TMLS encourages couples to plan together, retire better
Inspired by the unique bonds that couples share, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMLS) launched the #iKnowYouBest campaign in September 2016 to drive conversations on financial planning and retirement aspirations between couples. A candid video featuring four local couples was released, spreading the message that those closest to us can provide insight as we plan for our future.
In conjunction with the campaign, a social media contest saw the community sharing anecdotes about their loved ones through creative responses, based on selected keywords. The contest received over 250 submissions, growing TMLS' fan base by about 10 per cent over three weeks.
30 September 2016
IBF Distinction Evening 2016
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
The IBF Distinction Evening is a key industry platform to recognise the contributions of IBF partners and stakeholders and honour financial institutions and industry captains who have demonstrated exemplary professional excellence.
IBF was honoured to have the presence of Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance as the Guest-of-Honour. Minister Wong delivered the keynote address and presented the IBF Awards. Chairman of IBF Council and Managing Director, MAS, Ravi Menon, delivered his welcome address and presented the IBF Awards. This year, we welcome 6 IBF Distinguished Fellows and 24 IBF Fellows to the IBF Community. Other awards given out at the dinner was the IBF Inspire Award and the IBF Aspire Award.
Train today, prepare for tomorrow - Transforming financial sector competencies
Keynote Address by Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS and Chairman of IBF
IBF Council members
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 I'm very happy to join all of you this evening for your IBF Distinction Evening.
2 I was last here for this event in 2013. I explained then our strategy to build a strong Singaporean core in the financial sector, and how we are providing more support to raise standards of competency in the financial industry. I am glad that we have made good progress in the last three years. I want to acknowledge the effort of the IBF Council members, all the IBF members, as well as the support of all our industry partners.
3 We have done well but there is still a lot of work ahead of us and this work has become much more urgent.
Profound changes in the financial sector
4 We are in the midst of profound changes in the global financial sector. We are in the midst of a low interest rate and low growth environment, and this has been happening for some time. It has been happening since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 where there was significant monetary easing and this has resulted in low interest rates, even negative interest rates in some countries.
5 Despite the surge in liquidity, demand has remained stubbornly sluggish. There are many reasons for this - it could be that we are partly caught in a liquidity trap which has rendered monetary policies less effective; it could be due to increased uncertainty in the global environment, including geo-political uncertainty which has resulted in the holding back of private investments; it could be partly a structural trend, a shift towards a more ageing society where people are getting worried about retirement and therefore shifting more towards saving rather than spending.
6 Whatever the reason, global growth has been slow for the past six year since the Global Financial Crisis. This trend may well continue for some time. The risk is that we are all globally caught in a low growth trap.
7 Amidst this difficult economic environment, global sector regulatory reforms are also adding significantly to regulatory and compliance costs. Again, it is the confluence of several factors - partly the result of an effort to end the problem of two big failed banks but it is also a stepping up of global efforts to curb the abuse of illegal money flows globally, particularly against money laundering and to counter terrorism financing. These are risks that we are very mindful of in Singapore as a financial centre. We take this seriously, and that's why we have also stepped up our regulatory and supervisory regimes against such illegal money flows. These two factors are adding and forcing consolidation pressures across many banks. Overall, we are seeing shrinkage in the global financial sector and redundancies have been outpacing new hires globally.
8 Against this challenging backdrop, there is another driving force which is impacting the financial sector, and that is technological change. Technology is not new in the financial sector. It has been happening for a long time. But what's new is a surge in technological advances, in data analytics, in the cheaper use of data, of data storage, and a more widespread availability of data.
9 Traditional financial institutions now also have to deal with yet another challenge - the challenge of technological advances, and the challenge of a rapidly proliferating class of technological start-ups. In many ways, it is an "Uber" moment for finance, except that you don't have just one "Uber", you have hundreds of "Ubers". Because in every area of financial service - from payments to lending and even investment banking, new Fintech start-ups are emerging to challenge the status quo. This is prompting reassessment of business models and priorities in financial institutions everywhere. Some are adapting by partnering Fintech start-ups. Others are investing in their own in-house skunkworks operations. Different strategies are being adopted, but everyone is adapting to this new environment.
10 So what's very clear is that the next decade will be a highly disruptive one for financial institutions worldwide. All this will have a significant bearing on the scale and nature of financial sector jobs in all financial centres including in Singapore. Many of you have read the recent Citi Report which said that FinTech alone will impact one-third of employees at traditional banks over the next 10 years. These are trends we have to understand, we have to respond to, and we have to also take advantage of.
11 It will be tough over the next few years, but there are also new opportunities for Singapore because we are well-placed in many aspects to take advantage of the trends ahead of us. Asia finance will continue to grow. There are opportunities in Asia and we are well-placed to tap on this growth. We are moving forward in many ways from the position of strength, not weakness. And this is a position of strength that we have built up over many decades.
12 We can build on these strengths to widen our lead as a financial sector for the region and for Asia. We can create more growth, more opportunities, and more jobs for our people. That's our overall strategy, bearing in mind that there are difficult circumstances ahead, but recognising that there are still opportunities in times of difficulty. So we plan ahead, not just one to two years, but well ahead into the future, and we start work now to build the financial centre of tomorrow. That's how we built today's financial sector, and that's the same way which we must build the financial sector of tomorrow.
13 To achieve this strategy and to realise our goal, we will need deeper skills and expertise. In fact, that will be our key constraint or our key enabler. That will determine how we move forward - whether or not we have the ability to strengthen our base or capability and to have these requisite skills or expertise to capitalise on the new trends of the future.
14 And that's why we have embarked on SkillsFuture. It's not just a slogan in Singapore but an important national economic strategy. It's key in terms of how we want to go about adapting to our future economy. And this is especially important in the financial sector, given the changes I have just highlighted.
15 We must all have a greater sense of urgency towards reskilling, upskilling, and acquiring new skills. The mindset must be - "Train today, prepare for tomorrow". This is a useful mindset that epitomises our overall approach for the financial sector.
16 This is a major priority for MAS, and MAS has been working very closely with IBF and the Financial Sector Tripartite Committee (FSTC), to ensure that there is better matching of our local workforce with different growth segments, and to nurture a more competent, a more versatile workforce that is nimble, that is ready to transit to new and evolving job roles within the financial sector.
17 Going forward, this work will be a major priority for us. We aim to strengthen our efforts on three fronts.
Strengthening linkages with IHLs
18 First, we will strengthen our linkages with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), our tertiary institutions, to boost our manpower pipeline in the financial sector. This is something that MAS is already doing today. MAS has very close collaborations with our polytechnics and universities to strengthen the relevance of the curriculum to meet industry needs. I know industry captains and employers always have a view on the work readiness of fresh hires. I am sure all of you would wish that they would be more work-ready. We are mindful; MAS always takes in these feedback and work very closely with our tertiary institutions across all areas of finance. We are always looking to fine-tune and improve the curriculum.
19 There is one area which we need to step up our efforts to prepare our students and future workforce, and that's for the new wave of FinTech. It's a cross functional area because this is not about having more coding skills or programming skills. You also need to understand the business. It is a combination of bringing together business skills, finance skills, as well as the ability to do software development, integration and programming. MAS will help to strengthen this curriculum, for a start, by working closely with our five polytechnics.
20 In particular, MAS and various financial industry players will advise the polytechnics on areas of job demand, and work closely with them on curriculum reviews. We will facilitate internships with start-ups, incubators, accelerators, and financial institutions. Polytechnic students can also look forward to real-world project work to hone their software development skills.
21 MAS and the polytechnics intend to formalise this collaboration later in October this year in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). We expect over 2,500 students to benefit from this enhanced curriculum development, internship opportunities, and project work in FinTech development. Hopefully, many of them will be joining your institutions after their internship. We are starting with the polytechnics, but we will extend further to the universities in a later phase.
Creating stronger mechanisms for job transition
22 Secondly, we are also looking to strengthen our mechanisms to help finance professionals with job transition. We want to help current financial services professionals who are in between jobs.
Financial Industry Career Advisory Centre (FiCAC)
23 To do that, the Tripartite Committee I mentioned earlier has already set up a Financial Industry Career Advisory Centre, or FiCAC, in April this year. The centre provides various services including career coaching, expert talks, and placement support services among others. So far, more than 600 finance professionals have tapped on and benefitted from these services.
24 One of the beneficiaries is a Singaporean professional Ms Mina Koskinen. Mina was a senior analyst in compliance and risk management at a bank before her contract ended. She approached the centre for assistance after searching for a new job for six months. The coaches at the centre guided her on ways to enhance her resume, and shared other job opportunities that could leverage on her transferrable skills. With referral from the centre, Mina successfully secured a new position in an anti-money laundering (AML) function with another bank.
25 The Tripartite Committee, with the help of WDA, is also working on Professional Conversion Programmes, or PCPs. This is to provide on-the-job training support for financial professionals to help them to take on new or expanded job roles.
26 For a start, the PCP will support individuals who plan to move into key areas of demand in the financial sector. For example, one area of demand now is in compliance. There is a huge demand for experienced compliance professionals in the industry, in line with tighter regulatory standards and reforms. But in Singapore, there is a limited pool of experienced compliance professionals, although we do have a potential pool of professionals with relevant financial, legal or accounting skills. They may not all be specifically trained in compliance but there are accountants, there are lawyers, there are people who could potentially move into this area. The PCP in Compliance will allow these individuals to be placed and trained within the financial institution.
27 The PCP will start with compliance, but we will extend to other growth areas in future, including new revenue-generating functions. I am pleased to note that some banks are already on board as a first wave, including DBS, Standard Chartered, and Credit Suisse. I encourage more banks and financial institutions to come on board to make use of this conversion programme.
Supporting individuals in their learning and professional development
28 Finally, we will do more to enable individuals to take charge of their own continual learning and professional development. We will empower and support individuals in their own undertaking for lifelong learning.
IBF future-enabled capabilities
29 In particular, digitalisation will take on a more important and integral role in banking and financial processes. IT skills will become increasingly critical in finance.
30 IBF, in partnership with the industry, will be offering new learning modules on a set of six core capabilities which will underpin a more digitalised financial sector. Among them are digital communications, as well as cyber-risk and governance. We will encourage finance professionals to take up these modules and to embrace technology and digital transformation in their own work functions.
31 IBF will also be enhancing the delivery of its learning modules through online and mobile applications, as it also has to adapt to the trends of e-learning. IBF will make these learning modules more readily accessible, so that it will be more convenient for finance professionals to access the modules.
32 The IBF Portal itself will be enhanced to facilitate more customised learning. This will enable users to easily track their own training and assessment records, as well as monitor the fulfilment of any Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours. You can make use of suggested certification pathways and competency modules to map out your own training programmes and plans.
33 There will also be a new mobile app developed by next year which will support more bite-sized and modular learning, anytime and anywhere.
34 Under the National SkillsFuture framework, MAS will also provide more financial support for individuals who are undertaking continuous and lifelong learning. We already have various awards, including Study Awards, SkillsFuture Credit, and training grant schemes. These awards cover different levels in the work place, not just for new and young employees but also mid-career employees. In fact, MAS recently enhanced the training grant schemes to provide a higher funding support to employees above 40 years old.
35 I am pleased to note that to date, more than 70 Singaporeans have received Study Awards for the financial sector. One of them is Mr Chu Soon Kit. He has a passion in environmental and natural resources conservation. He is also an aspiring financial risk manager. We are helping him to realise his aspirations in both areas. Upon the completion of a Masters programme in insurance and risk management, he can look forward to structuring corporate finance for renewable energy projects through innovative insurance solutions.
36 Another beneficiary is Ms Joline Shi. She is now an administrative assistant at Proa Partners, a local asset management company. She is taking a Professional Diploma in Accounting and Financial Service. Upon completion of the course, she can look forward to a larger role, helping her company with in-sourcing its accounting function.
37 These are all the schemes we are doing to enable and empower individuals, from more online learning modules to financial support for individuals. I encourage everyone in the financial sector to take full advantage of these programmes, training grants, and study awards.
38 We all know that the financial sector is moving very quickly, is undergoing profound changes, and is at the cross road. When we meet ten years from now, the nature of finance in Singapore, and the work many of you do, will be quite different. That may be unsettling, but that is the reality. If the work is still the same, we should not take comfort and should be worried as well, because it would mean that changes are happening elsewhere and we are at risk of becoming irrelevant. We have to accept and recognise that change is happening. We have to embrace the change and we have to take full advantage of it. These are challenging times for the global economy, for the global financial sector, and we must expect stronger headwinds. But we have all on hands on board, and together we can steer the ship through stormy waters.
39 This is not the work of MAS or IBF alone. It's the work of all of us in the financial sector. Even as the Government steps in to provide more support, employers and individuals also have a role to play.
40 Tonight, I'm very glad that we have with us many financial sector veterans who have been generously sharing their knowledge and experience to groom new generations of financial professionals and leaders. In particular, I want to congratulate our six IBF Distinguished Fellows and 24 IBF Fellows who will be appointed as leaders and captains of the industry. All of them now join the ranks of industry mentors who will help drive the transformation of our financial sector.
41 I would like to finally commend the IBF Community - our partners and stakeholders, and the financial institutions and industry captains, for your commitment over the decades in delivering the IBF Standards. Let us work together to step up our training efforts today to build our capabilities for tomorrow, and develop an even stronger financial sector for the future.
42 Thank you and have a pleasant evening.
Dr Leow Yung Khee
Medical Director and Head, Group Insurance, Great Eastern Life
Conferred the 2016 IBF Fellow Award for Life Insurance
LIA offers its congratulations to Dr Y K Leow on joining the Honour Roll of IBF Fellows.
The "IBF Fellow" title recognises industry veterans who have demonstrated mastery of a profession and exemplify thought leadership and commitment to industry development. Through the IBF Fellowship programme, IBF aims to build a community of senior financial sector practitioners who are committed to sharing their deep expertise and practice leadership to contribute to the development of Singapore's financial sector.
All IBF Fellows act as Ambassadors for the IBF Standards. Developed by the industry, for the industry, the IBF Standards provide a practice-oriented approach to talent development for the financial industry. As industry mentors, IBF Fellows play a key role in nurturing the next generation of talent of the financial industry in Singapore.
Reflections of Dr Leow
|As Dr Leow was not able to attend the event, her son Dr Wong received the award on her behalf.
"I am most honoured and humbled on the conferment of IBF Fellow award for Life Insurance sector. This gives me much encouragement and recognition on the work that we have done and continue to do for the betterment of the industry in term of the need for technical skill upgrade of insurance practitioners, as well as ensuring the policyholders' interest are taken care of."
"In this aspect, I urge the industry and regulators to build the underwriter and claims officers' skill. In addition to investment and actuarial areas, underwriting and claims are key functions in a life insurance company, and a critical risk management tool. To attract high calibre young individuals to join the industry, we need to offer formalised and respected recognition (degree or higher diploma) in these two areas."
"Health insurance and health care provision have always been my passion and interest, probably arising from my medical training. I hope LIA can continue the good work done by the Health Insurance Task Force, working towards practical solutions in cost management, delivery of both medical service (with the medical providers' support) and sustainable financing of health care and health insurance. Education of policyholders in the use of health care is an aspect we could look into as well."
11 to 15 October 2016
28th East Asian Insurance Conference
The 28th East Asian Insurance Conference (EAIC) was held from 11 to 15 October 2016 at Macau. The biannual conference aims to provide opportunities for delegates to meet and exchange ideas on how the industry can collectively progress.
The theme was "The Future of Insurance - Customer Centricity". Speakers and panelists included representatives from HSBC Insurance, Cathay Financial Holding, Astra Insurance, dacadoo, Asia Insurance Review, and many more. A wide range of topics were covered, ranging from meeting customers' needs in aging populations, to digital innovation, customer analytics, and even cyber crime.
This year, a "Young Insurance Practitioners" programme was introduced to provide exposure and encourage the development of young talent in the insurance sector. Two representatives - one Life and one non-Life - from each member country were sponsored to attend the EAIC. From Singapore, the Life representative was Ms Yvonne Yeo from Aviva.
"It was an enriching experience as I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from fellow insurance practitioners from all over Asia. The topic was also very relevant - consumers are getting savvier and more demanding, and the industry is ripe for disruption. Customer centricity is a must in the way we design our products and services," she shared.
The conference was held in Macau this year. More than 800 delegates attended, of which, about 180 were from Singapore.
Topics covered included top challenges faced by life insurers, digital innovation, cyber crime, etc.
There were also breakout sessions to discuss certain topics in more detail - for Life, the topics included the aging population in Asia and how insurers can meet customers' needs, as well as using health management to sell insurance.
All the Young Insurance Practitioners from member countries.
Interactive campaign by AXA throws spotlight on perils of being a 'phone zombie'
An interactive campaign to raise awareness of the potential dangers of negligent mobile phone use was launched by AXA as part of its global Born To Protect campaign.
Sited right at the heart of Orchard Road, the campaign featured an out-of-home installation that is the first in Singapore to be powered by Tri-Clops technology and artificial intelligence, allowing the public to interact with real-time animations that mirrored the pedestrians' movements, before dramatizing light-hearted scenarios in various dangerous situations to deliver the campaign message.
Exemplifying AXA's innovative approach to reaching out to customers, the installation transformed an otherwise pedestrian walkway into a fun filled experience for shoppers in the month of November.
3 November 2016
Marketing Excellence Awards 2016
AXA wins big
Capping off a successful year of marketing campaigns, AXA won a total of five awards at the prestigious Marketing Excellence Awards 2016, Singapore's main event that recognizes excellence across the marketing communications services industry.
AXA's Family Advantage, SmartFamily and Born to Protect campaigns were lauded for the creative ways through which they reached out to customers in Singapore.
Unsung Heroes: Daddy Rescue - Gold for Excellence in Marketing to a Male Audience
AXA True Protection - Silver for Excellence in Out-Of-Home Advertising, Silver for Excellence in Integrated Marketing (Consumer)
AXA Born to Protect - Bronze for Excellence in Marketing Communications/ Public Relations
Unsung Heroes: Daddy Rescue - Bronze for Excellence in Launch Marketing
Manulife Singapore bags gold
In a year of many firsts for Manulife Singapore, they won Gold in the recent Marketing Excellence Awards 2016 in the "Excellence in Brand Strategy" category. Their submission was based on their Ready For Life brand campaign which was launched earlier in 2016.
The Marketing Excellence Awards is one of Singapore's largest award shows that is dedicated to showcasing the work of top marketers. There are a total of 33 categories and the winning brands and campaigns set benchmarks and achieve recognition as the best performers in Singapore.
With the Ready For Life campaign, Manulife Singapore sought to position itself in a space that not only set it apart but also tied in with the essence of who it was and what it stood for as a brand. A combination of market analysis and research gave Manulife Singapore the insights needed to make the strategy a comprehensive one, engaging both audiences and stakeholders alike with its focus on retirement planning. The campaign was executed in partnership with creative agency DDB Worldwide Singapore who joined them on stage to receive the award together.
23 November 2016
2nd Asean Insurance Summit
For the speeches and presentations, please download from www.aseaninsurancesummit.com