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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jun 2016

June is upon us, and the IIS with the Global Insurance Forum is in town – this time in Singapore with the theme of transformation, and no less than the Deputy PM of Singapore, himself well-versed in insurance having helmed MAS for several years now, will deliver the keynote address. 
   The IIS too, with its outreach on sustainable initiatives and the Insurance Development Forum manned by a veritable list of who’s who in the global insurance industry, is making heads turn. There is palpable excitement in doing greater good especially when big names come together. The real deal is to keep that momentum sustainable by integrating the passion into action and, more importantly, into the daily routine of the business operations for all.
   This is the same campaign we make with microinsurance where Asia is a natural leader. That to be viable and sustainable, it must not just aim to cover all, but be seen to be boosting the business prospects and long-term profitability of the insurers too. Charity and CSR are good and laudable, but they will not be sustainable unless somewhere along the way, they become part of a company’s corporate DNA. 
   This message rang out loud and clear at the recent South Asian regulators’ conference hosted by the Nepali regulator last month with the focus on extending inclusion. And now there is the IFM wave – Insurance For the Masses. Watch this space as we have been lobbying hard for it since our 2003 Asia Insurance Industry Personality Takeo Inokuchi, of MSIG-fame, launched a campaign to offer insurance for the needy. There have been green shoots all over, but the forest with a luxuriant canopy has yet to come.
   Our Cover Story is on insurance clout as a force for good. Somewhere, someday, people will better understand and appreciate the peace of mind that insurance offers beyond just paying claims. This is the real clout of insurance. 
   For Country Profile, we have Thailand where there is confidence and great optimism in the air even as the new regulator settles into his position and the general insurers become more sophisticated, while the life sector is booming with a greater push by the players to serve.
   In our series of offerings in June, we bring you a quick spotlight on Bhutan, a jewel in the mountains; lessons from Tianjin where the impact is still being digested; what insurers can do for retirees; the future of life underwriting with technology shining bright, making it more than just an art or science; the power of capital modelling; and data reliance, cyber exposures and the quest for security.
   We launch a special column this month on Life Insurance Disruption. Everybody seems to be an Uber expert these days and expects the same masala to be applied to insurance which for more than 300 years has stood its ground. Will the forces of disruptive innovation shake the roots? We start by just looking at the sources of disruption.
   On another note, I observe with interest that with the depressed business outlook, there are more entries for the Asia Insurance Industry Awards. Is it because it is the 20th Anniversary of the Awards or the tougher times that are forcing people to be different and proud of standing tall? Or are they looking for reaffirmation? What is clear is that we are getting more third party nominations as well. This is a good sign for the industry moving forward. 
   I take this opportunity to wish you all a great summer. And for our Muslim readers the very best of Ramadan.
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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