Korean insurance scene‘s big player Anbang is controlled by “princelings”

Apr 08, 2016, 07:53 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

Most of the executives are the children of China's revolutionary veterans and leaders.

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - Following an acquisition of Tongyang Life, Chinese finance group Anbang Insurance bought up Allianz Life Insurance of Korea this time, becoming a big player in the Korean insurance industry. Anbang Insurance used to be a sleepy provincial car insurer when it was established in 2004.

A sales desk of one of 3,000 branches that are being operated nationwideby Anbang Insurance Group./ Source from search engine Baidu

However, it has grown up as an aggressive buyer of insurance companies and property assets in a mere decade. Anbang is the 5th largest life insurance company in China with 3,000 branches around the country and is one of the top 10 insurance companies in the world.

Anbang Insurance Group chairman Wu Xiaohui. He is married to thegrand-daughter of Deng Xiaoping./ Source from search engine Baidu

Of course, the key of its rapid growth is catching everyone's attention. The answer is that most of the executives of the company are "princelings", or sons and daughters of China's revolutionary veterans and leaders. Most of all, Anbang's chairman, Wu Xiaohui, was married to Zhuo Ran, the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China's deceased but still revered leader.

Anbang's de facto man in control is Chen Xiaolu, who happened to be the son of Marshal Chen Yi and son-in-law of General Su Yu (both legendary revolutionary military leaders). Chen owns a significant amount of Anbang's stakes as much as chairman Wu does. Other influential stakeholders include Anbang's associate director Levin Zhu, the son of Zhu Rongji, China's former prime minister.

In short, Anbang is controlled by very powerful princelings, and it's obvious that much money is coming to it. Besides, considering the nature of China, there is no reason not to handle black money. This is why some within China's financial circles voice a sarcastic opinion that Anbang Insurance is the money game playground of princelings.

As mentioned earlier, Anbang Insurance has grown up big rapidly based on powerful capital strength, and jumped into global M&A market. In Oct 2014, it acquired the legendary Waldorf Astoria New York for $1.95 billion. Recently, it joined Starwood Hotel bidding war and abruptly stepped back. It's unclear exactly what led Anbang to back out of its bid. But the main reason seems to come from its "hit and run" strategy to globalize its status by playing money games.

#Anbang Insurance #princelings #Wu Xiaohui #Deng Xiaoping #Chen Xiaolu 
Copyright by Asiatoday