Press release: Tanner De Witt advises on grant of Hong Kong’s first virtual insurance company licence to Bowtie


Tuesday 15 January 2019
For immediate release

Tanner De Witt has advised insurer Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited on its Series A investment round. The investment round was closely connected with its successful application to the Hong Kong Insurance Authority for authorisation as a virtual insurer operating solely through digital distribution channels. This is the first successful application under the Insurance Authority’s recently announced Fast Track process for applicants seeking to operate solely through digital channels. As Hong Kong’s first fully-licenced virtual insurance company, Bowtie can now offer insurance protection directly to customers without any insurance intermediaries. The announcement was made on 20 December 2018.

In its Series A round, Bowtie raised HK$234 million (US$30 million) from leading international financial services organisation Sun Life Hong Kong Limited. Bowtie’s shareholder base includes the Hong Kong X Technology Fund and angel investors.

Pádraig Walsh, who was the lead partner on the transaction, advises businesses in the technology sector, and has a specific focus on “fintech” (financial technology) and “insurtech” (insurance technology). Pádraig advised in the negotiations and on the transaction documents to conclude the Series A investment round.

Commenting on the transaction and approval, Pádraig said “I have known Michael Chan and Fred Ngan, the founders of Bowtie, for some years now. They have been at the vanguard of insurtech innovation in Hong Kong. This transaction and regulatory approval is an endorsement of their vision, and gives real hope for developing a mature insurtech ecosystem in Hong Kong. It is a real milestone. I am delighted to have been able to support Michael and Fred, and I wish them every success as they lead Bowtie to trailblaze more in the insurance industry.”

About Bowtie

Bowtie is a licenced life insurance company and Hong Kong’s very first virtual insurer. Built with modern technology and medical expertise, Bowtie’s platform will offer life and medical insurance plans to customers instantly and directly. Bowtie will also offer health insurance products under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) pending Food and Health Bureau’s approval. By eliminating paper, commissions and intermediaries, Bowtie’s mission is to enable a new generation of consumers to access insurance protection and take control of life protection decisions for themselves. Bowtie is backed with HKD 234 million from Sun Life Financial and supported by leading international reinsurers. Stay up to date at

About Pádraig Walsh

Pádraig’s practice focuses on venture capital and related corporate work. His work encompasses advice on private equity and debt financings, leading on investment negotiations and completion, and preparing documents to implement deal terms. He also advises on the range of common issues for emerging companies, such as corporate structuring, IP licensing, equity incentive plans, and shareholder disputes. He represents both investors, strategics, and founders.

With clients broadly within the technology sector, Pádraig has represented companies within specific verticals of fintech, insurtech, regtech, medtech, edutech, and cleantech. Pádraig’s practice also includes assisting clients on licensing, regulatory and compliance. His experience in this area has enabled him to advise clients on a number of innovative, complex fintech projects. He is at the forefront of advising on legal issues for emerging businesses using blockchain technology.

Pádraig is a mentor, and provides legal training programmes, for a number of accelerator programmes. He is also a regular speaker at various startup events and a blogger on the tech startup scene.

Finally Pádraig advises companies of all sizes on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, and joint ventures as well as on investment structures, and regulatory and governance issues for investments into a range of asset classes.

Pádraig is a Notary Public.

About Tanner De Witt

Tanner De Witt is an established and recommended independent law firm in Hong Kong. Many of our lawyers have international law firm backgrounds and our firm and its lawyers receive top ratings from industry publications such as Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

We are an equal opportunities employer and strive to promote a culture of opportunity and success. Hong Kong enjoys a diversity of perspectives, history, culture and outlook; our team and our client base reflect this.

We provide legal advice and representation in the following areas: Corporate and Commercial; Banking and Finance; Financial Services Regulatory; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Insolvency and Restructuring; Employment; Immigration; Family and Private Client; Wills and Trusts; Hospitality including Liquor Licensing; White Collar Crime and Criminal.

Tanner De Witt, 17th Floor, Tower One, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

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