Chicago’s Aon Corp. announced that it has become the first foreign insurance broker to be granted a license for a joint venture partnership by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).
The company received the go-ahead to establish a joint venture based in Shanghai with China National Cereals, Oils, & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corporation (COFCO), to be called Aon-COFCO. It expects to begin operations by mid-year.
“We are honored to be able to enter the Chinese market,” said Patrick G. Ryan, Aon’s chairman and CEO in a written statement. “The market in China is of great strategic importance to many of our clients. Additionally, with the dynamic growth of the Chinese economy we look forward to offering our resources to the rapidly changing needs of indigenous Chinese companies. Aon has a long-standing commitment to providing service on a global basis, and we are proud that our partnership with COFCO enables us to be the first non-Chinese company to serve as a broker in this critical world market.”
The company’s bulletin noted that even before receiving the new license Aon had “played a key role in the development of the insurance industry in China. Aon and its predecessor companies have had a representative presence in China since 1986, when Bain Hogg Limited opened an office in Beijing.” Aon acquired Bain Hogg in 1996, and subsequently established offices in Nanjing in 1997 and in Shanghai in 1998.