Back to Blogs
Singapore   Website
Share this Article

EC News Asia Edition (7th February 2018)

  • Publish Date: Posted over 6 years ago
  • Author:by Alan Jarque

Round-up of the latest news and developments from the Asian insurance market with stories from Chubb, Ed, Miller and more.

Chubb reveals changes in senior leadership team

Chubb has announced two changes within its senior leadership team.

Jeff Moghrabi, division president Continental Europe, has been appointed to the newly-created role of senior vice president, strategic partnerships, Chubb Overseas General.

The appointment follows the strategic cooperation agreement between Chubb and PICC P&C Company of China which was announced in November 2017.

Moghrabi joined Chubb in 2003 as country president for Italy. Boasting over 30 years of insurance industry experience, he has subsequently held various positions including country president, France before taking on wider responsibilities across Continental Europe. He has been division president Continental Europe since 2013.

In his new role Moghrabi will be responsible for leveraging Chubb's global capabilities in support of PICC's customers and other Chinese-affiliated companies around the world in line with the Chinese government's drive to promote the country's "Going Out" and "One Belt One Road" initiatives.

He will report to Juan C. Andrade, executive vice president, Chubb Group and president, Overseas General Insurance, Chubb.

Andrade said: "I am delighted to welcome Jeff to this new and important role. His skills, knowledge and experience will be important in the development of our partnership with PICC."

Succeeding Moghrabi as division president Continental Europe is current country president for Singapore, Adam Clifford.

Subject to regulatory approval, Clifford will begin his new role on 1 March.

In his new role Clifford will be responsible for all Chubb's P&C, A&H and consumer lines operations spanning the 17 countries that make up the company's Continental Europe region. He will be based in Paris and report directly to Andrew Kendrick, regional president Europe, Chubb.

Prior to his current role as country president Singapore, Chubb, Clifford was regional head of casualty for APAC, Chubb. Before joining ACE (now Chubb) in 2014, he held senior underwriting positions with two multinational insurers within the APAC region and also worked in the insurance industry in the UK and Europe for a decade.

Kendrick said: "This is a significant appointment for Chubb in Continental Europe. Adam is a highly skilled and accomplished insurance professional and leader who has proved himself as a great asset in the Asia Pacific region. He joins us at a very exciting time and I look forward to working with him closely and watching him grow our business in Continental Europe. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Moghrabi for his tremendous contribution as CE Division President and wish him the very best in his new role."

Ed appoints Taylor as head of reinsurance, APAC

Global reinsurance, wholesale and specialty broker Ed has appointed Marcus Taylor as head of reinsurance, APAC.  

Taylor brings almost two decades of industry experience to the role. He joins the company from IAG when he held the position of senior manager reinsurance, international. In this role, he served as CEO for the IAG Re Singapore and IAG Re Labuan licensed reinsurers.

Before joining IAG, he held a number of senior reinsurance roles at Aon, where he began his career.

Taylor will assume his role later in 2018 and will be based in the Ed office in Singapore. He will report to Kieran Angelini-Hurll, CEO - reinsurance and Stephen Britten, CEO – APAC.

Angelini-Hurll said: “Marcus is a key appointment for Ed. We have built a compelling proposition which is underpinned by a level of technology which sets us apart. We are also assembling a team of proven leaders across our regional hubs, who possess the market understanding and commercial acumen to properly deploy the tools which they now have at their disposal. Marcus is one of those leaders. His track record speaks for itself and I am very pleased to welcome him to the team.”

Britten said: “There is a growing recognition in markets across the Asia Pac region that the status quo has become stale and it there are now more efficient and effective ways to do business. This is core to the Ed philosophy. Marcus is the ideal person to lead the expansion of our Asia Pacific reinsurance treaty proposition and I am certain that new and existing clients will swiftly benefit from his expertise.”

Miller drives continued growth in APAC with two hires

Miller has appointed John Moncavage and Piers Hughes to help drive its continued growth in APAC.

The two experienced business development executives will be based in Miller’s Singapore office.

Moncavage started his career at the Bank of Montreal in New York in 1994, prior to moving into the insurance industry in 1999 as a credit underwriter at ACE Guaranty Corp. From 2005 to 2007 he worked at Willis before returning to underwriting with HCC Credit Group. In 2011, Moncavage relocated to Asia with Ironshore in Singapore, where he served as head of trade credit & political risks Asia.

In his new role Moncavage will lead Miller’s credit and political risks initiative in the APAC region. He will be working closely with Nigel Cross and the team in Singapore, as well as James Cunningham and Benjamin Gibbons in London.

Hughes began his career in 2002 at Lockton. He has also worked for Price Forbes, and then Howden as head of reinsurance, based in Bangkok, Thailand. His specialisms include property, terrorism, downstream energy & engineering (including contractor’s plant & machinery), construction, operational power and political violence.

In his new role, Hughes will work closely with the property, casualty and energy teams in Singapore and London to help strengthen its client offering and drive revenue growth in Asia. His areas of focus will include property, terrorism, downstream energy & engineering.

Nigel Cross, head of Miller Singapore remarked: “We are delighted that John and Piers have joined Miller. They will add tremendous value to our broking team and their vast experience will support the expansion of our client offering and market presence in this dynamic and developing region.”

Chubb appoints Ler as country president for Korea

Chubb has named Edward Ler as country president for its general insurance business in Korea.

Ler replaces Edward Kopp, who was recently appointed as the new country president for Chubb’s general insurance business in Thailand.

Ler joined Chubb in 2013 as senior vice president and regional head of personal lines, which includes oversight for motor, residential, high net worth and specialty personal lines. During 2014 to 2016, in addition to his business leadership role, he was concurrently president director for Chubb in Indonesia.

Ler’s 15 year career in the insurance industry spans a variety of managerial roles covering the APAC, the Middle East and European markets.

In his new role he will continue to report to Paul McNamee, Chubb’s regional president for APAC.

Soledad Muné will succeed Ler as the new APAC head of personal lines.

Presently chief underwriting officer (CUO), personal insurance for Chubb Overseas General, Muné is responsible for ensuring the continued profitability of the company’s international auto and residential insurance portfolios. Muné boasts over 15 years industry experience in both U.S. and international personal lines businesses.

In her new role, based in Singapore, Muné will report to McNamee and by matrix to Daryl Page, division president, international personal lines, Chubb Overseas General.

Both appointments are effective from 1 March 2018.

Commenting on the appointments McNamee said: “Our ability to move talent like Edward and Soledad across geographies when opportunities arise, speaks to the depth of talent we have at Chubb,”

“Edward is a highly experienced insurance professional with a proven track record of success. With his strong leadership skills, coupled with his passion for our business, he is an ideal fit for this country president role. Soledad has worked closely with Edward during his oversight of the personal lines portfolio. With a deep understanding of the business, backed by strong analytical and business development skills, Soledad is a natural choice to lead this vibrant and strategically important business for Chubb in Asia Pacific.”

Allianz to acquire Janashakthi General Insurance Limited in Sri Lanka

Allianz has entered into an agreement with Janashakthi Insurance to acquire 100 percent of its subsidiary Janashakthi General Insurance (JGIL) for LKR16.4bn (US$106mn).

The acquisition makes Allianz Insurance Lanka one of the country’s largest general insurers, with a market share of approximately 20 percent. This transaction also represents one of the largest investments into Sri Lanka.

The acquisition will deliver a range of strategic benefits to all stakeholders. These include; strengthening Allianz Lanka’s customer reach and service capabilities; Janashakthi’s general insurance portfolio complements Allianz Lanka’s existing business, and represents a strategic fit across both corporate and retail lines. In addition, Allianz will bring its core capabilities in data science and technology to deliver superior experiences for all customers. Together with its 6 percent share in the country’s life insurance market, the acquisition positions Allianz Lanka as one of the strongest protection leaders in the country. Janashakthi Insurance will continue to focus on its life insurance portfolio in order to strengthen its presence in the Sri Lankan life insurance industry, and remains committed to its vision of lighting the lamp of insurance in every home and workplace.

Janashakthi Insurance has been operating in Sri Lanka for over 23 years focussing on motor, fire and health protection for individuals and corporates. The Sri Lankan general insurance market has posted a compound annual growth rate of 12.1 percent during 2010 to 2016. This is expected to accelerate to 12.5 percent by 2020, driven by improving trade and macro-economic conditions, as well as increased insurance penetration.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.

Allianz’s regional CEO for APAC, George Sartorel said: “This transaction provides a highly attractive opportunity to transform our market presence in Sri Lanka, while accelerating our growth agenda in the Asia Pacific region.”

Surekha Alles, managing director, Allianz Insurance Lanka, said: “We’re excited about our future ahead, and look forward to welcoming Janashakthi customers and employees to the Allianz family. Together, we will be well-placed to seize growth opportunities in Sri Lanka, and generate enduring benefits for our customers and stakeholders.”

Prakash Schaffter, managing director, Janashakthi Insurance, said: “I am convinced that this amalgamation with Allianz represents the natural progression of JGIL’s evolution from a small, home grown general insurance business to a leader in the industry, while reflecting the strength of the business we’ve built over the last 23 years. Becoming part of Allianz’s larger organisation also provides many new opportunities for our employees and our customers. We share many of the same values, and we are happy to see our commitment to customer service excellence and belief in driving process enhancement and digitalisation reflected in Allianz’s priorities and strengths.”

Smart risk management lab is launched in China

China's first smart insurance risk-control laboratory has been launched, led by financial technology service company, OneConnect, under the Ping An Group along with China Insurance Institute.

The establishment of the platform is to develop intelligent risk-prevention mechanisms and ensure the steady and continuous growth of the insurance industry, reported the China News Service.

With the development of science and technology, insurance fraud methods have become increasingly specialised, hidden and high-tech. By using modern science and technology, the lab aims to provide support for the analysis and early monitoring of fraud risks.

President of China Insurance Institute, Yao Qinghai said: "The introduction of new technologies will prompt a tremendous change in the development of China's insurance industry,"

"The profound combination of insurance innovation and technology will completely change the face of the insurance industry."

Chubb launches new agency management and agency underwriting unit

Chubb has launched a new agency management and underwriting unit in Singapore.

The dedicated unit will manage the strategic growth of the agency distribution channel as well as its specific underwriting and service needs.  

Two new appointments have been made for the new agency management and underwriting unit.

Kevin Xiong has been named as head of agency management and agency underwriting. Xiong joined Chubb in 2016 as head of agency, with close to a decade of experience in agency management as well as business development. In his expanded leadership role, Xiong will spearhead business development, general management and overall growth of the agency business in Singapore.

He will report to Adam Clifford, country president for Chubb in Singapore and in matrix to Jeslyn Tan, regional head of agency, APAC.

Alex Shi will assume the role of senior manager, agency underwriting and business development. Shi joined Chubb in 2016 as senior agency manager. With his new appointment, Shi succeeds Kieran Brennan who is now head of product development, small commercial division, Asia.

In Shi’s expanded role, he will have overall responsibility for leading and managing the development and growth of the agency underwriting business. He will report to Xiong and in matrix to Liam Burrell, division head of P&C, Singapore.

Commenting on the appointments Clifford said: “At Chubb, we are keen to enhance our partners’ ease of doing business with us. With this new unit, our agents will have dedicated touchpoints to service their business needs efficiently. Through on-going engagements with our agents, we will refine our product and service offerings in order for our agents to provide tailored solutions for their clients. Both Kevin and Alex bring valuable experience, strategic vision and most importantly, a shared passion for service excellence. With their leadership capabilities and proven track-record, I am confident in their ability to propel our agency business forward.”

Tan added: “The new unit is a testament of our commitment to provide agency-focused products and technology for a seamless service experience. Kevin and Alex have the energy and drive to deliver real value to our partners so they can grow their business more effectively with Chubb.”

Swiss Re bolsters Asia presence

Swiss Re bolsters its presence in Asia with the launch of its regional headquarters in Singapore, Swiss Re Asia, and the appointment of a new regional board of directors for the entity.

The board of directors of Swiss Re Asia is chaired by Lim Siong Guan, former group president of GIC, and now advisor to the GIC Group executive committee.

Additional external directors to the board are; Masaaki Shirakawa, professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and former governor of the Bank of Japan; Deanna Ong Aun Nee, chief people officer and managing director at GIC; Raymond Ch’ien, chairman of Hang Seng Bank, member of the board of directors of Swiss Re Ltd, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd and China Resources Power Holdings Company Ltd, Member of the Economic Development Commission of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR and Urs Buchmann, vice-chairman, Greater China at Credit Suisse AG Hong Kong Branch.

The board of directors also contains five members of Swiss Re's group executive committee; Thomas Wellauer, group chief operating officer (COO); Patrick Raaflaub, group chief risk officer; David Cole, group chief financial officer (CFO); John Dacey, group chief strategy officer and Jayne Plunkett, CEO of Swiss Re Asia.

The board of directors will provide Swiss Re Asia with external perspectives and identify emerging trends that have the potential to affect our business across the region.

The composition of the board of directors ensures that the Asia-wide expertise of external board members complements the global reinsurance experience of the members from Swiss Re's group executive committee.  

Commenting on the launch, Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said: “It is significant that Swiss Re has set up its regional headquarters in Asia, reflecting the growing importance of the Asian market. Through their long-term commitment to Asia, Swiss Re is fulfilling its important role in protecting societies against risk.  We are pleased that Swiss Re has chosen Singapore as its base, and strengthening Singapore’s status as a global capital for Asian risk transfer.”

Lim Siong said: “The board and I are excited by the opportunities in this region and how Swiss Re Asia can be best positioned to tap into them. Asia has experienced strong economic growth and development in recent years. This naturally comes with additional risk for businesses, governments and societies. As the world becomes more interconnected, the nature of risks develops: geopolitical uncertainty, growing environmental concerns, ageing populations and new health challenges become significant issues to be addressed in this region. We look forward to working with our clients and partners here to tackle these challenges and make Asia’s societies more resilient.”

Plunkett said: “Swiss Re has a long, established history in Asia dating back to 1913 and the region has always been a key pillar of our business. The establishment of our regional headquarters in Singapore and a regional board of directors demonstrates our commitment to Asia. It brings us closer to market and allows us to better serve our regional clients through deep local insights combined with our unique global expertise.”

Life and non-life markets in India to soar in next decade

Both the life and non-life insurance sectors in India can grow in excess of 15 percent a year for the next decade, according to Santosh Singh, head of research at Haitong Securities India.

Singh said that India is in a growth phase with one of the largest consumption bases in the world and its economy can remain in the growth phase for may be 10-15 years.

He told The Economic Times: “My expectation is we might see around 20 percent sort of GWP growth for the industry for at least five years and may be 15 percent for at least 10 years. That should be the number we should be looking at for the general insurance industry.

He added that there are two or three stories playing within general insurance. One story is penetration, and the second is that a lot of general insurance business is dependent on GDP growth and capital formation.

“If that remains slow, then a big portion of the general insurance industry will not grow faster,” he said.

He added, in his personal view, that within general insurance, it is health insurance which is going to grow much faster than any other class of business. In health insurance, where there is a huge under-penetration, there is likely to be a fast growing segment.

He said: “On the life side, a lot is dependent on savings...but again, there is huge under-penetration on the annuity and morbidity sides of the business.”