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Caixin Article: Digging behind the Capital Empire of the Anbang Insurance Group

The Sina website recently carried an article on how the Anbang Insurance Group (a Chinese holding company whose subsidiaries deal mainly with insurance, banking, and financial services) grew from a company with registered capital of 500 million yuan (US$72 million) in 2004 to 61.9 billion yuan (US$8.97 billion) in 2017. The source of the article was Caixin’s 2017 17th edition. The article found that Anbang was under suspicion for faking the registered capital that it used for the insurance fund under its control. According to the article, Anbang has gone through seven major capital growth spurts since 2014. The analysis of its capital structure and stockholders indicates that behind its 37 stockholders, the company sits on a network of 101 companies and 86 stockholders and that all of them can be traced to the relatives of Wu Xiaohui, Chief Executive Officer of Anbang in Zhejiang Province. In the international market, Anbang has been aggressively acquiring insurance companies, banks, and real estate in Europe, the U.S., and Korea, including the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in 2014. However, starting in 2016 Anbang has faced major obstacles in its overseas acquisitions. It failed in the US$14 billion acquisition of the Starwood Hotel as well as the acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, due to its inability to meet the company’s stockholder disclosure requirements that the Department of NY Financial Services had set.

According to an article that Apple Daily published on February 3, 2015, Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s CEO, was reported to be separated from his wife, who is the second daughter of Deng Xiaoping. The couple got married in 2004. It was Wu’s third marriage. It is believed that Wu used his relationship to start Anbang and that the separation was an indication that Deng’s family wants to cut its ties with the Anbang group.

Caixin, April 29, 2017
Sina, April 29, 2017
Apple Daily, February 3, 2015