The joint venture is expected to be operational by mid-2008, subject to final approval by regulatory authorities.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year, Taishin will hold 51% of the joint venture and Aegon the remaining 49%. The joint venture will distribute life insurance and pension products through Taishin's nationwide distribution network of 200 business locations, belonging to Taishin Bank, Taiwan Securities, Taishin Insurance Agency and Taishin Insurance Brokers. This network will be expanded by another 170 business locations if the planned merger between Taishin and Chang Hwa Bank goes ahead.
The joint venture with Aegon will further extend the range of financial products and services Taishin is able to offer its customers. Taishin and Aegon believe the Taiwanese market for retirement planning and wealth management solutions will continue to show strong growth in the years ahead. In particular, there is a rising demand for pensions and other related products. The joint venture between Taishin and Aegon is a milestone in the future development of Taishin Holdings.
As part of its growth strategy, Aegon has recently sought to expand its global distribution network, particularly through new partnerships with banks. Aegon first entered the Taiwanese market as a greenfield in 1993 and since then has grown into a fully-fledged life insurance company. Aegon Taiwan is now the sixth largest foreign life insurer in the country*. In addition to the new life insurance joint venture with Taishin, Aegon Taiwan will also continue to provide its full range of products and services through its various existing distribution channels.
* Source: Life Insurance Association Taiwan, based on new business premium, APE basis, in USD – 2006.
ABOUT TAISHIN Taishin Financial Holdings was established on February 18, 2002 upon the completion of the merger between Dah An Commercial Bank and Taishin International Bank. The merger marked the very first voluntary bank merger in Taiwan's history. In the same year, Taishin Bills Finance and Taiwan Securities came under the umbrella of Taishin Financial Holdings. Taishin is now comprised of Bank, Securities, Bills Finance, Asset Management, Marketing Consultant, and Venture Capital as subsidiaries. In 2005, Taishin acquired 22.5% of Chang Hwa Commercial Bank. Taishin now ranks 2nd among financial holding companies in terms of asset size in Taiwan. As of November 2007, foreign institutional investors accounted for 35% of Taishin's shareholding structure, with Newbridge, Nomura and Soros being the largest shareholders. Taishin is the first in the industry to restructure its extensive businesses into three segments: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth Management. The group adopts a customer-centric approach by offering products and services that are tailored to its customers’ needs. The strategy of customer-driven by way of innovation and its outstanding performance contributes handsomely to Taishin’s customers, shareholders and employees. Taishin's extensive marketing network positions it as the market leader with a wide range of financial services and products that are readily accessible for clients via both physical and virtual networks comprising 200 business locations and 2 overseas representative offices, over 2,600 ATMs, internet banking, 700 professional consultants and financial planners. To upgrade customer services, Taishin continues to develop new service channels. Taishin plans to launch mini branches in hospitals, install new ATMs, and set up "convenience banks" in convenience stores. The ever-evolving platform promises to deliver one-stop shopping solution to fill the financial needs of its clients.