Has Changed Forever
The Malaysian Insurance Landscape
The Malaysian insurance industry is definitely going through interesting times. There has been extensive M&A activity which has changed the industry landscape forever through consolidation and the increased participation by foreign players. Some household names will disappear like MAA Assurance which is being merged into Zurich and others will expand. As the M&A trend continues, we thought it is timely to take a snapshot of the landscape in this issue. Our focus section takes a look at the catalysts for the recent corporate activity and more importantly we do a little crystal ball gazing as to how the industry will change because of all the consolidation, in our article, “The Malaysian Insurance Industry – What will it look like after the Consolidation?” MII has also gone through significant changes over the past few years. Today, the non-profit local insurance training and education institution has set its foothold in emerging markets and is now recognised as a training solution provider for the insurance industry locally and internationally. Looking at its positive achievements and significant contributions, MII will continue to expand and play a greater role in shaping the professionalism of the insurance industry. Hashim Harun, Chairman of MII will share with us his views on the Institute’s development in light of the new challenges of liberalisation and consolidation of the Malaysian insurance and takaful industry. In this issue, we hear from the UK that the perception of the insurance industry suffered significantly during the financial crisis. In his article, “It’s All About Perception,” Adam Shaw reflects on the opinions of journalists who regularly report on the insurance industry. Shockingly he writes that the journalists believed, “that the industry they were reporting on was neither ‘open’ nor ‘honest’. In all, 49% of journalists believed it was dishonest and only 28% believed it was honest. In the middle sat 22% of journalists who could not quite make up their mind.” I am pretty sure that the situation in our own region is not as harsh as that, perhaps because we did not suffer as much in Malaysia and Asia as did Europe; however, it is no secret that even on home ground there is a long way to go in terms of improving the public’s perception about insurance and Adam’s article gives some very valuable pointers. We continue our periodic interviews with successful insurance agents and you will find the interview with Ng Yah Ling, an accountant by profession both heartening and motivating as she speaks of her career as an agent. She reaffirms our belief that insurance is indeed a very noble profession when she explains her motivation for entering the industry even though she is an accountant by training. She explains, “My first motivation was to help the poor so that they can be well protected by insurance.” None of us should forget the tremendous social benefits which our industry can deliver. We sincerely apologise for the late delivery of this issue due to unavoidable technical circumstances. However, we hope that you have a good read and here’s to many more positive changes to come.