With regard to the recent protests by some Evolution policyholders, the company has issued a statement as follows:
“Evolution” is a non-guaranteed investment-linked life insurance product distributed predominantly by independent brokers. It gives professional investors the freedom to choose independently the assets to which their contract value will be indexed.
Amongst more than 1,000 different assets currently administered under Evolution, one fund chosen by around 200 clients, “Worldwide Opportunities Fund SPC - Hong Kong Investment Fund SP” (“HKIF”), that is not managed by AXA but by CES Capital International (Cayman) Co., has experienced a significant drop in value over recent months and recently notified investors of its intention to compulsorily redeem all shareholders and wind down the fund's affairs. The Evolution policies in respect of which HKIF is the underlying reference fund was mainly distributed by an independent broker, Asia One.
We, together with our clients, are both concerned by these developments and consider that there may be potential fraud. We are therefore taking appropriate actions to investigate these issues and try and recover assets. We have appointed external counsel and initiated the appointment of independent joint official liquidators in respect of the fund in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the "Grand Court"). On 16 May, the Grand Court supported our petition and these Court appointed liquidators now have full control over the fund's affairs and will have extensive powers to investigate the events leading to the loss in value of the fund's investments in order to determine whether there has been any mismanagement and / or misconduct.
We have also reported the case to the Commercial Crime Bureau of Hong Kong (“CCB”), and are in regular contact with them, including recent meetings in March and April, and are fully assisting them in their investigative efforts. The investigation is now in their hands. We are therefore unable to comment any further.
We share a common goal with our clients in pursuing an objective and fair investigation, as our interests are also compromised by potential fraud activities. We seek continued support from the clients in progressing the matter with relevant authorities in both Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.
The liquidation of the fund has no impact on any other fund chosen by our Evolution clients and the Evolution platform continues to offer services to clients.
For any media enquiry, please contact Sophie Wong from Weber Shandwick (tel: 6231 0948).