Issue No. 15 July - September 2013
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsFeature Article
Q&A with Nishit MajmudarQ&A with Peter Huber

Message from the President

LIA President - Ms Annette KingFirst half 2013 sales gets a 24 per cent boost
New health insurance premiums more than double

The life industry experienced a challenging start to the year, witnessing growth at a modest 9 per cent during the first quarter. However we are heartened that consumer confidence is growing progressively, as evidenced by a healthy second quarter performance.

I am happy to report a 24 per cent boost in first half sales and a noteworthy 126 per cent increase in health insurance premiums, the latter coming through upgrades/revised prices being made to Integrated Shield Plans in tandem with improved benefits provided under basic Medishield.

While the same external challenges can be expected to continue, the LIA and its members remain committed to advancing a culture of accountability, transparency and enhanced service standards as we move forward into the second half of the year. We are optimistic particularly of growth areas such as health and retirement planning.

Inaugural Life Insurance Week, 14 - 20 October 2013

Following on the heels of our consumer campaign with the Flying Dutchman, which we launched earlier this year, we will be launching the first ever Life Insurance Week (LIW) in October.


  • Bring life insurance into focus
  • Demonstrate that the industry has heart and supports the well-being of Singaporeans
  • Publicly pay tribute to industry employees and practitioners

LIW aims to raise public awareness of life insurance through a range of outreach activities.


Nation-wide symbol of support for the life insurance industry

Rubber wristbands in LIA colours with taglines:

  • Life's Worth Protecting
  • Life's Worth Investing In

Industry practitioners to wear wristbands 

Representatives to give them away to customers

Roving health booths

Daily free health screening during lunch break from 11:30am to 2:30pm

  • Chevron House
  • Serangoon NEX Mall 
  • Biopolis
  • Maple Tree Business Park 

Fundraising for charity

Member companies pledge a percentage of sales during the month of October to the Singapore Heart Foundation.

Media advertisements

  • A full-page advertisement in TODAY on 14 October 2013, carrying a photo of 100 staff from all member companies
  • Banner space advertisements on leading lifestyle website and portal,, with a life insurance-focused quiz for readers to win a cash prize
  • Editorial coverage

Members' activities

Member companies are encouraged to hold their own activities during the Week or in October to enhance the overall impact.

We hope our readers will get involved in one way or another! Better still, tell your family, friends and colleagues!

Annette King

Industry Events

AFAS 12th Annual Congress
4 - 5 July 2013, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore
Theme: We are ready

Ms Merlyn Ee 
Ms Merlyn Ee, the Executive Director of Capital Markets Intermediaries at MAS, was the Guest of Honour.

Excerpts of Ms Ee's speech

Bringing the Financial Advisory Industry to Greater Heights

My vision for the financial advisory industry in Singapore is for financial advisers to be viewed as professionals, just like lawyers, engineers and accountants, with their own code of conduct and high standards of practice. We are not there yet. 

But let's not lose heart. I believe the financial advisory industry can rise to the challenge. This would require financial advisory firms to focus on three key areas:

a) first, the Board and senior management need to set the right tone and culture to promote fair dealing with customers;

b) second, representatives have to adopt a long-term view of the business and build trust with their customers; and

c) third, financial advisory firms need to invest resources to build robust systems and processes to support their business.

AFA(S) 12th Annual Congress - Photo1 AFA(S) 12th Annual Congress - Photo2
AFA(S) 12th Annual Congress - Photo3 AFA(S) 12th Annual Congress - Photo4

Role of Board and Senior Management

The Board and senior management must take responsibility for embedding a culture of fair dealing in their organisations that goes beyond meeting business goals and mere compliance with regulatory requirements. They should inculcate a corporate culture where customers' interests are placed first. After all, customers are the heart of the business and there is no better way to grow a business than having satisfied customers.

Let me share an example to illustrate this. In 2008, MAS required a number of financial institutions to investigate customer complaints on the sale of structured notes linked to Lehman Brothers. I recall one case where the management of a financial institution decided to award full compensation to a long-standing customer even though that customer did not fully meet the criteria for a full payout. The management gave the customer the benefit of the doubt and did not take an overly legalistic approach to her complaint. The customer was so grateful that she not only continued to invest with the financial institution but also introduced her family and friends to open accounts there.

To strengthen the accountability of the Board and senior management in promoting a culture of fair dealing, the FAIR panel has recommended that MAS incorporate such assessment in our regulatory review and risk assessment of financial advisory firms. The FAIR panel has also proposed that financial advisory firms adopt a balanced scorecard framework for remunerating their representatives, which incorporates non-sales KPIs. MAS is likely to adopt both these proposals.

Role of Representatives

Financial advisory representatives should only enter the industry if they have a genuine interest in helping Singaporeans meet their financial goals and view the profession as a long-term career.

There are professional and dedicated representatives in the industry who build lasting and meaningful relationships with their customers. A colleague of mine shared with me a positive experience he had with a representative last year. That colleague visited a financial advisory firm to enquire about a product for retirement and told the representative that he was prepared to put aside a certain sum of money each month for that product. To his pleasant surprise, the representative advised him not to over-commit at the onset and to instead start small and slowly build up his savings over time.

I recognise that financial advisory can be a tough business to be in, especially in a representative's initial years when he is still trying to establish himself and build a sustainable customer base. This is where I would like to encourage financial advisory firms to provide training and support for new entrants and equip them with the tools and technology to do their jobs well. We must also not forget that even experienced representatives need to continually upgrade themselves. In this area, the FAIR panel has recommended ways to raise the competence of financial advisory representatives, such as requiring representatives to undergo at least 30 hours of structured CPD training annually, including four hours of training on Ethics and eight hours on Rules and Regulations. These are recommendations that MAS finds sensible.

Role of Systems and Processes

Systems and processes play a critical part in strengthening a financial advisory firm's value proposition. They help ensure that the firm's vision and culture cascade down to the day-to-day operations. In addition, they help identify areas of weakness and facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements and company policies.

A financial advisory firm with weak processes and controls will over time lose the trust and confidence of its customers. Financial advisory firms must therefore have good corporate governance in order to protect their reputation and franchise. This is why the FAIR panel recommended that financial advisers should have a compliance function that is independent of their sales and advisory activities.

Role of Other Stakeholders

(1) Well Educated Consumers

It is important for consumers to be aware of their needs and to ask the right questions when developing plans for their financial well-being. Financial education that is readily available can help achieve this. 

A key MoneySENSE initiative was the recent launch of the MoneySENSE-Singapore Polytechnic Institute for Financial Literacy to provide free financial education to the public. The MoneySENSE website is also a useful resource for consumer guides and educational materials on a wide range of financial topics and products.

Since the launch of the MoneySENSE programme ten years ago, more than 200,000 consumers have attended talks and road shows organised by MoneySENSE. While this is encouraging, we need to reach more Singaporeans and equip them with the knowledge and skills to take charge of their finances. When seeking financial advice, consumers should be prepared to invest more time during the fact-find process. This will allow advisers to obtain key information to better understand their financial situation, risk tolerance and investment goals. This will in turn enable the advisers to develop an appropriate financial plan and recommend suitable products.

Consumers should not be afraid to demand more from their advisers. They should ask questions to better understand the range of products available in the market and compare these with the products recommended to them. It is also important that consumers understand how various products may or may not meet their needs before making a decision on which product to purchase. In this area, the FAIR panel's recommendation to develop an online web aggregator to allow consumers to more easily compare pricing, benefits and other features of similar insurance products offered by different insurers, will help consumers make a more informed choice. MAS is studying this carefully.

(2) Industry-Led Initiatives

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage industry associations such as AFA to take the lead in coming up with initiatives to address problems identified in the industry. MAS need not intervene if the industry is able to come up with credible solutions.

My challenge to all financial advisers is to continue to build customers' trust and confidence in your products and services. This can be achieved by adopting a more customer-centric approach where customers are dealt with fairly and where the focus is on helping customers meet their financial and life goals. MAS looks forward to working closely with AFA and all other stakeholders to implement the FAIR proposals and bring the financial advisory industry to greater heights.
For the speech in full, go to

SMU CSS Conference
5 July 2013, Singapore Management University
Theme: Retirement readiness - Income adequacy, long-term care and social well-being

SMU CSS Conference

Singapore has one of the world's lowest fertility rates and longest life expectancies, thus making it one of the fastest aging nations. She is confronted with the challenge of developing sound policies and infrastructure to adequately prepare its citizens for retirement.

Rising life expectancies imply the need for the elderly to accumulate sizeable nest eggs for retirement. Can Singapore's pension system adequately help citizens accumulate sufficient savings to finance their retirement?

While Singaporeans are blessed with longer lifespans, their golden years are likely to be stricken with chronic and debilitating illnesses that require long-term care. Like other countries, Singapore now faces the urgent task of setting up the necessary infrastructure to deliver efficient and cost-effective long-term care to their citizens. Besides the financial aspects of long-term care, another challenge is the estimation of demand for formal institutional care and informal home care in the next few decades.

With the high cost of living, most households are sustained financially with dual incomes. Consequently, aged parents are often left at home with little social interaction. Researchers found that without a supportive social environment, the elderly develop cognitive and psychological problems. In countries such as Australia and the United States, it is common for retirees to live together in retirement villages. Such housing options provide not only social interaction for the aged, but also other benefits such as medical care and recreational activities. It may be timely to re-evaluate the feasibility of setting them up in Singapore.

Papers presented

  • Challenges and opportunities in setting up retirement villages in Asia
  • Using micro-simulation to create a synthesised data set for testing healthcare policy options
  • Pathways to disabilities - predicting health trajectories
  • ADLs and nursing home admittance
  • Global retirement income adequacy
SMU CSS Conference - Photo1 SMU CSS Conference - Photo2
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This annual series, first organised in 2008, has steadily attracted more and more participants from the life insurance industry.
Talk on the Mental Capacity Act by the Office of the Public Guardian
10 July 2013, DBS Tower 2, Singapore

OPG Talk on Mental Capacity Act - Photo1 OPG Talk on Mental Capacity Act - Photo2
OPG Talk on Mental Capacity Act - Photo3 OPG Talk on Mental Capacity Act - Photo4

Fifty staff from LIA member companies attended the presentation.
Participants learnt how to handle individuals who may walk into Customer Service with an LPA in hand. Also as the population ages, service providers will need to train their personnel to interact with persons who lack or may lack mental capacity to make decisions regarding their financial affairs, but have not made an LPA (also referred to as a 'living will').

About OPG

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) was set up to administer the Mental Capacity Act when it came into effect on 1 March 2010. The key functions of the OPG include establishing and maintaining registers of the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Court Orders appointing deputies as well as investigating complaints surrounding a person who lacks mental capacity.

Financial Services Managers Association Charity Bowl 2013
25 July 2013, Kallang Bowl Singapore

The FSMA Charity Bowl 2013 held at Kallang Bowl on 25 July brought together different companies and associations for an afternoon of bowling to accomplish a meaningful social project together. The objective was to contribute to society by raising $10,000 for Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE). SCORE's mission is to enhance the employability of ex-offenders so as to prepare them for eventual reintegration into the workforce.

FSMA Bowl 2013 - Photo1 FSMA Bowl 2013 - Photo2
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It was a fun-filled afternoon with camaraderie created in just four hours. The Guest of Honour was Ms Annette King, President of the Life Insurance Association Singapore. Also present were Tomas Urbanec, CEO of Prudential Assurance and representatives from SCORE, Teo Tze Fang, CEO, Ravi s/o Subramanian, Director Reintegration and Ms Juliana Binte Abdul Khalik, Deputy Director Reintegration.

Sponsors in alphabetical order were AXA Life, Great Eastern Life, IFPAS, Prudential and Tokio Marine Life.

Each sponsoring company/association both donated generously and fielded a team to compete in the bowling games.

So if you are wondering which team emerged top that afternoon, here are the results:

  • AXA Life
  • Great Eastern Life 
  • Prudential Assurance
  • Tokio Marine Life
  • FSMA
752, 706 & 733 - Total pin falls 2196
582, 565 & 575 - Total pin falls 1722
508, 466 & 514 - Total pin falls 1488
507, 466 & 469 - Total pin falls 1438
452, 432 & 390 - Total pin falls 1274
438, 385 & 354 - Total pin falls 1177

SAS Seminar on IFRS4
23 August 2013, Hilton Hotel Singapore

SAS Seminar - Photo1 SAS Seminar - Photo2

In collaboration with the Society of Actuaries - International Section, the Life Committee of the Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) organised a one-day seminar on IFRS4 following the revised Exposure Draft published in June 2013. We saw a strong attendance of 90 insurance practitioners.

The seminar featured Peter Duran and Michael Lockermen as the speakers. They refreshed participants on the current IFRS4, touched on the building blocks to the measurement approach as well as shared key insights on the revised Exposure Draft.

There was also a workshop on contractual service margin, which was very well received.

The SAS Life Committee is pleased with the overall turnout and learning points and would like to thank the speakers and organising committee for the time and effort put in to ensure the success of the event.

Talk on the Competition Act by the Competition Commission of Singapore
29 August 2013, URA Centre, Singapore
Theme: Understand how competition law can help you

CCS Talk - Photo1 CCS Talk - Photo2

Thirty participants representing more than half of LIA member companies, comprising heads and managers from key functions - distribution, underwriting, actuarial, finance, legal, risk, compliance - were keenly attentive as the speaker, Herbert Fung (Director Business and Economics), delved into the CCS's guiding philosophy and principles, and core concepts and spirit of the Competition Act.

About CCS

The Competition Commission of Singapore is a government agency responsible for championing competition. Our mission is to help create a vibrant Singapore economy with competitive markets and innovative businesses. CCS enforces the Competition Act by taking action against anti-competitive activities and its focus is on activities that have a significant impact on the economy.

At the same time, CCS also works with government agencies, business communities and the public to advocate pro-competition practices and promote a strong competitive culture and environment.

For further information, go to

LIA Networking Evening
10 September 2013, Sol Tasca, Fullerton Waterboat House, Singapore

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LIA Networking Session - Photo3 LIA Networking Session - Photo4
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Our regular series of networking evenings again saw a record number of friends and associates turning up...cheers to more Smile

IFPAS Education Roadmap Official Launch
27 September 2013, Singapore Recreation Club

As a major stakeholder in the industry, the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS) has always played an important role in the training of its members. This is evidenced in the plethora of programmes that IFPAS has rolled out for those interested in advancing their financial knowledge. 

To prepare financial advisers for a bigger role in society, IFPAS initiated an industry-wide event called the "IFPAS Financial Education Roadmap" which provides the gateway for financial practitioners to embark on various educational paths to become more specialised practitioners and high-performing professionals and to better equip them to serve their clients and the community.  

Some 100 representatives from life companies, CEOs, trainers and group affiliations attended the official launch event at the Singapore Recreation Club on 27 September 2013 which was graced by Ms Annette King, President of the Life Insurance Association Singapore. 

IFPAS Launch - Photo1 IFPAS Launch - Photo2
IFPAS Launch - Photo3 IFPAS Launch - Photo4

In her address, Ms Annette King said, "The LIA has always been supportive of professional development of financial services professionals and will continue to do so. This is in part validated by the award of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours to courses which meet certain qualifying criteria and standards. LIA recognises that some aspects of professional development are best left to individual companies where company-specific practices and products can be acquired by the financial consultants. Other aspects of professional development should be done at the industry level especially where skills and knowledge acquired can serve a wider societal need or the specialised needs of consumers. LIA supports the IFPAS Financial Education Roadmap because it provides a clear pathway of choices for a financial consultant who wants to develop professionally. IFPAS Education's certifications are clear guide-posts for those who want to be equipped with practical skills and knowledge to serve his or her clients or the community better. LIA believes that the Education Roadmap will pave the way for the industry to mature as a profession and it will support the initiative in whatever ways it can."

"The IFPAS Financial Education Roadmap outlines initiatives and partnerships that will enable IFPAS to carry out its mandate to strengthen the skills of financial practitioners through, among other things, programmes provided exclusively or in partnership with other established professional and academic bodies" shared Roland Yeo, IFPAS Vice President for Education. Complementing Roland Yeo's overview of the Financial Education Roadmap, Bernard Lim, Principal of Wealth College presented the various pathways and specialisation choices of its programmes under the flagship of the IFPAS Financial Education Roadmap.

Befitting the occasion, the first batch of 15 Accredited Financial Counsellors were also present to receive their well-deserved certificates from the Guest of Honour.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore honours commitment to its customers
3rd quarter 2013

The best form of customer appreciation for a financial institution is to honour its commitments and place customers' interest at the heart of its business.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore remains the only life insurer in Singapore that has honoured all its bonus projections on participating policies since it was established in 1948. This commitment is reinforced through a public campaign in the third quarter of 2013.

As Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore's CEO, Lance Tay put it, "We strongly believe that our policyholders' financial security is our top priority. We have lived and breathed this maxim throughout our entire history. This "Honouring Commitment" campaign is really about showing our appreciation to our customers who have placed their trust in us. We are delighted to have delivered on our commitment to them."

The campaign features three longtime customers.

TMLS Campaign - Photo

Coreen Chu Chai Yoon has been a customer since 1988. Her husband bought her a policy shortly after they got married. The policy matured this year and paid out a sum as projected when she first purchased the policy. Now, she has assured income for her retirement years.

Another customer, Khor Lock Khin, bought a policy in 1988. When the policy matured in April this year, he was delighted that the bonus portion exceeded the original sum assured.

Khor Loh Teng, elder brother of Lock Khin, also bought a policy at the age of 32 with the objective of saving up for when he turns 55 years of age. His policy matured two years ago and it returned 6% per annum, a rate that was beyond his expectations.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore's "Honouring Commitment" campaign communicated its core message through print advertisements, bus stop posters, public transport advertising, search engine marketing and digital platforms.

Looking ahead, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore aims to continue this proud tradition.

Manulife Singapore launches Retirement Campaign
September - November 2013

Manulife Singapore launched an integrated retirement-themed campaign that highlights the thought-provoking question of whether one can maintain one's current lifestyle during retirement. The campaign focuses on basic comforts, simple pleasures and holiday plans which are affordable now, but may not be that easily achievable during retirement. It aims to make Singaporeans think about whether they can afford their desired lifestyle and also reiterates the point that with careful planning, it is possible to enjoy their desired lifestyle in their golden years.

Manulife's campaign focuses on three core groups - young family, mature family and pre-retirees. These groups are depicted enjoying their moments together and also raises the point of taking simple pleasures for granted. For example, a young family enjoys the comforts of maintaining their mobile and data plans but this cost can add up to $45,000 over 25 years, while a $6 breakfast set for two can add up to over $54,000 over 25 years. In addition, Manulife's Retirement microsite - has been enhanced with three video clips on daily, monthly and leisure needs, which illustrate more examples of living expenses.

Manulife Retirement Campaign - Photo1

To further educate Singaporeans on retirement planning, Manulife Singapore also produced two videos that draw out complex retirement planning concepts through a show-and-tell story. "Never Lose Sight of Your Retirement" and "Retirement Planning Made Simple" highlight the benefits of saving early through the compounding interest effect and show how diversifying savings can help beat inflation. These are found on the Manulife Singapore YouTube page - .

The island-wide key message is: "Secure today, secured tomorrow" with Manulife Retirement Solutions. The campaign, which runs to November, also injects a fun element, the "Indulging in my golden years" contest on Facebook - By choosing three of their top indulgences that they cannot live without even in retirement, participants will be entered into a lucky draw where two winners will walk away with $500 worth of shopping vouchers.

This second advertising campaign for the year also includes displays on MRT platform door panels and posters at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah, Tampines and Jurong East stations. In addition, there will be advertisements in Sunday Times and My Paper as well as on various digital platforms such as Yahoo!, AsiaOne and in a Straits Times application for iPhones and Android.

Manulife Retirement Campaign - Photo2

26th Pacific Insurance Conference
27 - 30 October 2013, Hong Kong
Theme: Winning Strategies for the Next Generation

PIC Logo

26 days to go and counting down...

For more information and registration, go to 

Industry News

New LIA Subcommittees formed
4 September 2013

  • Client Subcommittee


1. Reviewing the current Benefit Illustration (BI) templates and required information, with the objective of making them more consumer-friendly and effective product disclosure.

2. Managing the Industry Mystery Shopping exercises, expected to be regularly conducted on impetus from the Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR).

  • Human Resource Subcommittee


1. Industry branding for talent attraction

2. Industry-led training for development of next generations of talent

3. Addressing staff turnover

LIA Members' Circular No. 87/13 - LIA guidance notes on handling policyholders who lack or may lack mental capacity

Issue date: 17 September 2013

The guidance notes have been consulted with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG administers the Mental Capacity Act and is a division of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
As these are recommended best practices, no hard effective date is set. However, member companies should be prepared to handle policyholders who lack or may lack mental capacity, or persons who turn up at the insurer's offices with an LPA in hand.

For a copy of MC 87/13, go to

ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC): Opening Ceremony of AIC Permanent Secretariat Offices
19 - 20 September 2013, Jakarta

AIC Logo

AIC Flags

AIC Meeting - Photo1

AIC Meeting - Photo2

The Permanent Secretariat of the ASEAN Insurance Council, which resides with Indonesia, has acquired its own office premises, located at Permata Kuningan Building in Jakarta.

All 13 member associations from eight ASEAN member countries including LIA and GIA Singapore were represented at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on 19 September 2013.

The Permanent Secretariat will be further strengthened with the expected on-boarding of an Executive Director shortly.

For more information on the AIC, go to

AXA Life launches 360o Cancer Care
23 September 2013

AXA Life CampaignAXA Life Insurance Singapore recently launched 360o Cancer Care, the first-ever holistic cancer insurance plan in the market, which takes care of financial, practical and emotional concerns that may arise before, during and after cancer treatment.

Beyond the financial aspect, 360o Cancer Care offers emotional and mental support in terms of coverage across all three stages of cancer (preventive, treatment and rehabilitation stages). It involves Holistic Care Services, a dedicated service that gives customers access to a panel of experts who will provide support and assistance from the very beginning to the end. A unique aspect of 360o Cancer Care is an Aftercare Benefit, which allows reimbursement of expenses incurred for the following items:

  • Psychological counselling session
  • Second medical opinion
  • Home care nursing
  • Anti-nausea drugs
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
  • Hair loss treatment
  • Dietician services
  • Reconstructive surgery 

Feature Article

Take the Road to a Healthy Heart
Article contributed by the Singapore Heart Foundation

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) - which includes heart disease and stroke - affects people of all ages and population groups, including women and children. It currently causes 17.3 million deaths every year, making it the world's No. 1 killer. Many serious diseases in adulthood have their roots in adolescence, leading to illness or premature death later in life. Children largely depend on adults for guidance on healthy behaviours, so we need to ensure they adopt the right habits. A large number of CVD deaths are premature and occur before the age of 70 years; taking people in their most productive years, which can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on families.

The good news is that the majority of CVD is caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified. Learn how you can age heart healthily, because healthy adults lead to healthy families and communities.

Help children take the road to a healthy heart for a longer and better life

SHF Image1

- Learn what motivates them. Looking good, feeling good and performing well. These are factors that motivate children and teenagers to eat healthily and be physically active: children who get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet are better able to perform and concentrate at school, sport and home.

- Be a good role model. The best way to influence your child's behaviour is through example. You don't have to be perfect all the time, but if children see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they'll take notice of your efforts.

- Keep things positive. Children don't like to hear what they can't do - tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and positive. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.

Ladies, make your heart health a priority: this will benefit you and your family

- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and more than 8.6 million women die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) around the world each year: that's about one death per minute. Women must learn the truth about their risk and take action to protect themselves.

- Women with diabetes are at higher risk of dying from CVD than men, so make sure you get your glucose levels measured by a healthcare professional.

- High blood pressure during pregnancy - whether you develop the condition before or after conception - requires special care. Women who develop preeclampsia - a serious condition characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy - might be at increased risk of CVD later in life, despite the fact that their blood pressure returns to normal after delivery. Make sure you speak to your healthcare professional about your risk.

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- High blood pressure is the No. 1 risk factor for CVD. Women who have reached menopause, have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, so it is important that you get it measured on a regular basis.

- Women who smoke, double the risk of stroke. The more cigarettes smoked, the higher the risk. Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of dying from heart disease by 15% in women.

Make sure you take care of your own heart health and don't just focus on that of your family.

Get active

SHF Image 3

- According to the World Health Organization, children aged 5-17 years should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. More than 60 minutes of physical activity can provide additional health benefits.

- 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, 5 times a week, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke for adults.

- Older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week OR at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week OR an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

- Remember that physical activity isn't only sport: it is any bodily movement that uses energy.

- It is never too late to start exercising! Start with small amounts of physical activity and gradually increase the duration, frequency and intensity over time. If required, talk to your doctor before starting an exercise programme, to ensure that it's right for you.

- If you cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, try to be as physically active as your ability and condition allow.

Beware of what you eat

- Be wary of processed foods which often contain high levels of salt. Total salt intake should be limited to less than 5 grams per day (about one teaspoon).

- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables: ageing can be associated with changes in lifestyle that affect the types of food eaten. Loneliness, boredom, depression and worrying about the future can lead some to neglect their diets. Unfortunately, this can result in skipping meals and generally poor eating habits.  

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- Watch your weight: your body burns fewer calories as you get older. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Exercising regularly and eating smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods may help you maintain a healthy weight.

Say NO to tobacco

- Ban smoking from your home and avoid secondhand smoke. Within 2 years of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced and within 15 years, the risk of CVD returns to that of a non-smoker. Secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 non-smokers every year worldwide, including children.

- Educate children on the dangers of tobacco use so that you encourage them not to smoke themselves.

- If you are finding it hard to quit smoking, visit your healthcare professional for advice or ask your employer for support, as your workplace may provide smoking cessation services.

The road to a healthy heart may not be a short journey, but with small steady steps and perseverance, you can certainly make a difference and lead a better life!

For more information, visit

Q&A with Nishit Majmudar

Nishit Majmudar - Photo1"Dream big, have a good plan, work hard, take calculated risks and believe in yourself."

That is the guiding force behind Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Ltd Nishit Majmudar's roadmap to success. Coming from humble beginnings, Nishit never expected to have the opportunity to experience the world as he has today, even becoming CEO at one of the most esteemed multi-national corporations in the industry.

"My career has been a wonderful journey. When I started in Mumbai, I never expected to work all around the world and be the CEO at two different multi-nationals, in two different countries. It is truly enlightening to be able to live in and experience five different countries, their people and cultures," he shares.

"Compared to where I started from, I have come a long way and I like to celebrate that. But there are always miles to go and promises to keep, before I sleep!" he chirps.

Ever as unassuming and always the people person, Nishit tells us how he aspires towards helping others fulfil their dreams and in the business world, see customers happy in retirement.

"At work, I want to leave a legacy that is as much about customers and staff as it is about sales and profits," Nishit explains.

"I think getting the love and affection of the people I have had the pleasure of working with has been another special experience. Essentially, I want to leave Aviva much stronger than it was when I joined. I guess all leaders want that."

Nishit considers golfing legend Tiger Woods as one of his role models - for his talent, hard work, poise, confidence and dedication to charitable causes. Outside of work, Nishit spends most of his weekends on the golf course with his son, who is an avid golfer.

Nishit Majmudar - Photo2

"We travel the world for his tournaments and it has been a lot of fun. It would be a dream come true if my son plays golf professionally and I be his manager!" he enthuses.

Interesting - we caught up with Nishit to find out more about his life beyond work:

Q. How do you unwind after a hard day's work?

I spend time with my family and watch Hindi TV serials, which generally are the domain of retired couples and housewives!
Q. Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.

I am not risk-averse!

Q. A couple of my proudest moments were....

Interestingly these moments are as a husband and as a father and both these are centered around sporting achievements.

Q. Complete the sentence: I love life because....

It is constantly changing and each phase of life is a unique experience.

Q&A with Peter Huber

Peter Huber  - Photo1Chief Executive Officer of Zurich Life Insurance Singapore Peter Huber believes in always giving his best and that the rewards will follow.

"I believe in doing my best, and never giving up. Hard work will be rewarded. No matter how smart you are, the harder you work, the better you will be," he says.

His dedication extends to his passion for the business. With over 20 years of industry experience in Europe and Asia, Peter joined Zurich Life Insurance Singapore in July earlier this year. In his role, he continues to helm and grow the company's footprint and remains upbeat at a time where the industry has faced challenges such as nation-wide regulatory changes.

Not one to shy away from challenges, Peter embraces change and believes that it is what motivates him to grow and develop as a person and mentor.

"For me, it is always about embarking on a new journey, building up business across the world and leaving a legacy with the people," he explains.

"It is very rewarding to know that I am successful in what I am doing and watching people grow and develop as the business moves along.

"I have a strong team of engaged and dedicated staff who go the extra mile to make the business work, and we are always looking for ways to improve in all aspects so that we can deliver results to customers, stakeholders, distributors and employees," he says.

A graduate from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Peter started his career in business consulting with Arthur Anderson. Following which, he planted his roots at Swiss Life Group for nearly 10 years in various business units including Investor Relations, Marketing and Business Development and consecutively taking on the role as Chief Executive Officer at Swiss Life International where he was also a member on the extended executive board of Swiss Life Group.

Peter is a happily married father of two and enjoys playing tennis and bike riding in his leisure time. He also has a weakness for our local delicacy - chicken rice!

Peter Huber  - Photo2

We caught up with Peter Huber to find out more about his life beyond work:

Q. What do you usually do in your leisure time?

I ride my bike and play tennis. And I eat chicken rice - I try out a new place every week!

Q. What irks you the most?

I dislike complacency - not trying hard enough and not taking risks when you know you can do more.

Q. Who are your inspirations in life?

My family - they give me the strength to pursue my dreams.

Q. How do you unwind after a hard day's work?

I love to ride my bike. It allows me to be in a different world and relaxes me.

Q. A couple of my proudest moments were....

The birth of my two beautiful kids

Q. Complete the sentence:  I love life because....

It is all we have!

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