What's new this week - 8 March

| 08 Mar 2019

Welcome to another week of What's New. This week, we are featuring the big boys in the industry such as Prudential, AIA, Aviva, QBE, MetLife, MAS, SDIC, and Symbo!

On a side note, today is International Women's Day, and the team at Asia Adviser Network would like to wish everyone a fantastic day ahead. We believe everyone has a part to play, regardless of how small or how big, at any time and anywhere. We're excited to enter a better-balanced world. #Balanceforbetter

Back to What's New, featured first, we congratulate AIA for their 100th year in providing protection to the community!


AIA’s Centennial year celebrated at North London Derby

Photo taken from Tottenham Hotspur

AIA Group kicks its 2019 Centennial Year celebrations into high gear during Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League fixture against Arsenal. AIA is Tottenham Hotspur’s Global Principal Partner, and the Tottenham Hotspur players will be involved in celebrating AIA’s Centennial year when the Premier League club tours Singapore and Shanghai this summer. The visit is an important part of AIA’s year-long series of special events and activities the company is currently involved in across Asia, all of which symbolise its 100-year journey as a company.

The Premier League fixture at Wembley Stadium will see Centennial messaging on pitch-side advertising, as well as a congratulatory message on the pre-match centre-circle banner, along with special “AIA100” shirts, which the Tottenham Hotspur squad will wear during the pre-game warm-up session.

In marking its Centennial year, AIA is organising events and physical challenges incorporating the ”100-year journey” theme across the region. To date, celebrations have already taken place in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka, with all of the event activities aligned to a “100” theme, either in distance with 100km hikes, walks or running events or by duration – the next event in March is a 100-hour expedition in Vietnam – or by number of participants, such as involving 100 critical illness survivors in Thailand. Each of these Centennial celebration activities will support or raise funds for a local community charity or special cause. 

All the various events are being connected by the carrying and passing on of a “Centennial Baton” which celebrates AIA’s past by featuring its Life Policy No. 0001, but also incorporates modern-day distance-tracking technology.

Along with health and fitness festivals and celebratory concerts taking place across AIA markets, the milestone year will culminate in a series of grand finale celebrations in Hong Kong in December.


Symbo launches digital insurance platform in Singapore and appoints key leadership team

Symbo, a Singapore- based regional all lines insurance business has obtained an insurance brokerage license in Singapore, thus allowing it to bring its proprietary digital platform to both retail and corporate customers.

Symbo also appointed Laurens Koppelaar as Head of International, and Subhajit Mandal as Head of Product to lead the company’s regional push.

Prior to Symbo, Laurens was Head of Market Management for Southeast Asia for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, leading distribution strategy and market expansion for non-life insurance products across the region.

Subhajit’s career spans across insurance, venture capital, proprietary trading firms and family offices. Prior to Symbo, he was Director at MetLife Innovation Centre (LumenLab). He oversaw LumenLab’s fintech initiatives across Sortheast Asia- launching Vitana, a kind of Blockchain enabled health insurance within the MAS SandBox. He is also a Founder and Board Member of Singapore Fintech Association.


Hong Kong: Prudential launches product for cancer survivors

Prudential Hong Kong has launched PRUHealth Cancer ReCover, a product designed to provide protection for people who have recovered from cancer or carcinoma in-situ. This product will give customers the opportunity to obtain cancer coverage again after having been previously diagnosed with this critical disease.

According to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry, the number of new cancer cases hit a record high of 31,468 in 2016, up 33% from a decade ago, and is expected to rise further by around 40% over the next decade.

At the same time, the median age of those diagnosed with the two most common cancers in Hong Kong, lung and colorectal cancer, has declined in recent years, indicating that cancer patients are getting younger. However, the survival rate for cancer has generally improved over the years, with the five-year survival rate for patients with stage 1 breast cancer as high as 97.5%, according to Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation.

PRUHealth Cancer ReCover’s Major Cancer Benefit feature provides a lump sum protection of 100% of the sum assured, if the life assured, who has survived stage 1, 2 or 3 cancer or carcinoma-in-situ only once in their lifetime, is unfortunately diagnosed with a new or recurring covered cancer. This protection covers the same organs that were previously affected by cancer or carcinoma-in-situ, offering a completely new level of protection to cancer survivors as well as their loved ones.

 For the full story, read here.


Australia: Frank Health Insurance platform “Easy as Frank”

Australia’s health insurer Frank Health Insurance has been improving their voice computing skill with the Google Assistant voice app. Customers can ask the assistant about terms, and terminology, generic coverage questions, instructions on how to submit a claim.

At Frank, they differentiate themselves from many health insurance companies by simplifying complex terms and industry-specific jargons. Frank products are designed to be simple, and easy for customers to understand. Submitting a claim is as simple as swiping a Frank card at a provider or emailing Frank a copy of the receipt.


MetLife Hong Kong named “Caring Company” for the 7th consecutive year

Hong Kong Council of Social Service has named Metlife Hong Kong “Caring Company” for the 7th consecutive year, in recognition of the continuous contributions the company has made to the local community.

This Achievement follows MetLife Hong Kong’s multiple recognitions for corporate social responsibility. They were also honoured with the Corporate Citizen Award at the BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards for the 4th Year and received the Corporate Financial Education Leadership Award from the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong.

MetLife Hong Kong’s contributions to the community were not only through volunteer programs but also by promoting financial literacy in Hong Kong. Their recent launch of MetLife Discovery- an engaging digital platform- helps people understand insurance protection in a simple and transparent way, thus enhancing the awareness of the general public regarding financial planning.

MetLife Hong Kong’s other initiatives include Treats’ Cookie Workshop, Food Angel’s Food Rescue Program, and the MetLife EcoChallenge. Employees who participate in volunteer programs are granted one full day of paid volunteer leave each year.


Aviva Asia FY2018 financial results

Aviva Asia revealed their financial results for FY2018 and has reported operating profit up by 24% to US$178Million.

Key Highlights

  • 15% growth in VNB to £191 million  (US$256 million)
  • Operating profit increased by 24% to £133 million (US$178 million)
  • Continued investments in Asia’s distribution, digital and analytics capabilities

Sustained growth and multi-distribution strategy strengthen Asia footprint

Aviva Singapore is the lead in the financial adviser (FA) as well as group employment benefits space, and the FA channel remains the biggest contributor to its growth. The insurer believes the FA model provides enhanced flexibility and choice for both advisers and customers and therefore will continue to improve its product mix and invest in the FA channel through digitalization of adviser and customer service platforms.

Aviva-COFCO, its joint venture in China, was ranked 4th among all life insurers in the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission’s Solvency Aligned Risk Management Requirements and Assessment.



People on the move

AIG Thailand appoints new CEO


American International Group, Inc (“AIG”) names Isorasak Thesratanavong CEO of AIG Thailand. Mr. Thesratanavong reports to Sachin N. Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific, AIG General Insurance, and will be based in Bangkok.

Mr Thesratanavong will lead AIG’s business and operations in Thailand with a focus on partnering with clients to deliver on growth opportunities.

Prior to AIG, Thesratanavong was CEO of Sompo Insurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited. Earlier in his career, Thesratanavong has held positions at AIG, including Senior Vice President of Consumer Lines.


Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation appoints new CEO

The SDIC named Low Kwok Mun as their new CEO, succeeding Ms Denise Wong Jin Hua, who would be returning to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Mr Low is currently the Assistant Managing Director of the Finance, Risk and Currency Group of the MAS. He has been with MAS for over 30 years. His experience includes heading the Complex Institutions Department which was responsible for the consolidated supervision of banking groups. He was also head of the Insurance Supervision Department, Head of Prudential Policy Department and Head of the Monetary Management Division.


Senior management changes in Monetary Authority of Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced changes to its organisational structure along with new senior management appointments.  The senior management appointments are part of a process to renew and strengthen MAS’s leadership bench. The organisational changes will help strengthen synergies across key capabilities or functions in MAS.

Key figures:

1. Mr Edward Robinson, currently Assistant Managing Director (Economic Policy), will be appointed Deputy Managing Director (Economic Policy). He retains his current designation as Chief Economist. He will also have responsibility for macroprudential surveillance.

2. Mr Chia Der Jiun, currently Assistant Managing Director (Corporate, HR and IT Services), will be appointed Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development).

3. Mr Bernard Wee, currently Executive Director (Prudential Policy), will be appointed Assistant Managing Director (Finance, Risk & Currency) with effect from 1 April 2019.  He will be taking over from Mr Low Kwok Mun, who will be seconded to the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC) as its CEO with effect from 1 April 2019. 

4. Mr Benny Chey, currently Executive Director (Reserve Management), will be appointed Assistant Managing Director (Development & International) with effect from 1 April 2019. 

5. Mr Lim Tuang Lee, currently Executive Director (Banking Department I), will be appointed Assistant Managing Director (Organisation & People Development). He will oversee the newly created Organisation & People Development Group (OPDG) which comprises the human resource, training, organisational development, and workplace-related departments. OPDG will help to synergise MAS’ efforts to transform and strengthen MAS as an organisation.

MAS would also be forming a new Technology Group (TG) comprising of the Data Analytics Group, Information Technology Department as well as the Technology & Cyber Risk Supervision Department.

The formation of TG will drive MAS’ digital transformation to enable a more integrated approach to provide technology solution and systems, and strengthen supervision of continually evolving technology risks in the financial sector.

Key changes:

1. Mr Vincent Loy will be appointed Assistant Managing Director (Technology).  Mr Loy will be joining MAS from Accenture Singapore, where he was the Managing Director and Financial Services Leader.  Prior to that, he led PricewaterhouseCoopers UK’s Financial Services Technology Risk practice.  Mr Loy will report to Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) and Mr Chia Der Jiun, Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development) as TG support financial sector supervision as well as MAS’ digital transformation. 

2. Mr Lawrence Ang, currently Executive Director (Information Technology), will be re-designated as Chief Information Officer to better reflect the functions he has been performing as Head of Information Technology department. 

3. Ms Jacqueline Loh, currently Deputy Managing Director (Monetary Policy & Investment / Development & International / Fintech & Innovation), will be re-designated Deputy Managing Director (Markets & Development). She will continue to oversee the Markets & Investment, Development & International as well as FinTech & Innovation Groups.

4. Ms Loo Siew Yee, currently Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Risk and Surveillance) will be re-designated Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments, and Financial Crime), to oversee the Policy, Payments & Financial Crime Group, comprising cross-functional departments such as the Prudential Policy Department, Anti-Money Laundering Department and Enforcement Department. 


New Executive Search Consultant at Charterhouse Partnership

“Putting the right person at the right place!”

 Charterhouse Partnership has appointed Dexter Toh as their executive search consultant who would be focusing on the insurance space.

Prior to that, Dextor has accumulated 18 years’ industry experience, taking on roles from sales and distribution, as well as training roles at local and regional levels during his stint with insurance companies in the Asia Pacific region.

Dexter brings with him insights and a deep understanding of the talent requirements needed for long term sustainable growth for insurance companies amidst the global trends of disruption and change. 


Take your mind off stress and read these instead:

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