Magazine

Nov 2012

Read the latest edition of AIR and MEIR as an Interactive e-book

All Stories

Editor's Message

From Editor - in - chief

The EAIC is finally here! This year, it’s a double celebration as the EAIC turns 50! The EAIC has come this far but it has miles to go as the single largest grouping in the Asian region.

Guest Editorial

Challenges on the frontier

Our world is dominated by increasingly large and complex risks - the Eurozone crisis, ageing populations, and natural catastrophes, to name just a few.

Awards

Industry players emerge from disasters as winners

Asia’s insurance players shine brighter as they rise from the catastrophes of 2011 and emerge as winners in this year’s Asia Insurance Industry Awards.

Interviews

IRDA – Putting policyholders first

The Indian insurance industry has seen a fair share of regulatory changes in the last few years. In this exclusive interview, Mr J Hari Narayan, Chairman of IRDA, talks about the need for these changes and shares his unshakable confidence in the sector, saying that setbacks, if any, encountered now are temporary. By Jimmy John

Updating models transparently Updating models transparently

Mr Bill Keogh, President of EQECAT Inc, shares his thoughts on how to reduce the impact of model changes on companies’ operations and says insurance-linked securities will see more regular placements in Asia. By Benjamin Ang

Internationalising Lloyd’s

Although the bulk of Lloyd’s present business is already generated outside the UK, there is still much room to make Lloyd’s a truly global hub, leveraging on its forte as a specialist insurance and reinsurance market. Chairman John Nelson says it does not stop there though, as it wishes to diversify the 325-year-old market’s capital base and human...

SCOR affirms its strong position

Active portfolio management, combined with prudent underwriting and capital shield strategies and policies, has enabled SCOR to continue to create value from the technical side of its operations despite the crisis, says Mr Victor Peignet, CEO of SCOR Global P&C (SGPC). By Osama Noor

Partnering clients in a competitive environment

Mr Patrick Aeschbacher, Head of Reinsurance Asia Pacific, and Mr Hans-Joachim Guenther, Chief Underwriting Officer and Head of Reinsurance Europe & Asia Pacific, Endurance Specialty Insurance Ltd, share their plans for 2013 and that in Asia’s emerging markets, the way to avoid low margins amidst the competition is to be selective and find clients...

Identifying opportunities

Canopius Group has overcome the consequences of 2011 events, made a well-planned acquisitionand is now looking to identify growth opportunities for 2013, especially in Asia. Amidst all these plans, Mr Michael Watson, Executive Chairman, stresses that rates need to be aligned with the risks and exposures. By Osama Noor

Keeping it small, for now

Tokio Marine Global Re is keeping its Asia operation small – for now, believing the time is not yet right to expand given the prevailing soft market conditions. Instead of competing with major players, it aims to be different by focussing its capacity and expertise on small-to-mid-sized clients in its areas of strength: property and marine cargo,...

Special Feature

EAIC Special: Celebrating 50 years of international collaboration in insurance

The story of the East Asian Insurance Congress (EAIC) started in 1962, and during the last 50 years, it has grown to become the focal point of the region’s insurance industry. The Congress celebrates its golden jubilee during the 26th biennial conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in early November. We take a trip down the memory lane of this...

Bermuda Focus - Testing times amidst rising capital

On the heels of the tough year with 2011’s huge losses and the attendant worry over capital shortage in the reinsurance world, the Bermuda reinsurance scene has been redesigned dynamically with the onslaught of alternative reinsurance solutions and the capital markets swung into high gear. We bring you a quick look at the tough past and the heady...

Bermuda Focus - The use of Bermuda vehicles in Asia

Mr Jeffrey Kirk of Appleby looks at the growing use of Bermuda insurance vehicles in Asia as more companies look for sophisticated services, products and flexible bespoke risk transfer mechanisms.

Letter from Labuan - Moving ahead with Labuan IBFC

Brighton Management Ltd is a Labuan market maker and in this interview, their Managing Director Annie Undikai, gives her insight on the latest changes in Labuan’s IBFC’s insurance industry, its uniqueness and its prospect for the future.

Effective Customer Care - Defining new business models

Mr Paul Robinson of IBM Financial Services Sector talks about using advanced technology to define new business models to enhance customers’ experiences.

Training needs in the market - Corporate Coaching: The organisational win-all

Singapore College of Insurance’s Ms Karine Kam discusses the positive energy that corporate coaching brings to the organisation at all levels.

Claims Management Feature - Turning claims management into strategic competitive advantage

Mr Ian Cheng, Ms Joanna Wong and Mr Priyank Rastogi from Ernst & Young Asia-Pacific summarise key findings from their survey, confirming the importance of aligning claims management to overall business strategy.

Universal Life Insurance Focus - Could Indexed Universal Life products be the next big thing in Asia?

Indexed Universal Life has been a popular product in the US for close to a decade. Could it do well in Asia? Mr Naveed Irshad of RGA International discusses the issues.

Asset Management Feature - Optimising risk and reward in uncertain times

Mr Stephen Sonlin of Conning explains how the rethinking on the management of capital has led to greater reliance on more sophisticated risk and capital management solutions.

Country Profile

Exciting times ahead

Malaysian insurers are experiencing changes in numerous aspects of their businesses. M&As are flourishing and more MNC players are looking to enter the country which remains underpenetrated amidst a growing economy and burgeoning middle class. The general insurers are getting ready for 2016 when de-tariffing of motor and the property classes...

Life insurance – On the brink of change

Malaysia’s life market faces significant changes with the impending liberalisation of operating expense for business acquisition costs and the implementation of the Competition Act and the Personal Data Protection Act. The first measure is set to bring a boon to the life sector, while the two will restrict the way life insurers do business....

Non-life insurance: Motor premium hike – Baby step in the right direction

Malaysia’s motor insurance industry has taken its first step on a somewhat uncertain road to deregulation. January this year saw the more than 30-year-old motor tariff revised for the first time, and by the looks of it, the January 2016 deadline for de-tariffing for motor and fire classes looks set to be implemented. Although the recent motor...

M&A scene still hustling and bustling

Malaysia has been a hubbub of M&A dealings this year as consolidation keeps its pace since starting two years ago. As more deals wait or continue to be sealed, the market is shaping up to become more competitive, ushering in changing dynamics that is worth watching for. By Manuelita Contreras

Malaysian Re – More foreign portfolio for the future

With the expectation that voluntary cessions will be reduced in the foreseeable future, Mr Hashim Harun, President & CEO of Malaysian Re, says the reinsurer is looking to expand further overseas, targeting a 60:40 ratio of domestic to foreign business in the next three years, from the current 70:30 ratio.

Cover Story

Reinsurance Renewals - Partners in profits

The Asian way of doing business based on long-term relationships is well known and is lauded in many places where mutual trust and respect is accorded more importance than short-term financial gains. Likewise, in reinsurance, relationships between insurers, brokers and reinsurers are strong but as the marketplace changes, the concept of...

Reinsurance Renewals - The changing face of relationships

Relationships continue to play a major role in Asia’s reinsurance industry. At a recent roundtable organised by Asia Insurance Review on the ever-changing reinsurance landscape in the region, 11 industry leaders in the region consisting of six reinsurers and five reinsurance brokers discussed the growth and sustainability of the business with a...

Reinsurance Renewals - Monte Carlo Rendezvous – All is well again, isn’t it?

The crowd was strong – about 2,600 reinsurance industry professionals attended the 56th Rendez-Vous de Septembre – meetings took place, messages were communicated, and the reinsurance world is bustling again after a traumatic 2011. Most reinsurers have consolidated their positions, capital is flooding in again, rates are holding. So all is well...

Think Tank

The Geneva Association: The social and insurance implications of the new China Tort Law

Dr Richard H Murray from The Geneva Association offers views on the China tort law and what insurers should consider in developing an enlarged liability market in China.

Legal Page

Asia Pacific Overview – Mergers and Acquisitions 2009-2012

M&A activity has been trending down over the last three years and Asia Pacific has also seen its share of M&A drop. Mr Andrew Holderness of Clyde & Co shares details from their latest report.

IT in Insurance

Singapore F1 & Stars - Telematics for insurance

Mr Andrew Dart from CSC shares the experiences of insurers using telematics technology to make motor insurance cheaper and driving safer and conjectures on potential future uses by linking motor insurance telematics with Big Data.

New needs of insurers, new challenges for IT sector

Most insurers look to reducing direct costs and to accurately and quickly assess and manage risks. IT providers for insurers must therefore provide solutions towards these aims, says Mr Stefan Dobak of Gratex International.

Data Standards – Uniting the global insurance industry

Efficiency is crucial in today’s businesses, and subscribing to common standards is a crucial aspect of efficiency, says Mr Francis Chung of ACORD.

Risk Features

Cyber Liability Risk Feature - The reality of cyber threats

Cyber risks threaten everyone and every organisation as the world today is connected and linked via information technology. For business, the more data intensive it is, the more it will be at risk from cyber criminals. Check out these threats and the liabilities arising as well as the laws governing such risks today.

Cyber crime coming to a computer near you

The more data intensive the business, the more at risk it will be from cyber criminals, says Mr Alessandro Lezzi of Beazley Group as he reviewing the cyber liability insurance market in Asia and its potential for growth.

Who is liable in cyberspace?

The question of when third parties can be held liable for any losses sustained in cyberspace is becoming ever more important. Prof Ina Ebert of Munich Re looks at the new dimensions of cyber liability risks.

Cyber Crime – New risk in Asia

Mr Chris Newton of Principia Underwriting says insurers are open to offering cyber risk covers but need to work with their clients to mitigate the risks.

Keeping up with the laws in cyber liability risks

Ms Gigi Cheah of Norton Rose (Asia) LLP gives a quick summary of what some Asian countries are doing in respect of cyber liability laws.

News

Asia: AIG has new logo

American International Group has revealed a new AIG logo, featuring a modernised design and new colour palate

Asia: Seasonal monsoonal rains create havoc across Asia

Seasonal monsoonal rains led combined economic losses of more than US$7.5 billion as significant flooding occurred across parts of Asia during the month of September, according to a report by Aon Benfield.

Australia: Recapitalising Cunningham Lindsey

Cunningham Lindsey Group, a leading global loss adjusting and claims management firm, and a CVC Capital Partners-led investor group including Allied World Financial Services have agreed to a recapitalisation by which funds affiliated with CVC will acquire majority ownership of Cunningham Lindsey.

China: Developing a CAT bond market in China

With the development of risk models and availability of earthquake data in China, there was general consensus that it is now feasible for someone to bring a parametric catastrophe bond and transfer earthquake risks to the capital markets, online news service Artemis.bm said in a recent report (October).

China to be world’s third largest insurance market by 2020

China’s insurance industry is expected to record an annual growth rate of 12.9% from 2010 to 2020, representing 250% of the global average in the corresponding period, said a local media, citing the China Center for Insurance and Social Security Research, Peking University.

India: Indian cabinet finally raises FDI limit in insurance

India’s embattled government has pushed ahead in October with its make-or-break reform agenda, approving contentious new measures to open up the insurance and pensions sectors to foreign investors, according to a AFP report .

Japanese insurers decline new riot coverage for firms in China

Major Japanese insurers have declined new applications for covers and riders against damages from strikes, riots and civil commotion after protests targeting Japanese businesses erupted across China, local media reported.

South Korea: General insurers expect to face losses in 2012

Non-life insurers are expected to face losses for fiscal year 2012 due to a cut in motor premiums and lower asset management returns, according to a report in the Korea Herald.

Malaysia: IAG becomes number one with acquisition of Kurnia

Insurance Australia Group’s Malaysian joint venture business – AmG Insurance Berhad – is now the largest general insurer in Malaysia, with 13% of Malaysia’s general insurance market and a clear number one position in motor insurance.

Philippines: ADB suggests merger between social security and govt service insurance systems

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has advised the government to consider raising the retirement age, increasing member contributions, and combining the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS) to further improve the country’s pension system, reported Malaya Business Insight.

Singaporeans still worried about retirement despite high level of savings: Aviva survey

Asurvey by Aviva showed Singaporeans are still worried about retirement despite their high level of savings and investments compared to those in other major economies.

AIR Worldwide expands presence in Asia Pacific with new Singapore office

AIR Worldwide (AIR) has set up an office in Singapore to meet the needs of clients in the Asian insurance market.

AIA acquires stake in Aviva’s Sri Lanka unit for US$109 million

Pan-Asian life insurance company AIA Group has agreed to buy the bulk of British insurer Aviva’s Sri Lanka operation in a deal valued at US$109 million.

Taiwanese insurers constrained by market risks, says Fitch

Persistently low interest rates and lacklustre stock market performance are likely to constrain Taiwanese insurers’ investment yield, especially for life insurers who rely heavily on investment income for profits, according to a new report by ratings agency Fitch.

Thailand: Insurers call for deregulation of non-life tariffs

Thai insurers have called on the government to chalk out a strategic plan for tariff deregulation to prepare the domestic insurance industry for economic integration within the ASEAN region, reported Bangkok Post.

Global News

A capital market for longevity risk has to be created, says Swiss Re

Aliquid capital market in longevity risk can ensure the long-term funding of people’s longer lives, Swiss Re said in its latest publication, “A mature market: Building a capital market for longevity risk”.

Lloyd’s posts highest interim profits in five years

Lloyd’s has posted a profit of GBP1.53 billion (US$2.4 billion) for the six-month period to 30 June 2012, the highest interim profit in five years.

Global insurance market continued firming in 3Q – Marsh

Global insurance prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2012, continuing the slow but steady trend that began in the second half of 2011. According to the Marsh Risk Management Global Insurance Index, a composite of changes in insurance costs over a rolling 12-month period, prices across major lines of insurance increased by 0.9% in the...

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