18 February 2017
Singapore Cancer Society Relay for Life 2017
Silver Sponsor, AIA Singapore
|Thank you for your participation!
Held for the first time in Singapore, SCS Relay for Life 2017 saw more than 6,000 participants coming together on 18 February 2017 at Bukit Gombak Stadium to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, remember those lost to the disease and support the fight against cancer.
The 17-hour community event was kick-started by Guest of Honour, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister of Health, flagging off the Cancer Survivors Lap. Besides being a Silver Sponsor, AIA Singapore also supported the event with more than 500 AIA staff, FSCs, families and AIA Vitality members wearing AIA-Spurs jerseys and red t-shirts to join in the walk with other corporate sponsors.
Other than walking or jogging round the stadium track and clocking AIA Vitality points, participants also enjoyed fringe activities such as the ever popular blender bikes at the AIA Vitality booth.
A BIG thank you to everyone for joining us at the SCS Relay for Life 2017! Every effort goes a long way! You may view the full photo album at the AIA Singapore Facebook page.
6 March 2017
2017 Annual Luncheon of the Life Insurance Association Singapore
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
More than 200 guests, including regulators, heads of financial sector associations and training bodies, and staff of member companies of LIA, were gathered to share a meal and 'talk shop'.
Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, graced the occasion as our Guest of Honour and spoke on Culture and Conduct - A Regulatory Perspective.
Highlights of the Address
I will share MAS' regulatory perspective on the importance of culture as a key driver of conduct, and set out some thoughts on what more can be done to promote a positive culture in financial institutions.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, regulators introduced a slew of reforms aimed at strengthening the resilience and stability of the financial system.
While the life insurance industry may not have been at the forefront of the major misconduct cases making global headlines, some of these conduct costs involve mis-selling of products and inappropriate advice. The need to pay attention to culture to avoid paying the price of misconduct is clearly equally applicable to the life insurance industry, particularly when it involves poor financial advisory practices.
What is culture and why it matters
We see it as the shared values, attitudes and norms that guide behaviour in an organisation. Culture reflects the underlying mindset of an organisation and affects how an organisation and its staff act and make decisions, oftentimes without thinking consciously about it.
Getting the culture right in financial institutions is critical because poor culture can be a driver of poor conduct. The financial industry's most valuable asset - trust - can be significantly undermined by poor conduct. And all financial institutions need their customers to trust them in order to build a sustainable business.
One of the outcomes that MAS seeks to promote is transparency and fair dealing by financial institutions - among others, this involves instilling fair business practices in the marketing and distribution of financial products and services.
MAS' approach to culture and conduct
The focus on culture is not new to MAS, some of our rules and guidelines already set out our regulatory expectations on culture and conduct. For the financial advisory business, let me highlight three initiatives:
Guidelines on Fair Dealing (2009)
The board and senior management of financial institutions are accountable for setting the culture and direction to align business practices with fair dealing outcomes.
The balanced scorecard framework under FAIR
Non-financial performance measures are added to volume-based remuneration arrangements, to better align the interests of financial advisers and their representatives with that of their customers.
Regulations on complaints handling and resolution
Financial advisory firms are to establish an independent and prompt process for handling and resolving complaints from retail customers.
These can be seen as measures to promote and reinforce the right culture in financial institutions and among their staff.
Assessing culture and its impact on conduct inherently poses a greater challenge than prudential supervision because culture cannot be quantified nor easily monitored. But we believe it is as important as capital and liquidity, and should receive equally close attention from regulators and financial institutions.
We are interested in looking beyond the existence of a compliance and control framework to assess if financial institutions have a supporting culture that incentivises their employees and agents to do the right thing, rather than just doing what's legal.
What constitutes right or wrong behaviour cannot be reduced to what is permissible under the law. The shared values, attitudes and norms that guide behaviour in an organisation cannot be dictated solely by external, nor internal rules.
Role of financial institutions in promoting a positive culture
There is no silver bullet but I would like to suggest a few key drivers that boards and senior management can focus on to promote a positive culture.
First, a strong and clear tone from the top
This is about 'walking the talk' - making decisions that reflect what is said. This is about board and senior management treating culture with the same importance as capital, and demonstrating that values matter as much, if not more, than valuations. This tone from the top must percolate to middle management, as employees and agents are more directly influenced by their supervisors whom they interact with on a daily basis. Firms should put in place governance structures to regularly monitor that the mood-in-the-middle and the echo-from-the-ground resonate with the tone from the top, i.e., are people doing the right thing even when nobody is watching?
Second, people management and incentives
How a firm rewards and manages its employees and agents send a clear signal about the accepted corporate culture. If they see that high revenue producers are rewarded despite, or even because of poor conduct, that is a sure recipe for poor culture to take root in an organisation.
Third, escalation policies
A firm's employees and agents are its best monitors. They should feel safe to speak up and effectively challenge practices and decisions that they may have concerns about. A culture of openness will encourage staff to raise potential red flags on misconduct with confidence and without the fear of reprisals or jeopardising their jobs.
Fourth, recruitment and training
In making hiring decisions, apart from looking at the individual or team's ability to bring in sales, it would be critical for firms to also consider if the individual or team's values are aligned with that desired by the organisation. As the quote attributed to Warren Buffet goes "in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you".
Where an instance of misconduct is detected, the firm's leadership should ask if the behaviour is pervasive and where else the behaviour could have occurred. In addition to just addressing isolated instances of misconduct, firms should always seek to identify if there is a root cause of the bad behaviour that needs to be fixed so that the problem goes away for good.
For the full speech, go to http://www.lia.org.sg/files/news/2017/03/Speech_by_Mr_Lee_Boon_Ngiap.pdf.
10 to 19 March 2017
48th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships
China Life Insurance Singapore makes a splash as new title sponsor of the 48th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships
China Life Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. has assumed its first title sponsorship - China Life Insurance Singapore National Age Group (Snag) Swimming Championships, which is also the final local qualifying meet for the biennial Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.
"China Life, as a Group entity, has always believed and supported the development of sports. We, as part of one of the world's largest insurance firms, want to continue this well-established support for sports in Singapore as well. We hope that our sponsorship will further promote the local sporting culture and motivate these athletes to a higher level of sporting excellence.", said Mr Tony Chow, Chief Executive of China Life Insurance Singapore.
This sponsorship also saw China Life promoting swimming as an accessible and inclusive sport for special needs students from Pathlight School. It launched a "learn to swim" CSR programme, which gave these students an opportunity to compete in a "grand final" swim relay during the Junior Finals Snag at OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Social media platforms were developed to engage the millennials and the swimming fraternity, including creating contests to raise engagement level with the general public. We also presented a workshop with Ms May Yim Schooling as guest speaker to share her experiences about raising a world beating swimmer, Joseph Schooling, at Chinese Swimming Club.