August to November 2015
CPF Retirement Planning Roadshows
We are holding a series of retirement planning roadshows in the heartlands to reach out to Singaporeans. Through the roadshows, we hope to encourage them to take active steps towards a more rewarding retirement, and help them to better understand the role that their CPF plays in the process.
The key highlights of the event are the two 30-minute talkshows between show host Lin You Fa, celebrity Irene Ang and a financial expert who will share their insights and personal experiences on planning for their retirement. In addition, there are hands-on activities and games where participants will get to learn about retirement planning in a fun and interactive way.
Help us spread the word to your colleagues, family and friends to join us at our roadshows! Hope to see you there!
For more information, visit http://ayr.sg/retirementplanningroadshow
30 June 2015
Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) Annual Dinner
Keynote Address by Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister & Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore
Highlights of his speech:
11. This evening, I will talk about two important initiatives for Singapore's financial sector that will buttress the foundations for its future progress:
First, MAS will rationalise the regulatory framework that has distinguished the domestic and international banking operations, taking into account market developments over the years and global regulatory changes over the last half decade.
Second, we will introduce several manpower and talent development initiatives to ensure a strong Singaporean core across the range of activities in the financial sector.
Establishment of Financial Centre Advisory Panel (FCAP)
26. Indeed, a strong partnership between the MAS and industry leaders and practitioners has been key to the development of Singapore's financial sector, and how we got to where we are today. It will be even more important in the coming years, with changes accelerating in the financial world.
27. MAS will therefore strengthen its dialogue with the financial industry. We will set up a Financial Centre Advisory Panel (FCAP) comprising senior leaders from the banking, insurance and asset management industries. The Panel will provide guidance in two broad areas:
First, overall financial sector developmental strategies. Industry leaders and experts will provide advice on opportunities across the various financial activities, and propose initiatives to ensure continued vibrance in Singapore's financial centre. This includes building synergies across different activities - for example, spurring the development of the capital markets by building on the asset management sector to catalyse equity, fixed income and FX trading activities.
Second, we have to build deep skills and expertise relevant to the future and harness technology. These 'horizontals' of skills and technology will be the key drivers in the next phase of our financial centre's growth.
28. Mr Ravi Menon, MD MAS, spoke just yesterday about the new technologies that are transforming financial services and how MAS and the industry could work together to take advantage of these technologies. I will talk now about how we can build the depth of skills and expertise, across all levels of the financial sector workforce, and how we aim to achieve quality jobs for Singaporeans in a rapidly-changing financial environment.
SkillsFuture in Financial Services
29. The next 10 years will be both disruptive and transformative for financial institutions and markets. New technologies will have a significant bearing on the scale and nature of financial sector jobs - everywhere from the front-end of consumer transactions and advice, to the middle and back-end business of processing, risk management and data analysis.
30. Many jobs in finance will be at risk around the world. But if we prepare well for the changes reshaping global finance, there is significant opportunity in this for Singapore and for Singaporeans working in finance.
31. Our vision is to be a financial centre that is among the leaders globally in workforce skills and expertise, and one with a strong core of Singaporeans at every level.
32. MAS has been engaging the top leadership of key financial institutions, here in Singapore and in headquarters overseas, on our initiatives. Their response has been positive. They recognise and support our desire to develop deep skills and a strong pipeline of Singaporean talent, as part of a vibrant and competitive global financial centre. It is in our collective interest that we do this, and in the interests of each financial institution over the long term.
33. As part of the national SkillsFuture effort, MAS in partnership with the industry and educational and training institutes is now embarking on further initiatives. We will strengthen support for every finance professional to learn continuously, develop his or her expertise, and have a good career. This includes developing Singaporean leaders in finance, with the capabilities to take on responsibilities in Asia and further afield.
Continual Learning and Deepening Specialist Skills
34. Let me describe these initiatives briefly, starting with our efforts to promote continual learning and to develop deep pools of financial sector expertise in Singapore.
Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP)
35. First, under the Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP), MAS supports early-career Singaporeans in developing specialist capabilities through post-graduate studies. This includes specialisations in quantitative finance, risk management, actuarial science and specialty insurance, and emerging priorities such as cyber security, data analytics and fraud risk detection. Since the scholarship's inauguration in 2006, more than 150 FSP scholarships have been awarded. MAS will provide 30 scholarships per year to add to the pipeline of specialist talents in the financial sector.
SkillsFuture Study Awards
36. Second, MAS will offer up to 70 SkillsFuture Study Awards each year for financial sector professionals. These awards aim to equip Singaporeans, especially those in the early to mid-stages of their careers, to develop and deepen their skills through a wide range of programmes, including shorter courses, especially in areas where industry expertise remain in short supply.
Subsidies for Continual Learning
37. Third, and most broadly, we will also provide generous subsidies to support Singaporean finance professionals in continual learning related to financial sector competencies. MAS currently funds up to 70% of the costs of financial sector training courses. In addition, as announced in this year's Budget, subsidies for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above will be enhanced to a minimum of 90% of training costs for approved courses. This is a significant subsidy from the Government, as we recognise there are opportunity costs that mid-career Singaporeans face when they go for further education and training.
Earn and Learn Programmes
38. The initiatives I have just described are aimed at all Singaporeans in the financial sector, and especially to help our PMEs stay on top of a changing world of professional jobs. Regardless of whether they start their careers with a master's degree or diploma, we must help them learn continuously, and pick up the skills needed for new jobs in finance.
39. Our fourth initiative is more specific, and is aimed at providing fresh polytechnic graduates with good opportunities early in their careers. MAS will be introducing the Financial Sector Earn and Learn Programmes for this purpose.
40. For the prospective polytechnic graduate, this 12-18 month work-study programme will allow him or her to gain valuable employment experience at a financial institution and to receive training which counts towards a Specialist or Advanced diploma upon completion of the programme. These work-study programmes will be designed in collaboration with financial institutions, the polytechnics and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
Developing Strong Core of Singaporean Leaders in Finance
43. Let me turn finally to the second thrust of our initiatives to develop professional talent and skills, which concerns leadership development. This too is a key priority under SkillsFuture. The development of a strong core of Singaporean leaders in finance, working in diverse global teams, will define our continued success as a financial centre. MAS takes this very seriously.
44. We have in recent years introduced several initiatives to promote the development of Singaporean leaders in the financial industry.
The Finance Associate Management Scheme (FAMS) offers promising young professionals exposure to different aspects of a financial institution's global operations and mentorship by senior leaders.
The International Posting Programme (iPOST) has supported more than 35 overseas postings of Singaporeans in finance since its launch in 2013. They have acquired valuable practical experience in diverse working cultures over their 6 to 24-month attachments to regional and global offices of financial institutions.
Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP)
45. To further strengthen these efforts, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP).
The AFLP will take advantage of Singapore's strong and expanding linkages in the region, including ASEAN, China and India, and aim to strengthen those links through leadership development.
It is aimed at equipping finance professionals aspiring to C-suite roles with the knowledge and capabilities to operate effectively across diverse business, regulatory, and legal environments.
Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from and interact with top policy-makers from the region and to also build networks with fellow financial sector leaders.
The AFLP will be administered jointly by Temasek Management Services and Singapore Management University, with the first intake of AFLP participants slated for November this year.
47. We are now embarked on our next phase of development as a financial centre. It will be driven by deeper collaboration between MAS and the industry, a collective effort to leverage on new technologies, and by staking a position as a leading global centre of financial skills and expertise. The exciting thing is that we can actually achieve this.
For the speech in full, go to http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Speeches-and-Monetary-Policy-Statements/Speeches/2015/Keynote-Address-by-DPM-at-ABS-Annual-Dinner.aspx
July to early October
Manulife Singapore's retirement campaign encourages Singaporeans to take charge of their retirement
Manulife Singapore launched a new retirement-themed campaign to bring home an important message to Singaporeans - take charge of your retirement now and act before it is too late.
The campaign is inspired by findings from Manulife's Investor Sentiment Index (MISI), a proprietary survey by the company which showed that there were common misconceptions and behavioural issues about retirement planning. For instance, some tended to procrastinate retirement planning due to other priorities, thinking there was still time. Others knew there was a gap between their retirement savings and expenses but did not take action, choosing instead to avoid reality and hope that things would work out in the end.
Through the use of humorous and emotive ads, the campaign seeks to educate consumers about these misguided mindsets and motivate them to take charge of their retirement with the help of Manulife's retirement solutions.
"Planning for one's retirement may seem overwhelming but the key is to start now and take the first step, no matter how small it may seem. Through this campaign, we hope to use a lighthearted approach to motivate Singaporeans to take immediate actions to secure their retirement," said Mr. Naveed Irshad, President and CEO of Manulife Singapore.
The campaign was rolled out across various platforms, from outdoor advertising on buses and taxis to print, online and mobile advertising. The company also leveraged content marketing by partnering with AsiaOne, a leading online news portal in Singapore, to reach out to Singaporeans through a lifestyle microsite (brandinsider.asiaone.com/Manulife) that features articles, videos and resources about retirement and financial planning.
Consumers can also easily compute their retirement number and find out if there is a shortfall in their finances with Manulife's online Retirement Calculator. The calculator is available in both English and Chinese on Manulife's retirement microsite (manuliferetirement.sg), along with other resources and self-help tools for retirement planning.
|Main campaign visuals
|Outdoor advertisements on buses and taxis
2 - 3 July 2015
AFAS Annual Congress
More than 400 Financial Adviser industry leaders, managers and representatives attended the Association of Financial Advisers Singapore's (AFAS) Annual Congress 2015, which was organised with the theme "Mission Possible".
With the recent FAIR recommendations and Balanced Score Card framework set to kick in next year, the conference organisers felt that this year's theme signalled to industry representatives, key stakeholders and the public at large that Financial Advisers are eager and ready to meet the challenges of the new insurance and investment landscape. Hence, the theme, "Mission Possible".
Guest-of-honour Ms Merlyn Ee, Executive Director of Capital Markets Intermediaries at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, highlighted in her speech the "three Cs" - Culture, Competency and Customer Centricity - as fundamental principles that underpin success in the LFA industry.
A firm's board and senior management play a pivotal role in setting the right culture of fair dealing, she said. And it should go beyond coming up with company policies and procedures.
"Gaining the trust of customers essentially means that financial advisers have to look beyond short-term gains and act in their customers' best interests," Ms Ee noted.
In his speech, AFAS President Vincent Ee called for MAS to come up with guidelines to enhance the transparency surrounding the disclosure and understanding of commission rebates which some advisers give to consumers.
While commission rebates ultimately lower policy premiums to the benefit of consumers, he noted that such incentives if implemented improperly, could turn into inducement and lead to overbuying of insurance policies. It is not good enough to say that commission rebates are not prohibited and that financial advisory firms are only required to administer such schemes without creating an inducement for consumers, said Mr Ee.
In its response, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that it "will work with the industry and other relevant stakeholders to provide greater guidance on the use of commission rebates, where necessary".
Keynote Speaker Donald White gave a rousing speech to participants to encourage them never to give up but to persevere and "go the extra mile" for their customers. His speech, entitled "No Mas (More)", was a timely reminder to all present that the future is bright and there are ways to overcome challenges ahead by taking control.
A special segment was the presentation by industry veteran Mohd Amin, on "50 years of insurance and beyond". He regaled participants with the many highs and lows during the development of the insurance industry in Singapore.
Last year, the financial advisory industry in Singapore - which has about 3,000 representatives - saw its market share of new business rise to 18 per cent from 16 per cent.
15 July 2015
SG50 Insurance Golf
The Singapore insurance industry marked the 50th year of Singapore's independence by raising more than $500,000 for seven beneficiaries through a charity golf tournament, "Swing for Charity".
Members of the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA), Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA) and the Singapore Reinsurers' Association (SRA) pooled resources to organise the golf event at the Singapore Island Country Club on 15 July.
A dinner graced by Guest-of-Honour Education Minister Heng Swee Keat capped the day's celebration.
The who's who in the Singapore insurance industry, including past Presidents of GIA, LIA and SRA, and guests, turned out in full force at the Singapore Island Country Club Island Ballroom to celebrate Singapore's SG50 milestone.
The SG50 theme rang loud and clear around the ballroom... from the stage backdrop to table names which featured iconic Singapore landmarks to the giant SG50 logo on the birthday cake on stage.
The evening got off to a great start with an energetic Japanese-style drum performance by the SIA-MINDS Japanese 'Taiko' troupe, creating the mood for a night of good camaraderie.
In his speech, Guest-of-Honour Education Minister Heng Swee Keat remarked that he was heartened by the Singapore spirit which was clearly demonstrated in the wake of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's death and in the aftermath of the Sabah earthquake. He encouraged insurers to continue to work together to build a better country and a more inclusive society.
Amidst a rousing birthday song for Singapore and cheers from the audience, Minister Heng led the cake-cutting ceremony on stage.
A simple cheque presentation ensued. Over $500,000 was raised from the SG50 Insurance Golf - Swing for Charity held earlier that afternoon. Minister Heng presented the mock cheque to representatives from the seven selected beneficiaries - Children's Cancer Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, Pertapis Education and Welfare Centre, Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic, Singapore Heart Foundation, St. John's Home for Elderly Persons, and the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Golfers and guests were treated to a sumptuous sit-down dinner. During the evening, it was also prizes galore. Prizes were presented for Novelty Events in the Men's Division A, Men's Division B and Ladies Division. Lucky draw winners walked away with equally attractive prizes while all guests received an activity tracker, which will come in handy.
All in, it was certainly a night to remember!
5 August 2015
Aviva Singapore launches project yellow@ayer rajah to commemorate SG50
Aviva staff volunteers to do general cleaning and home appliances installation for 50 lower income homes
Concurrent food donation drive to collect non-perishable items from Aviva staff and distribute as goodie bags to the needy and elderly in these homes
Supported by 275 staff volunteers from Aviva Singapore in collaboration with Southwest Community Development Council and Pasir Panjang Hill Community Services Centre
Aviva, a leading insurer in Singapore, today launched a charity initiative - Project Yellow@Ayer Rajah (Project Yellow) - in commemoration of SG50. In collaboration with Southwest Community Development Council (Southwest CDC) and Pasir Panjang Hill Community Services Centre (PPHCSC), Project Yellow aims to improve the living conditions of 50 homes from lower income families in the Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens estates.
Under Project Yellow, 275 Aviva staff volunteers - including some volunteers from the Asian Regional Office as well as Aviva Investors - will do general cleaning and home appliances installation for 50 adopted homes. After visiting the homes today, Aviva will assess the needs and donate suitable new home appliances that can improve the living conditions of these families.
Concurrently, Aviva has also launched a food donation drive to collect non-perishable items from employees, to be distributed to the 50 families. These include staples such as rice, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereal, as well as dried foodstuff and low-sodium canned food.
Mr Nishit Majmudar, CEO of Aviva Singapore, commented on the launch of Project Yellow, "The residents we are helping come from lower income families and many of them are unable to perform household chores as they are either elderly or suffer from medical conditions. This initiative, driven by our staff, is aligned with one of Aviva's values to "care more" which also extends to caring more about the communities we operate in. I am heartened by the response from our staff who have volunteered their time and donated generously to help those in need."
Commenting on Aviva's Project Yellow, Ms Foo Mee Har, Adviser to Ayer Rajah Grassroots Organisations and Member of Parliament for West Coast Group Representation Constituency, said, "I applaud Aviva for its efforts in improving the living conditions of the residents in Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens estates. It is indeed a meaningful way to commemorate our nation's 50th birthday by sharing the joy with 50 families from the lower income group. I hope more companies will follow Aviva's lead to serve the community that we live and work in."
One of the residents who will benefit from Aviva's Project Yellow is Mr Salleh who lives with his wife at Pandan Gardens. Mr Salleh, aged 62, is wheelchair-bound and has to go for dialysis and medical treatments from Monday to Wednesday every week. He shared at the launch event, "I am unable to do household chores so I am happy that Aviva volunteers are helping to clean my house. They make my living conditions and life better".
26 August 2015
Raise With TMLS - Tokio Marine Raises Awareness about Disabilities through Partnership with Disabled People's Association
Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore (TMLS) partnered with the Disabled People's Association (DPA) to "Raise with TMLS" - a company-wide event focused on raising awareness for persons with disabilities in Singapore.
This partnership event raised S$16,000 through an internal donation drive, which will go towards the publication that both companies will develop together - "Inclusive Practices in Healthcare." This report will look to highlight policies and programmes that promote social integration of persons with disabilities. It will also share experiences concerning disability in order to identify better-coordinated solutions through its roundtable discussions, Government consultations, position papers, letters to the media and press releases.
"Raise with TMLS goes beyond the partnership with DPA. Through the activities, we were able to learn more about the different types of disabilities which helped our staff understand, empathise and therefore, better cater financial advice to families and caretakers of those with disabilities. Our partnership with DPA is a commitment to TMLS' Good Company principles - to look beyond profit and act with integrity for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, business partners and more importantly, to society," said Lance Tay, CEO, TMLS.
"DPA is thankful for the donation from TMLS, and we are excited to partner with them for our upcoming publication. Through this, we hope that we will be able to communicate the importance of financial planning and insurance to those in our network. Our extended partnership with TMLS will help bring us one step closer to our goal of serving as the voice of persons with disabilities and work to ensure that they have equal rights and full participation in society," said Dr. Marissa Medjeral-Mills, the Executive Director of DPA.
Raise with TMLS is one of the Good Company events by TMLS. Held at Sentosa, the event engaged TMLS staff in activities that emulated various disabilities, and aimed to help teams better understand the everyday challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
3 September 2015
IBF Distinction Evening
Conferment of IBF Awards
The IBF Distinguished Fellow title is the highest certification mark under the IBF Standards. This prestigious title is conferred upon industry captains who are the epitome of professional stature, integrity, and achievement. The Distinguished Fellows serve as a beacon of excellence for the industry.
25 years of financial industry experience
Experience in senior executive leadership positions
Demonstrated outstanding leadership capabilities
Significant contribution to the industry
Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO for Singapore, Great Eastern Life, and President of LIA Singapore was one of the Awardees.
The IBF Fellow title recognises industry veterans who have demonstrated mastery of a profession and exemplify thought leadership and commitment to industry development.
15 years of financial industry experience
Demonstrated professional competence as well as thought and practice leadership
Made significant contributions to the financial industry
Ms Irene Ng, Chairperson of IBF Life Insurance Industry Work Group and a member of IBF Standards Committee, and Chairperson of LIA's Underwriting & Claims Subcommittee was one of the Awardees. Get to know more about Irene in the "Q&A with" section.
Congratulations to both for inspiring the rest of us in the life insurance industry to do even better!