Issue No. 12 October - December 2012
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsQ&A with Thomas Henze

Message from the President

Photo of LIA PresidentLife insurance sales expand 10 per cent in first nine months of 2012

Regular premium products sustain momentum

The life industry achieved $1.608 billion in weighted* new business premiums for the first nine months of 2012, representing a 10 per cent improvement over the corresponding period in 2011.

The overall performance was driven by positive growth in the sales of regular premium products. The first three quarters hit $1.161 billion, which is a 20 per cent increase over the same period in 2011.

Single premium business, however, dipped 10 per cent to $447.3 million. Of this amount, 14 per cent comprised CPF-funded products.

(*Weighted premium is calculated as: 10% SPI + 100% API with adjustment for payment terms of less than 10 years)

Fact-find experience

LIA revised its Application Type Options on 1 August 2012. The four options of Full Advice, Partial Advice, Product Advice, and No Advice have been replaced with the following three options:

  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Specific Need(s) Planning
  • No Needs Analysis Purchase

Under comprehensive planning, the client completes the full fact-find where he receives the representative's recommendation on product suitability.

For specific need(s) planning, the client completes a full fact-find for at least one of his needs that he wishes to receive the representative's recommendation on the suitability of the product.

Under no needs analysis purchase, the client does not undergo any needs analysis and is responsible for choosing the product he finds most suitable for himself. However, the representative is required to explain the product features, its fees and charges to the customer.

We expect that consumers will benefit from a clearer understanding of the information and responsibilities required of them under each of the new options. For representatives, they are obligated to gather certain information required for each Application Type Option before they may make recommendations.
 
Looking forward to 2013
 
While the economy is expected to remain uncertain, our public message should remain constant - that one's financial planning should not be put on hold. LIA members remain committed to educating consumers on the importance of being adequately insured, be it in good times or in periods of volatility. The industry is focused on further narrowing the gap between Singaporeans' protection needs and the levels of coverage they have already acquired.
 
With the changes coming through FAIR from 2013 onwards, LIA and its members will be fully engaged in meeting the demands of implementation.

I wish friends, colleagues and business affiliates the best of health and personal fulfillment.

Signature of LIA President

Tan Hak Leh

Industry Events

Inaugural IFPAS Day
30 October 2012, Hersing Hub at Toa Payoh

IFPAS Executive Council 2012/2013 Registration for IFPAS Day
Breakfast Reception Organising Chairman - Samuel Goh

October 2012 holds a special meaning for the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS). 30 October 2012 marked the inauguration of the first IFPAS Day.

The idea was mooted in May when the newly-elected Executive Council 2012/2013 decided to dedicate a day to acknowledge the contribution of its 19 past presidents and the support received from key insurance companies that have helped the Association in many ways to achieve the progress IFPAS enjoys today.

After a pre-event breakfast reception, attendees were warmly welcomed by Organising Chairman Samuel Goh and his team members, namely, Roland Yeo, Tan Tiong Eng and Gwen Woon. Attendees were presented with a specially-minted IFPAS Day lapel pin.

Multi-media Presentation IFPAS President, Tommy Wee
Strong Attendance IFPAS Past Presidents

The inauguration opened with a multi-media presentation on the milestones achieved by the Association, as it transitioned from being SIAA to LUA to IFPAS over 34 years of development. Following speeches by Samuel and IFPAS President Tommy Wee, the 251 attendees rose from their seats enthusiastically to recite the IFPAS Code of Ethics. 

The event took on a regal tone as attendees witnessed an appreciation ceremony for the past presidents as well as the chief executives of key insurance companies. A specially-minted lapel pin with the name and year(s) of service was presented to each past president, while the CEO's were presented with plaques.

Happy Birthday to IFPAS Beneficiaries' Sharing Session

The inauguration would not be complete without a 10 kilogram birthday cake. A chorus broke out to sing Happy Birthday to IFPAS and attendees shook hands with one and all.

A heart-warming segment was next in which two beneficiaries related their experiences of how their hefty medical bills were paid for by insurance policies they had bought.

Candle Lighting Ceremony - Photo 1 Candle Lighting Ceremony - Photo 2

The celebration closed on a beautiful note as lights in the hall were dimmed and candles were lit from one attendee to the next even as all sang the inspiring song, When You Believe. The significance of the event was accomplished with ingredients befitting an inaugural IFPAS Day.

About IFPAS

IFPAS, a non-profit making organization, started as the Singapore Insurance Agents Association (SIAA) and officially registered with the Registry of Societies on 18 March 1969. On 25 October 1978, the Association changed its name to the Life Underwriters Association of Singapore (LUA Singapore) to represent all life insurance practitioners in Singapore. On 29 January 2003, it changed its name to the current Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS) to reflect its representation of not just members from insurance firms but all members who provide financial services.

Inaugural SAS Life Insurance Conference
8 - 9 November 2012, Amara Sanctuary Resort at Sentosa

Theme: Uncertainties and Opportunities

Speaker - Elliot Varnell Speaker - Hans de Cuyper
CEO Panel Discussion 1 HNW Panel Discussion
MAS Speaker - Lee Wai Yi Speaker - Keith Walter

In place of the annual Appointed Actuaries Symposium, the Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) organised the inaugural Life Insurance Conference to cater to growing interest from non-actuarial insurance professionals.

Attended by CEO's, CFO's, Appointed Actuaries, actuaries and other insurance professionals, the theme attracted an overwhelming 140 registrations with participants hailing from the region.

Conference highlights

  • International and local speakers
    • Elliot Varnell from the UK Institute of Actuaries spoke on Solvency II and its implementation in Europe as well as shared insights on Enterprise Risk Management
    • An eye-opening topic on Takaful Insurance shared by Hans de Cuyper, CEO of Etiqa
  • Two CEO panel discussions, including High Net Worth providers discussed current challenges as well as opportunities in today's macroeconomic environment and market
  • Other presentations included an annual update from the regulator; results from the Dread Disease Survey presented by Gen Re; and the 2012 Protection Gap Survey, commissioned by the LIA and presented by Towers Watson

The first day concluded with drinks, providing the perfect networking opportunity for attendees to make new friends and reconnect with acquaintances.

Dinner - Photo 1 Dinner - Photo 2
Lucky Draw - One of the Winners SAS President & CMO of RGA

A scrumptious Gala Dinner, generously sponsored by RGA, was made even more enjoyable thanks to Raymond Cheung's mind-boggling games. A surprise lucky draw saw five participants walking away with one iPad Mini, one iPad with Retina Display and three iPhone 5's. Ten others received $20 vouchers.
 
The Organising Committee is pleased with the turnout for the event and special thanks are due to the speakers and the generous sponsors. We plan to make the Life Insurance Conference an on-going series.

Oxfam Trailwalker 2012
16 November 2012, Hong Kong

The Friends Provident International Trailblazers have done it!

Mugshots

The FPI Trailblazers team comprises Chris Gill, Jonathan Quach, Lim Kian Pang and Cheryl Lim from the Singapore Branch office.

Here's the story from Chris:

Friday 16 November arrived and with a 12:30pm start time, we seemed to spend the morning trying to eat our body weight in carbs to give us energy for the next 24 hours or more of endurance hiking.

Starting Point

The starting point was Pak Tam Chung in the picturesque Sai Kung Country Park in the east of Hong Kong's New Territories. The forecast was for light rain becoming heavier and possibly torrential by Saturday. Undeterred by this news, our spirits were high, having trained for two to three months, and were just keen to get started.

Stunning View

Each section is scored on a scale of one to three stars depending on difficulty. We have since agreed that this rating system is open to interpretation and indeed could be a form of propaganda to encourage you that some of the sections might actually be 'easy' as they only have one star! The early sections carried low star ratings. However for the Singapore-based MacLehose 'virgins' even these trails proved to be tough going. Cramp and sore knees set sadly between Sections 3 and 4 (a very respectable 35 kilometres of tough ascending and descending), and we lost Kian Pang and Cheryl.

Jonathan and I battled on encouraged by the fact that the rain had failed to materialise. However, the weather gods had the last laugh as we faced heavy downpours and strong winds at around 2:00am on Saturday morning, which meant the going was slow as people were cautious particularly when descending in the dark.

Chris at Needle Hill

We made it through the night and were greeted by our support team at CP6 with a breakfast of noodles, bananas, energy drinks and some much needed dry clothes. We set off to face some more hard climbing in the form of Beacon Hill, Needle Hill and Tai Mo Shan in succession. By this stage I realised our training schedule in Singapore had been woefully inadequate to prepare us for the rugged and steep climbs and descents and I really wanted to give a piece of my mind to the person whose idea it was to enter this event...only to remember that it was my idea!

My left knee in particular was starting to feel the strain from the many steep descents. Having made reasonably good time, we stopped for some medical attention at CP8. I had my knee iced and taped while Jonathan had his feet strapped up for blisters. We set off again and feeling like we were on the home straight we were determined to try and maintain a good pace. However much of the last 20kms is downhill and each step was agony for my knee - it reached the point where I could no longer bend it but thankfully I had two good walking poles without which I certainly would not have finished.

The Finish

The final section felt like it went on forever. Eventually the end was in sight and at 8.22pm on Saturday 17 November we crossed the finish line. We had completed 100kms in just under 32 hours - a little way off our targeted 24 hours but we were just very happy to have completed it, albeit held together by sticky tape (literally) by the end!

Proof/Certificate

Overall, this time (had we finished with all four of the team) would have placed us in 450th place out of 1,178 teams. A good benchmark to aim for with future attempts?!

To put this in context, the fastest team was the Salomon France Team, a professional team of 'ultra trail runners' who posted a time of 11 hours 12 minutes to smash the previous record of 11 hours 59 minutes - having started at 9:00am on Saturday they would have been sipping their cocoa in bed just as we were finishing CP3 with over 60kms still to go!

But of course, the real winner is Charity with millions of dollars raised for Oxfam.

As for the FPI Trailblazers, we are very close to achieving our revised target of HKD55,000 (approximately GBP4,425). Without the extremely generous support of YOU, this would not have been possible, so a HUGE "thank you" from all of us on behalf of Oxfam for all the money you have donated. We are immensely proud to have helped in some small way to assist the many good causes which Oxfam supports.

Many thanks again to everyone who has sponsored us and for all the words of support - these really helped when I was in some dark places during the hike!

Manulife Singapore organises Movember Walkathon on 17 November 2012, and Health Seminar on 21 November 2012

For the second year running, Manulife Singapore pledged support for Movember, the worldwide phenomenon where men across the world grow a moustache and women support financially and emotionally with the aim of raising funds and awareness for men's health issues in the month of November.

Manulife Singapore had 20 Mo Brothers from senior management, employees and financial planners who sportingly grew moustaches. Total funds for this worthy cause reached close to $40,000.

Movember Walkathon - Photo 1
President & CEO Annette King (far right) with participants of Manulife Movember Walkathon
Movember Walkathon - Photo 2
450 participants raised funds and awareness for men's health issues

Besides recruiting Mo Brothers, Manulife Singapore organised the Manulife Movember Walkathon on 17 November to boost awareness and raise more funds.

Some 450 participants comprising employees, financial planners together with their families and friends, as well as business vendors took part in the Movember Walkathon at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Celebrity DJ, Rod Monteiro joined in. Highlights included fun games and a team competition. Registration fees of $10 per person and proceeds were donated to the Singapore Cancer Society.

Movember Health Seminar
250 Manulife clients attended Movember Health Seminar, Diet & Lifestyle to combat Cancer

This year Manulife also supported education efforts on male-related cancers. A Movember Health Seminar, Diet & Lifestyle to combat Cancer, was held on 21 November for our clients. Some 250 clients learnt about developing a proper diet and lifestyle to combat cancer from Prof Eu Kong Weng of Pacific Healthcare.

Ms Annette King, President & CEO, Manulife Singapore said "At Manulife we are proud to be part of this global movement to increase the awareness of male-related cancers and health issues. Through Movember, we also want to help raise funds for the Singapore Cancer Society. I am pleased that Manulife staff, financial planners and clients have pledged their support for this good cause and have taken the initiative to raise awareness and funds."

Presenting Sponsor: Prudential Assurance
20 November to 19 December 2012

Car Flag Off Delivery by Car
Gift Delivered Group Photo with GOH

For the fourth year running, Prudential Singapore is the Presenting Sponsor of The Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift project. Currently in its 25th year, the charity project serves to spread Christmas cheer to the less privileged. This year, the project plans to fulfil 30,285 beneficiaries' wishes, marking the highest number in its history. Along with a contribution of $100,000 towards supporting the project, Prudential Singapore actively participated by adopting 200 wishes of the Adopt-a-Wish programme, volunteering to pack food hampers for the beneficiaries and organising more than 100 volunteers with cars to deliver food hampers to the beneficiaries.

38th ASEAN Insurance Council Meeting
12 - 14 December 2012, Bangkok
 

38th AIC Meeting - Photo
Left-Right: Sara Lansam (TLAA), Pedro P. Benedicto (PIRA), Gregorio Mercado (PLIA), Vincent Kwo (LIAM), Albertus Wiroyo (AAJI), Chua Seck Guan (PIAM), Evelina F. Pietruschka (AIC Sec Gen), Chhay Rattanak (GIAC), Teddy Hailamsah (AIC BoA), Jiraphant Asvatanakul (TGIA), Kornelius Simanjuntak (AAUI), Derek Teo (SGIA), Helen Yeo (GIAB), Trinh Quang Tuyen (AVI)
AIC Meeting - Reception AIC Meeting - Photo 1
AIC Meeting - Photo 2 AIC Meeting - Photo 3

The 38th ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC) Meeting and the 15th ASEAN Insurance Regulator (AIR) Meeting was conducted last 12-14 December 2012. Thailand as the hosting country was remarkably successful in conducting this event. Shangri-La Bangkok has been chosen as the venue for all meetings as well as the supporting events.

This event is greatly supported by Thailand's Ministry of Finance by attending Mr. Kittirat-Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Thailand as the Keynote Speaker and the Guest of Honour on the Opening Ceremony.

This annual meeting was attended by more than 80 delegates from the 8 ASEAN member countries and focused on establishing a ground for a better environment in ASEAN Economic Community 2015. This event started with the annual Council of Bureaux (COB) Meeting and ASEAN Insurance Training and Research Institute (AITRI) Meeting which covered the Motor Insurance Scheme among council member countries and harmonisation of education platform among ASEAN countries.

The following day, meeting of ASEAN Natural Disasters Research Works Sharing (ANDREWS) and meeting of ASEAN Insurance Education Committee (AIEC) were conducted. ANDREWS reported their progress on producing template on national catastrophe's report as well as result of thorough study on national catastrophe in one of ASEAN member countries conducted by Asian Development Bank (ADB) whereas AIEC managed to update various education programs established for ASEAN countries and one of them is the progress of Young ASEAN Managers Award (YAMA) which was won by Mr. Pitchet Jiaramaneetaveesin from American International Assurance (AIA) Ltd.- Thailand.

On the AIC Meeting, results as well as updates of work group projects formed at the 37th AIC Meeting in Singapore focusing on Microinsurance, Contract Certainty and Harmonisation on Solvency Measurement among ASEAN countries were presented by the leading associations from different countries. Complete and thorough report on these projects are also presented to the regulators together with several new issues addressed by council members which most of them lead to seeking guidance from the regulators on the AEC 2015's blue print and how council members could be an asset in the implementation process. Answering issues addressed by council members, the regulators confirmed that the fundamental for AEC 2015 is ready for distribution and further discussion as well as serious actions will be implemented accordingly.

In relation to the AEC 2015, AIC Secretariat is also planning to strengthen and reposition the organisation to be more professional and independent in order to cope with tasks and challenges facing ahead. Support as well as approval has been given by the council members towards all initiatives to deliver this idea. New changes and development will be in placed immediately.

In rotation of AIC Chairmanship which is conducted every year, Mr. Kornelius Simanjuntak from Indonesia took over Chhay Rattanak from Cambodia for the next term.

Class of ASEAN Young Insurance Managers (AYIM) and School of Advanced Insurance Leadership (SAIL) was also conducted in Thailand on the same time. AYIM which was initiated on the 32nd AIC Meeting in Bali has now more than 78 students attending from various ASEAN countries and Japan, whereas SAIL managed to hold 38 participants of Senior/ Top Level Executives from insurance companies of ASEAN member countries.

Industry News

Intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

MOF Logo MAS Logo

Singapore, 9 November 2012

The Singapore Government is in talks with the US Department of the Treasury to conclude an IGA on the FATCA. This is in line with Singapore's role as a responsible tax jurisdiction and our commitment to safeguard our financial system from being used to harbour illegal proceeds. A private sector advisory panel will be formed to provide industry inputs to the talks.

FATCA aims to combat tax evasion by targeting non-compliance by US taxpayers using overseas accounts.

New member of the LIA Singapore: Standard Life (Singapore Branch)
21 November 2012

Standard Life International Limited, Singapore Branch was admitted as an Ordinary Member of the LIA on 21 November 2012.

Established in 1825, Standard Life is a provider of long-term savings and investment to around 6 million customers worldwide. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Standard Life has around 9,000 employees internationally.

The Standard Life group includes:

  • Savings and investment businesses in the UK, Canada and Europe
  • Corporate pensions and benefits businesses in the UK and Canada
  • Standard Life Investments - manages assets of over £157.6bn globally
  • Chinese and Indian Joint-Venture businesses

At the end of June 2012 the Group had total assets under administration of over £206bn.

Standard Life plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has approximately 1.5 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries around the world. It is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, ranking it among the top 10% of sustainable companies in the world.

Standard Life's current businesses within Asia include retail savings and investment business, which operates out of Hong Kong, as well as life and asset management joint-venture businesses in China and India.

Authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Standard Life (Singapore Branch) is the Singapore-registered branch of Standard Life International Limited.

Standard Life Official Launch - Photo 1 Standard Life Official Launch - Range of Products
Neal Armstrong Standard Life Official Launch - Photo 2

Expanding its retail savings and investment business and increasing its access to high growth, high value markets within Asia, Standard Life, a leading long-term savings and investment company, celebrated its official launch in Singapore in October 2012.

Standard Life will offer a range of savings and investment plans tailored specifically for high-net worth Singaporean residents and expatriates looking for flexible medium-to long-term savings and investment products. Chief Executive and Principal Officer, Neal Armstrong, will be responsible for the overall sales and business development of Standard Life in Singapore.

Commenting on the launch, Neal said "Singapore is a key cornerstone for Standard Life's long-term vision in the region. We see clear synergies between Standard Life's strong global heritage and Singapore's vibrant life insurance industry."

He continued, "We plan on bringing a strong and differentiated proposition to the market with our savings and investment plans. Through this offering, we hope to meet the individual and specific needs of high-net worth individuals living in Singapore. Our plans are easily accessed globally, allowing our clients to travel with them should they have to relocate to another country of residence. Typically, these plans will be used for retirement planning, education fees or building a nest egg and will offer a more holistic information-based service to customers considering the wider estate, tax and succession planning impacts of a move elsewhere."

New member of the LIA Singapore: Life Insurance Corporation (Singapore) Private Limited
14 December 2012

Insurance Corporation (Singapore) Private Limited was admitted as an Ordinary Member of the LIA on 14 December 2012.

LIC of India

The Life Insurance Corporation of India was established by an Act of the Indian Parliament on 1 September 1956 and is fully owned by the Government of India. Today it is the largest life insurer in India, enjoying a market share of 71% in new business premium and 81% in number of new policies. There are 23 other players in the Indian life insurance market.

LIC India has overseas branches in London, Fiji and Mauritius. It has joint-venture companies in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

Life Insurance Corporation (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Originally a representative office, LIC Singapore was incorporated on 30 April 2012. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LIC India. It has received in-principle approval from the MAS and is likely to commence operations from January 2013.

The company is developing three products - term insurance, single premium endowment and limited pay whole of life.

The company plans to market its life insurance products through banks, financial advisers and tied agents.

The Singapore team is headed by Chief Executive Officer, K Kadiresan.

LIA Members' Undertaking No. 20 of 2012 issued

LIA Minimum Standard for Life Insurance Advisory Process (20 Nov 12) takes immediate effect.

http://www.lia.org.sg/news/LifeInsurance_AdvisoryProcess
 
LIA Members' Undertaking No. 49 of 2012 issued

LIA Standards for Distributors on Deterrence of Undesirable Switching takes effect on 1 January 2013.

http://www.lia.org.sg/ResourceLibrary/LifeIndyGuidelines/DeterUndesirableSwitching
 
Your Guide to the Nomination of Insurance Nominees (YGTNIN)
Revised edition, 1 January 2013

LIA issued a consumer guide for members in 2009 in conjunction with the introduction of Insurance Act provisions on beneficiary nomination.

The Guide is a reference document for prospective buyers who are interested to know more about the nomination law. YGTNIN is not a compulsory document to be given at point of sale.

Available in English and Chinese, the Guide is revised to make reference to a FATWA (religious ruling) issued on 21 March 2012. It states that Muslim policyowners may make revocable nominations over their life, or accident and health insurance policies with death benefits, opining that revocable insurance nomination is a contemporary form of hibah (gift), and can be accepted.

For details of the FATWA, please go to www.muis.gov.sg

YGTNIN is posted on the LIA website: http://www.lia.org.sg/ConsumerZone/Guides/InsuranceNomination

Q&A with Thomas Henze

Photo of Thomas HenzeHelming the local operations of one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance, long-term savings and protection products is Thomas Henze, the Chief Executive Office (CEO) and Principal Officer of Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

The fully qualified lawyer with an Executive Mastersdegree in Business Law cited that he started his career as a legal counsel before joining the life insurance industry. Chalking more than eight years of experience in the high net worth individual life insurance sector, Thomas was offered the position as the Head of Corporate Development where he was responsible for developing strategic measures and supporting the management team. It was in 2010 when he relocated to Singapore with his wife, who has been very supportive of his decision. In the same year, he became Deputy CEO Singapore.

Thomas has been working at Swiss Life since five years ago and was recently appointed CEO of the Singapore operations. In his new role, he hopes to take Swiss Life Singapore to greater heights and achieve its goal to become the leading provider of insurance solutions for the high net worth segment.

On his career highlights, Thomas said that he is grateful to Swiss Life for giving him ample opportunities to learn and grow. "Being exposed to different experiences in various countries helped me understand the company's day-to-day business operations."

The hardworking and committed individual enjoys the work he does every day and considers himself lucky for having such a fantastic team to work with.

The father of one also shared some of his personal thoughts on life.

Q: What's your personal philosophy for life or career?
Life is based on a personal triangle that consists of relations, business, and me. You can be successful in all areas if you can manage this triangle and keep it in balance!

Q: What do you hope to achieve in life? 
As Kurt Vonnegut once said, "Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are: It might have been."

Q: How do you wind down after a hard day's work?
Nothing beats spending quality time with my family.

Q: Complete the sentence: I love life because....
What more is there? (A famous quote by Anthony Hopkins)

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