Cigna Global Holdings said it plans to be the first U.S. company to offer defined-contribution products in Japan, through a partnership with a company there.

Philadelphia-based Cigna and Yasuda Fire and Marine Insurance Co. said last week that they joined forces to create Yasuda Kasai-Cigna Security Co. The joint venture begins official operations in October after regulatory approvals, the company said.

The new firm will sell mutual funds and programs similar to U.S. 401(k) plans. Customers will also be able to invest in existing funds from Cigna's International Investment Advisors K.K. and Yasuda Kasai Global Asset Management.

Cigna Corp. has more than $112 billion of assets. Yasuda Fire and Marine, Japan's second-largest nonlife insurer, is among the top 10 global business insurers as ranked by Standard & Poor's, the companies said.

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