Allianz’s $508 Billion Fund Management Unit Seeks China License

Allianz SE said its German fund management unit has applied for a license in China to establish an onshore presence, following the example of its larger U.S.-based Pacific Investment Management Co.

“Allianz Global Investors is in the process of applying for a wholly owned foreign entity license in China,” Allianz spokesman Thomas Atkins said by telephone Thursday. He declined to provide more details.

Allianz Global Investors has about 481 billion euros ($508 billion) in assets under management, compared with $1.55 trillion at California-based Pimco. Eric Mogelof, head of the Asia-Pacific business at the U.S. unit, said in September that his firm will probably be onshore in China in a year or two.

Earlier this year, Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates became the first foreign hedge fund manager to win approval to set up a standalone investment-management business in China, according to Shanghai-based consulting firm Z-Ben Advisors. Other firms have taken similar steps in response to rising Chinese demand for overseas investment options as they diversify from a weakening yuan.

AGI, led by Chief Executive Officer and Global Chief Investment Officer Andreas Utermann, has 25 locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. It employs about 600 investment professionals and is based in Frankfurt. 

The asset manager has reported inflows for 14 of 15 straight quarters, including 1.5 billion euros in net new money in the three months through September. Third-quarter profit rose to 154 million euros from 111 million euros a year earlier.

The news of Allianz’s intention was reported earlier by Reuters.