What's new this week - 15 March

| 15 Mar 2019

Welcome to another week of What's New.

It has been an exciting week for us at Asia Advisers Network. Asia Advisers Network was present at the CEO Insurance Summit organised by our sister publication Asia Insurance Review. What was interesting was that an interactive workshop was organised where Executives tackled case studies with potential societal and/or corporate issues.  Can you picture the scene where C-suites from different companies brainstorm and are not afraid to explore ideas together? Check out and download the photos here.


Singapore: Financial advisers’ fee reductions pushed to 2020

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has postponed the second phase of fee cuts under the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) from 1 Oct 2019 to 1 Oct 2020. The first phase of fee reduction in Oct 2018 had sales charges reduced by half from 3% to 1.5%.

If the second phase of fee reduction kicked in, financial advisers who sell investment-linked insurance policies would earn zero from the sales charges.

According to MOM, the reprieve was a response to feedback from the financial advisory industry requesting more time to prepare for the changes. Reception among the financial advisory industry has been positive.

Leong Sow Hoe, President of Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS) commented: “The one-year reprieve will thus give them time to discover opportunities in the insurance industry”.  He added that financial advisers should use the time to delve deeper into the needs of their clients in vital areas such as education, health, and retirement.

In October 2018, the wrap fee cap was lowered from 1% of assets under management (AUM) for CPFIS members to the current 0.7%. It was to have been further reduced to 0.4% this October, but this will now happen instead on 1 Oct 2020.



India: Bharti AXA Life reaches 40% growth in new business premium

Photo: MD & CEO of Bharti AXA, Vikas Seth

Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company has brought on board 10,000 more insurance advisers whilst adding 50 new branches this fiscal year. The expansion is part of the company’s overall strategy to strengthen its operation and enhance distribution footprint across the country.

Bharti AXA Life Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and French insurance behemoth AXA, recorded 40 per cent growth in its new business premium to ?617 crore during the April-December period of 2018-19 from ?442 crore in the corresponding period a year ago. The annualised new business premium grew 48 per cent to ?422 crore in the first nine months of 2018-19 against ?286 crore in the similar period of 2017-18.

They now have 38,000 insurance advisers and 236 branches across India. Vikas Seth, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, said that the company plans to continue its expansion spree in the next financial year with a focus on profitable growth.

“We have embarked upon our most aggressive expansion drive in the recent years and added close to 10,000 insurance advisors and 50 new branches during the current financial year. We plan to create a large pool of productive agents, strengthen our existing advisor base and reach out to every nook and corner of the country. This will strengthen our distribution bandwidth and help in new customer acquisition,” Mr Seth said.

He also said the company would continue to focus on traditional products, agent productivity, cost-efficiency and channel and distribution diversification for pursuing its growth aspirations in times to come.


Singapore: Survey reveals 70% would not be able to identify a heart attack when it happens

Manulife Singapore and the Singapore Heart Foundation have released findings of their Heart Health Survey. The survey which polled 500 respondents revealed that 7 in 10 would not be able to identify a heart attack if it happens in front of them. 80% of respondents were also unaware that men and women may experience different heart attack warning signs.

On average, 17 people die every day from cardiovascular disease in Singapore. 30% of respondents can identify all the major signs and symptoms of heart disease. 80% indicated chest pain as a key symptom of a heart attack. However, only a minority were aware that stomach discomfort (11%), fatigue (25%), jaw pain (26%) and nausea (28%) are also possible signs of early symptoms of a heart attack.

To heighten awareness of heart attacks, Manulife Singapore created a ‘Stop the Drama’ film featuring veteran actor Lim Kay Tong giving a masterclass on dramatic ‘movie’ heart attacks vs real-life heart attacks.

Watch the video here.


Morbidity risk is emerging Asia’s most urgent life and health insurance need

A survey published by Dr. Schanz, Alms & Company ‘Emerging Asia Life Insurance Pulse’ revealed findings relating to morbidity risks in Asia. Based on in-depth interviews with 29 senior insurance executive operating in the region, the study unveils a buoyant outlook for risk protection products which mitigate families’ exposure to non-communicable and critical diseases.

The executives shared that digitalisation is ranked on top of their corporate development agenda for the next 3-5 years. Efforts would concentrate on distribution and policy administration, along with automated underwriting and claims settlement.

Executives view digitalisation as the key lever to capture this potential, not only through more efficient distribution and policy administration but also as an enabler of innovative solutions that cater to individual needs.

Life and health insurance premiums expected to continue outgrowing GDP

25 out of 29 executives believe that life and health insurance premiums will continue to outpace GDP growth. Fixed-benefit health products mitigating non-communicable and critical diseases risk were identified, as the fastest growing product line in emerging Asia. The executives also expect digital technologies and advanced analytics to further accelerate premium growth, as a result of improved outreach to underserved segments of the population, enhanced product appeal and lower transaction costs.

Strong growth in online distribution for simple products

With the young and tech-savvy population in the region, executives spot great potential for online distribution for simple and easy to understand products such as term life and personal accident.

Term and whole life as most profitable

For most executives, term and whole life insurance is the most profitable product line. Margins on health insurance product which offer fixed benefits for critical illnesses, cancer, and diabetes or in the form of hospital cash are viewed as attractive by most executive. Demand for such products has increased substantially, as there are growing awareness and higher disposable incomes.

For the full report, download here.


Vietnam: AIA launches Healthier, Longer, Better Lives

AIA (Vietnam) Life Insurance Company officially launches its new brand promise “Healthier, Longer, Better Lives”. The new brand promise is AIA’s commitment to take action to positively impact the lives of its customers.

To celebrate this special occasion, David Beckham visited AIA Vietnam for the first time in his capacity as AIA's Global Ambassador. He joined more than 3,000 enthusiastic attendees at the "Song" Festival, AIA Vietnam's large-scale public event designed to help launch Healthier, Longer, Better Lives in Vietnam.

The "Song" Festival at 7th Military Region Stadium generated an overwhelming response from the public with David Beckham's presence and a wide variety of wellness, sports, cooking and art activities for the participants and their families.

Group Chief Marketing Officer of AIA, Stuart Spencer said “Healthier, Longer, Better Lives is a single, powerful brand promise that is an accurate and up-to-date reflection of what AIA stands for and what we do as a company. Asia is getting wealthier but it is not getting healthier, given the rapid and prevalent rise of lifestyle-related diseases across our region. We are committed to helping address this disturbing trend by playing a proactive and positive role in the lives of our customers."


Singapore: Great Eastern teams up with Singtel to champion Esports

[From L to R] Arthur Lang and Ryan Cheong at Singtel’s Get Gaming PVP 2019 Event

Photo: Singtel

Great Eastern has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singtel to support Singtel’s PVP Community League for the year and jointly engage the local gaming community to develop their passion for esports. Great Eastern is the exclusive partner from the insurance sector for Singtel’s PVP.

Two new leagues were introduced; PVP Campus which is open to all tertiary students, and PVP Corporate for working professionals. Both leagues will culminate in a finale PVP Carnival at the end of the year.

Great Eastern has a tradition of championing traditional sports, with its annual Great Eastern Women’s Run being the largest all-women run in Southeast Asia. This collaboration would be its first foray into esports, which is poised to enter the mainstream. Interest in esport is growing exponentially and it will officially be introduced as a medal event at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.


Aviva partners Cambridge for new centre for data science

The University of Cambridge announced that it is establishing a new research centre, bringing together expertise from across academic departments and industry to drive research into the analysis, understanding and the use of big data.

Aviva is their first founding partner, sponsoring a research fellowship and supporting PhD students to help investigate some of the ethical, political and operational questions surrounding the use of big data, which will also help Aviva develop new ethical approaches to advising customers through evidence-based science.

According to Owen Morris, Managing Director of Aviva Quantum, Aviva’s Global Data Science Practice, this groundbreaking partnership with the University of Cambridge demonstrates Aviva’s mission to create a world-class data science capability and will equip Aviva with unparalleled access to knowledge and research in this area.


Workshop on construction risks

A 2-day workshop on Construction Risks was held where participants learned and enhanced their knowledge on construction insurance aspects. Participants comprised staff from insurance companies and brokers, and included GI Agents who wanted to learn more on this specialist topic.

As part of the workshop, participants had to do a site visit to a road project to inspect a section of the road works for a hands-on experience on risk issues.

The workshop was led by Pooba Mahalingam (Director – Talent Asia Training and Consulting) who is an experienced Singapore-based risk engineer.

As a standard construction industry contract requirement, contractors must procure the Contractors All Risks (C.A.R) insurance before commencing their site work. This covers their project work and also against third-party claims (such as neighbouring building damage). The client (project owner), contractor, sub-contractors and suppliers are typically named as the Insured in the C.A.R policy.

During the course, participants learnt the following;

  •  Policy coverage and clauses
  •  Endorsements
  •  How to deal with C.A.R claims.
  •  Case studies
  • Construction technology and method of work



People on the Move

BNP Paribas Cardif appoints new CEO for Asia

BNP Paribas Cardif has appointed See See Ooi as their new CEO for Asia and welcomes her onto their Executive Committee. Ms Ooi will succeed Vincent Sussfeld, with effect from 15 April.

In her new role, Ms Ooi will lead the continued development of BNP Paribas Cardif’s business in the region. Based in Hong Kong, she will report to Jean-Bertrand Laroche, Deputy CEO of BNP Paribas Cardif, International Markets.

With 29 years of experience in the insurance industry, she brings on board her expertise across bancassurance, tied agents force management, distribution management, telemarketing and direct marketing. She has held management roles in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


Take your mind off stress and read these instead:

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