Vanguard, the world's largest mutual fund company, officially launched a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai's free trade zone at the end of May.
The new subsidiary joins Fidelity International, JP Morgan, Aberdeen Asset Management, and Bridgewater Associates as one of just a few investment management companies to set up wholly foreign-owned enterprises on the Chinese mainland, in anticipation that it can soon serve Chinese consumers once the market is opened up.
Vanguard's subsidiary will initially conduct investment management, investment consulting, research, and educational functions, mainly targeting institutional investors looking to allocate assets overseas. Its existing clients include insurers, banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions.
Vanguard says it hopes China's authorities will authorize foreign investment fund houses to sell products on the mainland in the next three to five years, allowing Vanguard to serve ordinary Chinese investors.
William McNabb, Chairman and CEO of Vanguard, said the new subsidiary is an important initiative for Vanguard's business and solidifies its commitment to China.
The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was created in 2013 and offers companies a number of tax preferences. It comprises a bonded area, high-tech park, financial area, and an export processing zone.