What's new in the market - 9 Aug 2019

| 09 Aug 2019

Welcome to what's new this week, where we cover the low down on key developments in the insurance industry... But first of all, to everyone who calls Singapore home, Happy National Day! And to our Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya Haji in advance.

So what have we been busy with? Asia Advisers Network has been pushing out success stories of top agents in the insurance industry in the region.

Running special interviews with them and finding out their secret recipe for success. From these interviews, Asia Advisers Network found one common trait in all of them: Their willingness to share their best practises in our interview with them. Sharing their insights and learning from them about their passion and what drives them to become better and do good for the society and community as a whole. Never once afraid that someone would ’steal’ their success formula.

These individuals whom we interviewed were finalists in the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards. If you would like to read their stories and their accomplishments, you may find them here:

Double finalist & eventual winner of Insurance Agency Leader of the Year

Wave Chow - Turning teammates’ failure into success

Finalist & eventual winner of Young Executive of the Year

Sabrina Ong – Focus on growing yourself and the right opportunity will come

Finalist & eventual winner of InsurTech of the Year

GoalsMapper – Redefinning financial planning in partnership with advisers

Finalist of Digital Agent of the Year

Matsee Lamsun – Digital Life: You can have the world at your fingertips

Finalist & eventual winner of Digital Agency Leader of the Year

Calvin lee- First time’s luck, second time’s a pattern

Another reason why Asia Advisers Network got so busy was that we were the official media partner of MDRT Day Singapore 2019. The energy and positive vibes that day were simply amazing. If you would like to see the coverage which we did, check it out here: https://www.asiaadvisersnetwork.com/Article/aid/47739/Embrace-Evolve-Excel-MDRT-Day-Singapore


Asia:  Prudential launches Pulse, an all-in-one AI-powered healthcare mobile app

In photo, from left to right: PruBSN Acting Chief Executive Officer Wan Saifulrizal Wan Ismail, Prudential Services Asia Chief Officer for Ecosystem Implementation Wong Eng Teng, Prudential Group Chief Digital Officer Al-Noor Ramji, Prudential Chief Executive Mike Wells, Malaysia Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Hj. Dzulkefly Ahmad, Prudential Corporation Asia Chief Executive Nic Nicandrou, Prudential Corporation Asia Chief Executive for Insurance Lilian Ng and Prudential Malaysia CEO Gan Leong Hin.

Pulse by Prudential is an all-in-one digital app and first-of-its-kind in the region to offer holistic health management to consumers. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered self-help tools and real-time information, Pulse serves as a 24/7 partner to users, empowering them to take control of their personal health and wellbeing anytime, anywhere.

The app was officially unveiled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today by Datuk Seri Dr. Hj. Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysia's Minister of Health and Mike Wells, Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc.

With a holistic approach in supporting the three stages in a person's health journey -- Prevent, Postpone, Protect -- Pulse takes healthcare to a new level of engagement with consumers. The goal is to seamlessly integrate personal health checks and management into everyday life by providing users with mobile tools and real-time information that they can access wherever they are, round the clock.

Users of Pulse can enjoy innovative offerings from global and local providers of health services. These include UK-based Babylon (symptom checker and health assessment) and Tictrac (personal wellness services) and Malaysia-based DoctorOnCall (online consultation) and AIME (dengue outbreak predictor). [2]All these partners leverage cutting-edge technology to offer complementary services, strengthening Pulse's position as a wide-ranging platform to meet growing healthcare needs.

Pulse's AI-powered engine continuously improves its ability to help customers lead healthier and improved lives. Learning from the data it receives and the user interactions with all partners and services, the aim is to ensure that the customer experience not only evolves, it becomes life-changing.

Pulse is an evolving platform where Prudential will be adding new partners, tools and value-added services in phases. The app can be downloaded for free by all users on iOS and Android, now in Malaysia and soon after in 10 other markets in Asia.


Singapore: Etiqa relaunches EASY save online savings series with guaranteed crediting rate of 2.68% p.a.

EASY save series by Etiqa plans continues to offer competitive returns with eEASY save V at a high guaranteed crediting rate of 2.68% p.a. and eEASY savepro featuring illustrated returns of up to 4.07% p.a

Since its debut in 2017, EASY save series is designed to tailor to the customer's appetite, savings horizon and aspirations. 

For the financially savvy, eEASY save V is a non-participating plan with enhanced features such as a free partial withdrawal benefit and non-guaranteed loyalty bonus equivalent to 0.6% of the Account Value. Customers can choose to surrender their policy after 6 years with no charges or continue saving with crediting rates based on market prevailing rates.

Financially astute customers can look towards eEASY savepro -- a participating plan -- to yield higher potential returns of up to 4.07% p.a., with choice of policy term from 7 to 15 years. With an upgraded insurer rating of 'A' (Strong) by Fitch Ratings, Etiqa reflects a favourable business profile and 'Very Strong' capitalisation, providing assurance to potential customers.


Prudential Singapore becomes first financial institution to raise CPF contribution rate for those above 55

Prudential employee, Ms Sue Li, 63, who is one of the 46 employees who will benefit from the new CPF scheme

Prudential Singapore has raised its Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rate for those above the age of 55, in a move to help its older employees be financially ready for longer life expectancy.

Beginning 7 August 2019, employees above 55 will have the option to enjoy a CPF contribution rate of 37 per cent – similar to that offered to their younger colleagues. This comprises 17 per cent which will come from Prudential if an employee voluntarily increases his individual CPF contribution rate to 20 per cent. Currently, the government-mandated total CPF contribution rate for employees above 55 is between 12.5 per cent and 26 per cent.

Prudential Singapore’s new CPF scheme for its older employees is an opt-in scheme as the insurer recognises that some individuals may prefer to have more disposable income to meet their current needs

Prudential Singapore’s CEO Wilf Blackburn said thisnew CPF scheme is in line with the company’s ambition to create a more age-friendly workplace. The insurer was the first financial institution to remove the retirement age in October last year to enable its employees to work for as long as they continue to perform.



Aviva Asia: Operating profit up 37% to US$85 million in 1H2019

For the first six months ending 30 June 2019, Aviva Asia increased operating profit by 37% to £66 million (US$85 million) (HY18: £47 million, US$65 million), driven by the continued expansion and strengthening of its multi-distribution platform across key markets in the region.

Key Highlights

•              Operating profit increased by 37% to £66 million (US$85 million)

•              Strong performance across Asia, especially in Singapore and China

•              Positive results driven by the continued expansion and strengthening of multi-distribution platform

Maurice Tulloch, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Since my appointment, I have worked closely with the Board on refreshing Aviva’s strategy. This work is progressing well and we will summarise our strategy, objectives and operational and financial targets at our capital markets day in November. In conjunction with this process, we have decided to examine strategic options for our Asian businesses. These businesses have made significant progress in recent years, expanding distribution and new business production, increasing their in-force scale and growing operating profit. Our Asian operations are strategically and financially attractive, however, we are evaluating a range of options to enhance the value of the businesses to shareholders.”


Allianz: Operating profit up 28% to EUR 260 million in Asia for 1H2019

For the half-year ending 30 June, 2019.  Half-year performance highlights (versus previous year), of Allianz in Asia include:

  • Total operating profit for the region up 28 per cent to EUR 260 million,1 with total revenues down 6 per cent to EUR 3.2 billion
  • Life & Health operating profit up 42 per cent to EUR 205 million, with annualised new premiums (ANP) down 5 per cent to EUR 484 million
  • New business value (NBV) for Life & Health up 18 per cent to EUR 166 million
  • Property & Casualty revenues rose 23 per cent to EUR 543 million, with operating profit up 3 per cent to EUR 40 million

Solmaz Altin, Allianz Asia’s Regional CEO, said: “It has been a solid start to the year for our operations in the region.  Since taking on the chief executive role for Allianz Asia during this period I am delighted with the progress we continue to make in a competitive marketplace.  Our healthy results are driven by continued performance across both business sectors and the ongoing support our teams have contributed to meet our shared strategy for the region.

During the first half, our Life & Health (L/H) business delivered strong results, driven by notable business growth and expense discipline in Taiwan, China and Thailand, which supported an operating profit increase of 42 per cent to EUR 205 million.  

Total revenues in our Property & Casualty (P/C) business increased by 23 per cent to EUR 543 million, with solid organic growth and positive impact from transactions in China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.  Operating profit increased 3 per cent to EUR 40 million, with volume growth the primary driver.  

In the first half-year, we continued to increase our P/C footprint in Asia by completing the expansion of our strategic partnership in Thailand with Sri Ayudhya Capital PCL – an important milestone for Allianz’s growth ambitions in the country and the wider region.  This transaction will ensure a stronger insurance franchise focused on meeting the diverse and growing protection needs of local customers in Thailand."

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