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EC News Asia Edition (10 April 2019)

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author:by Alan Jarque

Round-up of the latest news and developments from the Asian insurance market with stories from Chubb, MSIG, Chartered Insurance Institute and more.

Chubb secures license in Myanmar to operate in the life insurance market

Chubb has announced they have secured approval from the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance to establish a wholly owned life insurance subsidiary in the country.

Following a competitive review process, Chubb is one of five companies awarded this right marking a significant step by Myanmar to permit foreign-owned companies to engage in insurance and other financial services.

With the addition of Myanmar, Chubb hopes it will strengthen their presence throughout the Asia Pacific region which includes life insurance operations in six other countries and territories and general insurance operations in 13 markets.

Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb said: "Myanmar is a nation of more than 54 million people with tremendous potential. Chubb is pleased that the Myanmar government has recognized the capabilities and experience that our company can bring to the market and has selected us to help build and strengthen their life insurance sector, which is integral to the economic and social fabric of the country. Life insurance is a long-term business, and Chubb looks forward to working with the Myanmar government, policymakers and local organizations to establish a successful, sustainable life insurance business."

MSIG launches two Global Digital Hubs in Singapore and Tokyo

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG) has announced the launch of two new Global Digital Hubs (GDH) as bases to support global digitalisation.

In order to promote the insurers digital activities for customer experience and business productivity MSIG launched the Singapore GDH in February this year to support the ASEAN markets and this month opened the GDH in Tokyo to promote digitalisation initiatives among employees and agents.

In a recent statement from the insurer, the Singapore hub will: contribute to the development of digital initiatives in the ASEAN region, leveraging on MSI’s broad network in all ten ASEAN member countries. It will support the Asia regional office in developing digital strategies to drive continued growth of the business in this region. GDH Singapore aims to enhance customer experience in the ASEAN markets to cater to the rapid rise of digitalization. It will help facilitate the development of innovative insurance products and services through collaboration with business partners and open innovation with start-ups.”

Meanwhile the idea of the Tokyo hub is to cultivate open innovation with start-ups and promote digitalisation initiatives amongst employees and agents while also developing human capital with advanced digital technology.

In addition, the insurer says, by collaborating with start-ups it is aiming to develop innovative products and services that will help address social issues and contribute to society as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Chartered Insurance Institute names new Asia Pacific regional director

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has appointed Kenny Sui as its regional director for Asia Pacific to strengthen international growth objectives in Hong Kong and key markets.  

Sui will report directly to Keith Richards, CII managing director and CEO of the personal finance society.

In his new role he will be responsible for leading the Hong Kong team, grow its membership in both the domestic and international markets, as well as strengthening established relationships in the region.

Sui brings more than 30 years’ experience within both general insurance and financial planning. Prior to joining CII he held various roles at Standard Life most recently regional sales director.

Richards, CEO said: “We are really pleased to have Kenny joining us at such a strategically important time when positive growth potential across the region is being aligned to the raising of professional standards. He brings with him a wealth of experience and insights into the general insurance and financial planning professions and will be a true asset to the CII during our global expansion.”

Adding: “With an ever-increasing need for highly qualified financial services experts across the whole of the Asia-Pacific region, Kenny will play a crucial role in ensuring that our members receive access to the training and qualifications that they need, while delivering the professional standards message of the CII to potential members and organisations.”

Broker Ed hires Abhishek Chhajer as new head of credit

Global reinsurance, wholesale and speciality broker, Ed, has appointed Abhishek Chhajer to a newly created position as head of credit, political risk and surety solutions, effective 1 April 2019.

Chhajer will be based in Singapore and will report to Stephen Britten, CEO of Asia Pacific.

Chhajer brings over 16 years’ experience and joins from Standard Chartered Bank where he most recently managed a project on buyer underwriting. Prior to that he managed the underwriting P&L for Markel’s credit and political risk insurance division in the Asia Pacific region.

Britten, CEO of Asia Pacific said: “Abhishek has hugely impressive global experience in the credit insurance market as both an underwriter and as a broker, with an in-depth knowledge of the Asia and Middle East regions.His ability to build successful teams from the ground up will be essential in increasing Ed’s footprint in the region and will better enable our broking network partners to offer credit, political risks and surety solutions.”

MSIG Singapore appoints new CEO

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG) Singapore, the city state’s fourth largest general insurer has named industry veteran Craig Ellis as its new chief executive officer, effective from 1 April 2019.

Craig Ellis has over forty years’ experience in the financial services industry, mainly in insurance covering general, life and health, and also banking. He brings with him extensive international experience having working in Australia, Europe and Asia, holding senior positions with Allianz, Old Mutual, and Charles Monat Associates where he was most recently global head of product and solutions before joining MSIG.

Ellis replaces former CEO Michael Gourlay as he departs to pursue his own personal interests.

Alan Wilson, regional CEO, MSIG Asia, commented: “We are pleased to have Ellis lead MSIG Singapore as CEO. He is an accomplished leader with extensive management and industry experience, and will be a great asset to MSIG Singapore as we continue to drive stronger growth and profitability in the region.”

Markel International appoints new strategy director for Asia

Markel International has appointed Christian Stobbs as strategy director for Asia. Stobbs has relocated from the UK and will be based in Singapore and oversee the development of the company’s strategic priorities in the region.

He joins from Abbey Tax, a Markel International company based in the UK, where he recently held the position as managing director. During his time there, he was recognised in helping to grow the company into one of UK’s leading dedicated tax advisory businesses.

Matt Cannock, Managing Director of Markel Asia said: “Christian’s appointment underlines our ambition for the region as we foster new alliances and partnerships. He is an experienced strategy and business development professional and so will be invaluable as we continue to grow our portfolio in Asia.”

Aon names EMEA chairman for its M&A and Transaction Solutions

Global (re)insurance broker Aon has appointed Edwin Charnaud Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) chairman for its mergers & acquisition (M&A) and transaction solutions business unit, effective 15 April 2019.

Charnaud will be responsible for supporting the regional M&A and Transaction Solutions growth plans and focus on strengthening relationships with private equity and infrastructure clients.

Prior to joining Aon, he was chairman of the global infrastructure practice and EMEA head of private equity and M&A at Marsh since 2004.

Alistair Lester, CEO, M&A and Transaction Solutions at Aon in EMEA said: “We are delighted that Edwin will join as EMEA Chairman of Aon M&A and Transaction Solutions. He has long been recognised as a pre-eminent individual in our part of the Private Equity, Infrastructure and M&A ecosystem,”

“He is someone I have long admired and respected; he has a strongly established track record in the market and we will benefit greatly from his experience and insights as we continue to pursue our ambition to be the leading provider of specialist advisory services and innovative transaction insurance solutions to the M&A community.”

FWD Takaful Berhad appoints new CEO after completion of acquisition

FWD Takaful (Malaysia) announced the appointment of Salim Zain Majid as its new CEO. Salim will head the acquisition and be responsible for leading, overseeing and growing all aspects of the business.

The announcement follows after the recent completion of FWD Group’s acquisition of HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Ltd.’s 49% stake in HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Berhad. This acquisition marks their ninth market entry across the region.

Prior to joining FWD, Salim held the position as CEO at Zurich Takaful Malaysia for 12 years. With over 20 years’ experience he is well known and respected in the industry especially in developing people and delivering commercial success.

Binayak Dutta, FWD group chief distribution officer & managing director, Emerging Markets said:  “We’re delighted to welcome Salim on board and look forward to leveraging his expertise and track record,” “His extensive industry background, combined with his goal-oriented and people-first approach, makes him an invaluable addition to our leadership team. I have no doubt that Salim will drive our growth and footprint in Malaysia from day one.”