This a bumper issue! It is our 25th Anniversary offering to the market. Though we mourn the loss of the Founding Father of Singapore whose legacy is entrenched forever, we take heart from his success story to be the best we can be – to be efficient, meritorious and self-reliant against all odds.
This bumper is our way of saying thank you for all the years you have stayed loyal to us, helped us lick the competitors and allowed us to give of our best no matter how tough the times or how bleak the forecast. And today, despite the political ills and the currency woes, Asia is the bright spot in the global insurance scene and there are efforts underway to set benchmarks for the world here in little big Asia.
Going back to our origins when the idea was conceived in April 1990 to have a regional professional insurance magazine for Asia, we salute our Founder, Mr Hwang Soo Jin, for his foresight and passion for insurance, which till this day is still burning strong in guiding us forward.
In 1990, 25 years ago, Asia only had a total premium income of less than US$350 billion with Japan accounting for more than 70%. Today, the volume has more than quadrupled to $1.4 trillion with at least five markets in various global top 10 ranks. India, China and Indonesia, the three most populous markets, make heads turn, while Japan is unique and a heavyweight with many still sending their best to serve there. We also have Malaysia as the takaful leader of the world. Even the most nascent big emerging market is in Asia – Myanmar. Then there are Singapore and Hong Kong, equally entrenched as insurance hubs of Asia. Our Country Profile is on Hong Kong which is swirling with changes yet resiliently shining on.
In all these markets, the value of insurance is still very much taken for granted or unappreciated. Hence, our resolve at this 25th anniversary mark is to reach out to make users of insurance understand the value of insurance and the joy it brings to them fairly and not idealistically. The peace of mind factor makes insurance close to religion, but yet unlike religion, insurance is contractual.
This will be our focus moving forward – to draw in buyers of insurance and their hand-holding distribution forces. Our cover story this month is on Risk Management and urging risk managers to morph from managers to strategists! And to add cyber weight, from 1 April, we launch our Asia Risk Management Review e-Weekly, reaching out to risk managers of listed companies in the region. So watch this space.
To mark the Anniversary, we host the first-ever Summit on Saluting the Value of Insurance as there are many leaders in the region ready to stand tall for the industry. This Summit, to be held on 29-30 April, at the Grand Hyatt, Singapore, lead sponsored by Asia’s own AIA, with some 35 expert speakers, is being hailed as a world’s first and supported by UN bodies including the ILO. So sign up for the event or send your managers to take pride in the profession and more importantly, to be involved in the conversations that are setting the future directions and visions for the growth, profitability and sustainability of the insurance industry. Here, we have a must-read special Anniversary feature on the “Value of Insurance”. It is time to be reminded why you joined the industry or at least to reset your idealism to serve the people and companies in their dire needs.
Oh, the “Nobility of Insurance” is what inspires me all these years despite the doom and gloom and feast and famine that the industry goes through.
In that same vein, we launch the 19th Asia Insurance Industry Awards to recognise and salute excellence in the industry. You know the drill: the first thing in the process is to get yourself nominated if you have done something you are particularly proud of during the qualifying period of 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
Let the stars always shine in Asia!
Asia Insurance Review