A Landmark Year?
As this is the first issue of the year, it is appropriate that we look ahead to what is in store for 2013. Our focus section looks at both the quantitative measures, which are upbeat for the coming year, and also the influence of legislative measures that were initiated during 2012 or in some cases even earlier such as the Competition Act and the Personal Data Protection Act. Looking beyond the hard numbers, however, 2013 could well prove to be a landmark year. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the M&A activity of 2012 changed the corporate face of insurance in Malaysia forever, but it is only in 2013 that we will see the impact of the changed strategies of the newly structured insurers that have emerged as a result of the M&A activity. Secondly, a number of the knowledge and talent development initiatives of earlier years will start bearing fruits at a fundamental level. These include the competency framework and the work of the knowledge management taskforce. In this issue, I am particularly pleased to share with you the interview with Bank Negara Malaysia Governor YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The Governor shares her perspectives on the progress of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2011 – 2020 since its implementation. Much of the Blueprint has already been implemented and is showing positive results. For instance, as the Governor points out in the area of foreign participation, “One of the main benefits has been the further rationalisation and consolidation of the industry, in particular, in the general insurance industry. This has resulted in stronger players that are less vulnerable in a more challenging environment. The greater foreign participation has allowed insurers to have stronger capital support, reap synergies and economies of scale…” Positive results are not only seen in the general insurance sector but in the other insurance sectors as well, namely life insurance and broking among others. In this issue, we will hear the responses from the associations particularly, General Insurance Association of Malaysia, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia and The Malaysian Insurance and Takaful Brokers Association on the developments, challenges and opportunities facing the Malaysian insurance industry. Looking ahead to emerging risks in 2013 and beyond, cyber risks are here to stay. Jillian Raw’s article, Cyber Risks – An Insurance Perspective, provides a particularly useful analysis of the complexities of providing cover for cyber related risks. No doubt we will see the emergence of products tailored to the demand for coverage of cyber risks, however, at present insurers will need to further enhance their types of cover to respond to the specific needs of insured because cyber risks often involve non-physical events making coverage problematic. In our agency article, Sarah J. Kaelberer contends that the questions one is asked in life have a significant bearing on the decisions we make. In the insurance context, therefore she argues that it is our responsibility to ask the right questions in our efforts to show clients the possibilities. She ends very challengingly, “And it is our obligation as leaders — in our industry, in our communities, in our families, with our clients and our prospects — to put their interests first, ask the right question and work together with them to find the solutions.” Let me take that advice from Sarah and end by asking a question as well, designed to improve the experience of our readers,“What can we provide in INSURANCE in 2013 that will make the magazine more valuable to you as a reader?” After months of deliberation and seeking opinions from some of the readers, we are very excited to introduce you to our new look and content starting from the March-April 2013 issue. New insurance related sections will be introduced and more mind stimulating articles will be featured to better fulfill your reading pleasure. Now, let us look forward to see the things in 2013 that await us. Have a great year ahead!