Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors

For more information contact:
Beth Saint
Corporate Communications
Telephone: 020 7809 8125

Notes to editors:

Morley
Morley is the UK-based asset management business of Aviva plc. Firms within the Morley group of companies manage £164bn (€223bn) from offices around the world as at 31 December 2007.  

Morley manages both institutional and retail funds. It also acts as investment manager for a range of retail investment funds, marketed in the UK under the Norwich Union brand and in Europe under the Morley name.

The property team manages in excess of £31bn (€43bn) of UK and European property assets.

Aviva Investors
On 28 February 2008, Aviva plc announced it was combining its asset management businesses to create a single, globally integrated asset manager to be known as Aviva Investors - to be launched formally in September 2008.

Aviva Investors will be the global asset management business of Aviva plc, the world's fifth-largest insurance group. Firms that will become Aviva Investors have £316 billion (US$623 billion) of assets under management as at 28 February 2008 and significant growth potential.

Operating under a single brand with more than 1,300 employees in 15 countries across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia, and subject to regulatory approval, Aviva Investors will combine businesses in the UK (Morley Fund Management), North America (Aviva Capital Management, MFM International, Aviva Investment Canada), France (Aviva Gestion d'Actifs), Australia (Portfolio Partners), Poland (CUIM Polska), Ireland (Hibernian Investment Managers), Spain (Aviva Gestion SGIIC (Gestora)) and Romania (CertInvest) and work in partnership with Delta Lloyd Asset Management in the Netherlands.

Recent  Morley awards

  • Morley's G7 Fund awarded Fixed Income Hedge Fund of the Year, Eurohedge Awards 2007
  • Best Property Manager - Financial News Excellence in Institutional Management Awards, Europe 2007
  • Morley ranks no 1 fund manager in the Thomson Extel SRI Survey, 2007
  • Property Manager of the Year, UK Pensions Awards 2007
  • Morley's G7 Fund awarded Fixed Income Hedge Fund of the Year, Eurohedge Awards 2006
  • Equity End User of the Year - Derivatives Week DEAL Awards 2006
  • Property Fund Manager of the Year, Pensions Management Awards 2006
  • Best Commitment to Raising Standards of Trustee Education, Engaged Investor Awards 2006
  • Property Fund Manager of the Year, Property Week Awards 2006
  • SRI Provider of the Year, Global Pensions 2006.

Aviva plc

  • Building a global asset management capability is one of Aviva's strategic priorities and as such Aviva Investors will be a key component in Aviva's composite model of long-term savings, general insurance and asset management.
  • Aviva is the leading provider of life and pension products in Europe (including the UK) with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2006.
  • Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion and funds under management of £364 billion at 31 December 2007.
  • The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

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