Nvest of Boston plans to enter the mutual fund business in Japan mid-year, by managing several mutual fund products of Asahi Life Investment Management Co. of Tokyo., an affiliate of Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Co. Pending approval by Japanese regulators, Nvest will manage Asahi's U.S. equity, U.S. fixed-income, global fixed-income and pension products. In addition, Nvest will work with Asahi to develop, manage and market investment trusts that Asahi is planning to launch once Japanese life insurance companies are further deregulated, as is widely expected.

With $100 billion of assets under management, Asahi is Japan's fifth-largest insurance company.

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