(Yicai Global) Aug. 12 -- Ping An Bank, a subsidiary of insurance giant Ping An Insurance, is spinning off its wealth management department into a stand-alone unit and is recruiting talent to lead its investment research.
Unlike other commercial banks' wealth management arms, the new company will be a first-tier unit under Ping An Insurance with the same standing as Shenzhen-based Ping An Bank, Chief Funding Officer Wang Wei told Yicai Global. The move is still awaiting final approval from Chinese regulators, Wang added.
The spun-off unit is also looking beyond the workforce at Ping An Bank's asset management department and is seeking to hire more skilled professionals, he said.
"Research ability into investments is a core power of asset management, and thus strong talent is key," Wang said.
Compared with public equity funds, the bank's wealth management strengths lie in fixed income and non-standard assets. So, the unit will continue to focus on investment in non-standard assets, while Ping An Bank will keep providing quality alternative assets for the unit.
The new firm will have independent research centers for each major industry sector, such as real estate and infrastructure, so that its experts can screen and control asset quality, product types and investment risks, Wang said.
The unit falls short in equity asset investment compared with public equity funds, so it will partner with public equity companies and buy their products and services. Professionals will also move from Ping An Group, the parent company, to boost capabilities.