Money Moves

Growing capabilities ensure successful expansion

by Mayse Lam

Denny Chan (left)
director of life business
Kevin Lee, senior head of life operations and chief actuary
Zurich Insurance Group (Hong Kong)
Photo: Johnson Poon

Today's insurance companies offer more than the traditional product line. As the industry becomes more competitive and customer needs change, companies have transformed into comprehensive service providers who are capable of offering a wide range of financial products. As business expansion continues into the vast mainland market, professionals in the industry can enjoy a more international career perspective.

For this reason, Zurich Insurance Group (Hong Kong) held a media event in October, aiming at updating the public on the present trends in the industry, as well as discussing the range of expansion strategies planned in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

Denny Chan, the company's director of life business conceded that building businesses and strengthening the company's market position in Greater China are Zurich's priorities. "Zurich was the first foreign insurer granted a licence to establish a general insurance branch in Beijing last year. To further advance our distribution strategy in the market, we have established the Zurich Insurance Brokers (Beijing) Limited, offering Zurich and our business partners a multi-channel distribution platform," Mr Chan explained.

Kevin Lee, senior head of life operations and chief actuary of Zurich Insurance Group (Hong Kong), is optimistic about the prospects of the insurance industry. "During the past years the industry in Hong Kong has progressed significantly. As one of the largest insurance companies in the world with a heritage of more than 135 years, Zurich is continuously experiencing tremendous growth in this important market," Mr Lee said.

He also noted that in the previous years, sales achievements of the company's agents were among the top in the industry. In addition, Zurich has in recent years deployed increasing resources to community services. "We have been presented with the 'Caring Company' accolade since 2002. As part of our corporate responsibility, we have launched two new community centres in Yuen Long and Sheung Shui, which provide us with the opportunities to better understand people's needs in risk and wealth management through interactive seminars and activities."

Talent management is always key to Zurich's success. To cope with the rapid development in Greater China, Zurich has set in motion major recruitment events aiming to attract the best talent in both Hong Kong and mainland China. "To cope with the newly established distribution platform in Beijing and future developments, we have rolled out a number of proactive recruitment campaigns to identify high – calibre talent," remarked Mr Chan.

Experienced agency leaders in Hong Kong are involved in recruiting sales elites and expanding the company's distribution platform on the mainland. Zurich also facilitates the exchange of expertise across the mainland via training provided by the Zurich Academy.

"Intense competition leads to the creation of more innovative products and superior services. Building on our successful track record and dedication in offering quality products, our customers will realise the benefits, which we have always aimed to offer, and stay with us," Mr Chan concluded.

Taken from Career Times 09 November 2007, p. A15
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