AIA still wants to be No 1

AIA Bhd still wants to be the leading life insurance company in the country ahead of Great Eastern Life Bhd and is banking on building its agency force’s capacity to achieve that goal.

“We want to be number one in new business premium this year,” AIA CEO William Lisle said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday during the launch of its flagship agency office.

The company’s a latest report claimed 24.8% market share of total insurance premium, declined to say if it has maintained or increased its market share for 2013.

“We wait for Life Insurance Associat ion of Malaysia (LIAM) to release the ranking statistics,” said Lisle. According to LIAM’s statistics, the industry registered new business growth of 2.2%, with RM4.3 billion new business premium in 2012 compared to RM4.2 billion in 2011.

In the first-half of 2013, the new business premium fell to RM1.85 billion from RM1.97 billion recorded for the same period year before.

A few industry experts have told The Malaysian Reserve that the ranking is important in the life insurance industry, as it is a way to motivate the agency forces.

The expansion is in line with the recruitment campaign aimed at attracting Gen Y individuals to build their career as life planners with AIA.

Lisle said by giving life planners iPads to help them conduct their businesses, has translated handsomely for the company in new business premium addition though he declined to disclose any financial figures or percentage increase.

“We are a subsidiary of a Hong Kong-listed company so we cannot give any financial figures until we release our company accounts later,” said Lisle. Currently, Lisle said the life planners contribute 70% to the company’s new business premium with non-agency channels including bancassurance making up the other 30%.

AIA has an exclusive bancasurance partnership with Public Bank Bhd arising from ING’s bancassurance partnership with the bank.

Lisle said AIA will capitalise on the size of Public Bank to grow its bancassurance business. As result of its merger, AIA is finalising the integration of ING PUBLIC Takaful Ehsan Bhd with AIA AFG Takaful Bhd which is now known as AIA PUBLIC Takaful Bhd which Lisle said would be completed by March 2014.

With regards to the full integration with ING group, Lisle said it will take between 12 to 18 months to complete. AIA has about 17,000 life planners, a total asset of RM23 billion and a paid-up capital of RM242 million.

For the financial year ended Nov 30, 2012, AIA’s parent company, AIA Group Ltd reported a net profit jump of 89% to US$3.02 billion (RM9.31 billion) with a 27% value of new business growth to US$1.2 billion.

AIA Malaysia value of new business for the same period increased by 17% to RM211 million.