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Asia Trusted Life Agents and Advisers Award: Inspirational Agent/Leader of the Year Winner

16 Aug 2016

Dr Mary Chen Ming, Inspirational Agent/Leader of the Year 2016

For working tirelessly, inspiring and guiding fellow agents to success and continuously touching the lives of her customers and helping the underprivileged, Dr Mary Chen Ming Li is the Inspirational Agent/Leader of the Year.

Dr Mary Chen Ming Li was at the pinnacle of her acting career when she married her Singaporean husband in 1980. However, leading a celebrity lifestyle on the income of her husband also led them into eventually falling into a debt of US$1.65 million in 1985.

Embarking on a career as a life insurance agent, she found that as a celebrity, while many people wanted to meet her, few were sincere about purchasing insurance policies from her.

Through sheer willpower and perseverance, she adapted to being in the insurance business and overcame all obstacles and proved her detractors wrong. Her hard work and commitment paid off, and she became the first person in Southeast Asia to qualify for the MDRT Top of the Table in 1988. By 1990, Dr Chen and her husband had cleared all their financial obligations. Setbacks had created opportunities.

This year marks Dr Chen’s 30th year as a Life and Qualifying MDRT member with 28 consecutive years as a Life and Qualifying TOT member. She was also the first Chinese speaker on the Main Platform of MDRT. She was appointed as the first and only AIA Agency Ambassador from 2010 to 2014, and had motivated more than 300,000 FSCs to emulate her success. She has also served in the Agency Leader Management Association’s (ALMA) ExCo for over seven years, contributing to the tremendous success of one of the largest agency forces in Singapore.

As a personal producer, she was AIA’s Top Regional Financial Services Consultant for 18 years and Top Companywide FSC for 12 years. Since moving into agency management in 2005, she has achieved Top Financial Services Associate Director six times. 

Dr Chen started the Motion Heart Project together with her Agency Leader, Rayner Lee, to give back to society. They have built four schools in rural China to provide education for underprivileged children. They have also been instrumental in setting up the Motion Academy of Gym Sports for orphans in Cambodia to train them as gymnasts and trainers, which will enable them to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Dr Chen continuously strives for excellence in her career and her life. Her passion for helping fellow FSCs succeed in the industry and touching the lives of her many customers across generations and the community will ensure that she continues to be a shining light in the financial services industry, which is why she has been recognised as the Inspirational Agent/Leader of the Year.

With highly defined criteria and a highly transparent process with EY as independent auditor backed by a distinguished Judging Panel of 20 insurance leaders, life association heads and experts, the winners of the first Asia Trusted Life Agents and Advisers Awards were chosen through a two-stage judging process which focussed on more than just financial performance and commissions to look at the individual’s commitment to the industry, their passion, professionalism and the impact they had on their clients and the industry.

The Awards, with Manulife Financial Asia as the lead sponsor, AIA as the Strategic Sponsor, and Sun Life Asia as sponsor, has Mr Mark Tucker, Group CEO, AIA as Patron. The judging panel is chaired by Mr David Grant, Acting Chief Distribution Officer, Manulife Financial Asia.

For more information on the awards and the winners, visit:

Watch Dr Mary's acceptance speech at: