US-based asset manager Principal Global Investors (PGI) is reportedly seeking to apply for a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) license in China by the end of 2015.
Additionally, the company is planning to boost its headcount by hiring two key staff including a chief executive for Southeast Asia and a director for third-party fund distribution in Singapore, reported Asian Investor.
Furthermore, PGI has unveiled its expansion plans for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), following its launch of an active product in the US in July 2015.
Kirk West, executive director and head of international offices, told AsianInvestor that PGI is in the process of preparing the necessary documentation for a WFOE application.
"We are strongly considering upgrading our representative offices in China to WFOE and I expect we are months away from submitting paperwork," he added.
In China, PGI has an institutional business and a joint venture asset management business with China Construction Bank. It hopes to be more involved in the distribution business with private banks.
West added that PGI will also increase its headcount in mainland China once it opens a WFOE office.
The director for third-party distribution in Singapore will report to Gaurav Kumar, head of fund distribution for the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
"We hope to be in a position to make the appointment in the next few weeks," West added.