Compared to other CEOs, Asia-based insurance CEOs are found to be more intuitive, altruistic, outgoing, calm and modest compared to counterparts elsewhere, according to a study by Russell Reynolds Associates, a global search and leadership advisory firm.
On the other hand, they rank lower on being democratic, innovative, detail oriented and structured.
The results of the study are set out in the report entitled "Asia Insurance: The Next Generation CEO" which analysed the background of 30 Asia-based CEOs working in both life and general insurance.
The report identified three characteristics of Asia insurance CEOs that stand out as compared to global CEO benchmarks, and these are: the ability to execute through uncertainty, capacity to act as connectors and the tendency to exude optimism.
CEOs at both MNCs and regional insurers have a depth of experience around core insurance technical skills and understand local markets. The majoirty of Asia-based CEOs have held roles in finance, risk management or underwriting, and thus have a profound depth of technical knowledge.
Asia-based CEOs in locally headquartered insurers are more likely to have held roles across operations, strategy and investments while CEOs at European and North American headquartered insurers tend to have had general management roles. One feature is that almost all Asia-based insurance CEOs have developed their careers in Asia.
Global insurance companies are sending their high-performing executives to Asia Pacific to secure growth opportunities across the region. Coupled with the rise of successful regional insurance companies, Asia is currently home to many of the world's premier insurance CEOs.
Russell Reynolds Associates conducted an analysis of the backgrounds of more than 30 insurance CEOs working across the region and asked 12 of them to undertake its leadership span assessment. The firm benchmarked the outcomes against its dataset of over 5m records to obtain a comprehensive evaluation of the current crop of insurance leaders in Asia.