MITBA’S Perspective on What’s on the Horizon for 2013
Alex Low Choon Hoong, Chairman of The Malaysian Insurance and Takaful Brokers Association (MITBA) shares his thoughts on the challenges that MITBA faces with human capital resources and meeting the strategic direction of the Financial Sector Blueprint.
Q: The domestic financial institutions in Malaysia are undergoing restructuring, consolidation and rationalisation due to the effect of globalisation. Having greater scale, there is increased investment in technology and talent. How much of a problem is the shortage of qualified workers for the broking sector? What are MITBA’s initiatives in addressing this crucial need? The insurance industry in general has found it challenging to attract graduates and talent into the industry. For brokers, this has been more acute given the greater specialisation of skills and requirements. The industry has embarked on a number of initiatives including establishing the Capacity Building Fund in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Finance, The Malaysian Insurance Institute and Bank Negara Malaysia, to try to attract and retain talent within the industry. Through this fund, a number of projects have been initiated, some of which have been completed. One of these is establishing a set of competencies within a Competency Framework for the industry. As the Competency Framework is primarily for insurance companies, MITBA is taking the Competency Framework a step further by engaging a consultant to map out the required proficiency levels by jobs and/or positions for brokers. This will also entail undertaking a detailed gap analysis to identify the competencies that are suitable for brokers. In addition, we are also developing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme in consultation with Bank Negara Malaysia, to enhance the professionalism and skill levels of brokers. We expect to finalise and implement the CPD programme within the next 12 months.
Q: The launch of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020 encompasses a strategic direction towards empowering consumer rights and excellent services by the insurance and takaful intermediaries. As a professional intermediary of the insurance and takaful industry, how important is this requirement to the broking industry? What are the areas brokers need to improve to meet this requirement?