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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | May 2019

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May in a world plagued by more bad news with the wrath of nature and speed of information spread like wildfire. And then there are deep fears of protectionism and nationalism even among leading nations which used to know better.
At the AGMs around the insurance world, most companies are reporting better returns despite the industry having born some $240bn worth of Nat CAT losses in 2017 and 2018. Are rates turning in the market where reinsurance capacity has only marginally shrunk by 3% to $585bn? What is defying logic? Or are there winds of change in the air for reinsurance to stand tall and be sustainable? This will be a hot topic for the 16th SIRC, Asia’s premier reinsurance gathering with more than a 1,000 professionals in attendance in late October in Singapore.
In Asia, heralded as the growth centre of the world, competition is intensifying. And in the tech-driven world, the rush for top line seems the overriding mantra with profits taking a seat far in the back. Lyft raised $2bn in its IPO despite a $911m loss on the balance sheet of 2018, 32% more than the loss of the year before. There is stampede for IPOs.
This May, we bring you the darling buds that many insurers can cherry-pick to focus on the great expectations in Asia – with longevity, health obsession and wealth in the air. The protection gap for the ageing population grappling with insufficient savings and pension funds highlight the social role of insurance as a must-have, must-buy. While in the east, they worry most about the grey wall of China, in India, deemed as the youngest country in the world, the fear is how to overcome the stumbling blocks of youth.
This May, we unleash the secrets of the changing distribution brigade, who are the heroes and foot soldiers of insurance along with the glamour that tech and banks add to insurance somewhere out there. The entries for our 4th Asia Trusted Agents & Advisers Awards that closed last month bear testimony to the innovation they embrace in reaching out to customers as the face of insurance. Love them - for they are yours and they can make you greater.
For AIR, this May we bring you three must-attend events: 
A Cyber Summit with Cyber DARE for you to see if you are protected; an IFRS17-focused CFO Summit including highlighting the cost of compliance that can get into the millions, which one leader compared to the same birthing nightmares of Y2K and lastly the Investment Management Summit to add some cream to your investment income – including using Shark Tanks.
I end with the happy note of that Sonnet 18 that your eternal summer shall never fade even when rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. 
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
Do send in your entries for the 23rd Asia Insurance Industry Awards
Closing date: 31 May 2019.
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