We have rushed into June. No one can stop time even though we all need a nice summer break as the world freefalls into a chaotic state at every turn. Markets are volatile in tandem with the undercurrents of the trade spat between US and China symbolic of the world catching a cold as the giants sneeze.
Business has become much harder surprisingly because there is so much money floating around looking for anchorage. In the tech world, it is all about top line with almost dismal negligence to bottom line for today pushing costs up on every front though competition ensures rates remain unviable. They dream of tomorrow’s profits without fixing today’s red ink. Will tomorrow come?
Though it is June and summer, I am not able to dig deep into my chest of positivism to offer that burst of sunshine.
The only good news I peddle is that the world is coming to Asia with the Global Insurance Forum taking centre stage in Singapore this June with the straight theme on ‘Global Issues - Asian Insights’. Can the Asian leaders take the lead to set the tone for a great leap for insurance – to find lasting solutions for an insurance industry that is being reinvented by connected technology that is remaking insurance processes and products, be it in engaging customers or nurturing staff within to face a hotter world being threatened by hackers at every turn. Disruptions in the insurance marketplace necessitates breaking away from old business models to embrace a progressive environment of ecosystems and customised product offerings.
Climate is the top risk of the day. NASA has decided that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere raise temperatures over land surfaces. There is real proof of extreme weather events everywhere and weather-related losses are on the rise. These present a whole host of risks to society from healthcare to housing. The real challenge is how to drive home the message that people need to see value in buying Nat CAT insurance. Can the protection gap be closed? We even bring you a perspective of what regulators can do on this front.
Our country profile this month is on Singapore, the insurance and reinsurance hub of Asia and the hotbed for InsurTechs as everyone gets digital first and as the regulator tries to be as pro-business as possible.
With pride we bring you a very incisive interview on China to let you understand that in China business is just done on a different scale and the popular wisdom we share with all foreigners looking at China is ‘Go big or go home’ bearing in mind a few large groups controlling over 80% of market share and just six insurers command 90% of the net profits of the life sector. So get your capital ready to step up your business in China.
This June with our first Women in Insurance Summit, we look at how women are treated in four different markets in Asia to get a real spread on what is happening.
In that same vein we bring you a take on focusing on ESG as a differentiator to stay ahead of the investment game, which is much more than just getting the best deal.
To end with some joy, the entries for the 23rd Asia Insurance Industry Awards have just closed and at a first look there are several entries which show how insurers are going the whole hog in customer engagement and investing deeply in hi-tech to get high-touch with their clients.
I take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim readers the very best for Eid.
Asia Insurance Review