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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2018

The world is in the grips of a digital craze that is here to stay. Anything digital sells, they say. People are turning up their noses at things not openly digital. So this April, as the crocuses are late, I revel in bringing a reminder from one of our industry leaders that despite digitisation, the human touch is still important. At least for now! 
   So let’s stop to smell the roses. Mind you, your nose only functions when the mind is on it. The logic is simple yet compelling. It is the very same reason why, despite your best efforts, you fail because your mind, heart and passion perhaps just were not in it. 
   With the M&A fever still raging, everything is on the table afresh. The big are determined to get even bigger. There is also a pattern emerging with the bigger groups vying to have their own in-house reinsurers even as big reinsurers try to go direct to clients with corporate solution. There is a new deal in the making which, to some, is reminiscent of old wine in new bottles. But the excitement is gripping.
   This April is special as we go full steam ahead for the EAIC in May. This is the new reality, and my salutations to the Philippine Organising Committee for having put together an incisive programme to draw delegates based on content with the theme “Managing Disruptions, Driving Change”, bearing in mind that the usual renewal-driven crowd will be missing. 
   This EAIC is also special with the greater emphasis on life, which adds spice to the industry. AIR joins the parade with the 3rd Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards being held in Manila with the EAIC too. The number of entries from 14 countries has grown over the three years as we salute the role of agents in the life market despite the lure of digital.
   Our news spread this month shows you how active the regulators around the region are getting, with one even reminding us that the future that many are talking about on the tech and seamless front is already here. So it is indeed a wake-up call for all. Our Asia InsurTech summit this April will showcase the various InsurTech apps that are taking the market by storm. All it needs now is executive buy-in as regulators themselves are eager to encourage a sandbox approach to InsurTech. The Summit will have an entire session on pitches by new apps. So you need to send your creative teams to understand what they might be missing out on.
   Our Cover Story is on using InsurTech to give customers a seamless experience. The emphasis is on going beyond the ABC of insurance. A for AI, B for Big Data and C for Cloud Computing. And in harvesting data, you either go big or go home, they say.
   Our Country Profile is on Australia, one of the leading markets in Asia-Pacific, which is indeed a trendsetter with players looking at cyber, disaster funding, class actions and more, even as some of them put forth what they think could improve the industry. 
   In April, we take pride to launch the 22nd Asia Insurance Industry Awards to recognise and salute excellence in the industry with three new categories – Woman Leader of the Year, Young Leader of the Year and InsurTech of the Year. And we have pruned a couple of categories too. But this is life. Nothing is permanent. Just enjoy the ride!
   I wish everyone the very best for the pieces of April as everything comes together. 
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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