Has Changed For­ever

The Malaysian In­surance Land­scape

Insurance - - EDITORIAL -

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.

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