Toi See Jong on Prioritising CSR
MR. TOI SEE JONG, CEO OF TOKIO MARINE LIFE INSURANCE MALAYSIA BERHAD SITS DOWN WITH US ON THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING BACK TO ITS COMMUNITY AND THE COMPANY’S
PLANS TO HELP EVEN MORE IN THE COMING MONTHS.
QHow is business performance in 2014? For YTD Sept 2014, business grew by 20% compared to same period last year. For FY 2013, growth is 9% over 2012. As at 2Q 2014, Our company is ranked 7th in the industry. We will continue to focus on investment-linked businesses, which have grown two fold in 2013. A majority of our investment-linked funds not only posted positive returns but delivered returns that exceeded their benchmark. a) The company is moving towards “E” initiative i.e. be more customer-centric focus, thus improving customer’s satisfaction. The focus is on effective use of technology to improve our efficiency and serve customers better – i.e issuance of first e-policy, implementation of ePayment and automation of MiCares application; implementation of the call centre by year end; and to invest in technology to attract Gen-Y to join Tokio Marine Life as a career agent. We will also be providing Android-based tablets for esubmission of policies for their customers. This helps to protect the environment as the process is paperless. b) Subsequently we have launched innovative products for both channels during the year. Our current top selling products are Tokio Marine More (wealth accumulation) and I Protect Plus (protection) and ESV Plus (IL product for bank partner). Investment-linked products are promoted as Tokio Marine funds and it provide good investment returns. The target is to achieve 50% sales contribution from Investment-Linked products in the long run. Current life insurance products in the pipeline include Annuity and early stage CriticaI Illness to meet our discerning customers. Tokio Marine Life continues to enhance medical products to ensure adequate welfare to the policyholders. c) We also have big plans to launch internet insurance in the near future. In line with the spirit of this Framework, Tokio Marine Life will be introducing internet insurance to Malaysians, giving those who do not have an insurance coverage, a life insurance protection.
Bank Negara Malaysia has issued the concept paper on the Life Insurance and Family Takaful Framework, which comprised initiatives to support a higher level of insurance and takaful penetration.
These initiatives will provide life insurers and takaful operators flexibility to innovate and reach higher productivity.
In meeting the objective of this framework, Tokio Marine Life will be introducing internet insurance to Malaysians, giving those who do not have an insurance coverage, a life insurance protection.
The main selling point of internet insurance is affordability. From as low as RM10 per month, one could get an insurance coverage at a click of a button. It is simple, fast and paperless as an e-policy will be issued. Tokio Marine Life is the underwriter for this new channel of distribution. Tokio Marine will be looking to continue to grow our agency force with the aim to achieve net manpower growth to 3,200 by year end. In four years’ time we want to produce a strong and productive agency force of 5,000 financial advisors. This is an opportunity to succeed as a financial advisor with Tokio Marine Life - we have over 65 years experience in Malaysia in providing innovative financial solutions based on best global practices and in-depth knowledge of local market requirements.
QWhat impact has the new Budget on their 2015 strategies? The industry has issued a memorandum to the National Budget Consultation 2015 on the request for split in current tax deductions for life insurance (instead of combination of EPF and life insurance); and also increase the tax relief from RM 3,000 to RM 6,000 for medical and education premiums. If this suggestion is approved, we can expect to see higher business growth next year. Generally life insurance falls under the exempt supply category for GST, ie no GST will be levied on life insurance premiums. However, certain products sold by life insurers that would not have any life assurance elements, falls within the scope of GST taxable supply and will be subject to standard rated GST of 6%. Example of those non-life products would be products that provide cover for medical, accident and critical illness. Consumers purchasing these will be paying 6% GST. Most of our life insurance claims do not fall under the scope of taxable supply and it should not be affected by the GST, save for those medical related. We are still assessing the final position of GST on our hospital bills and assessing the quantum of GST impact.
QWhat are the strategies for 2015? In 2015, we would continue to focus on IL business. We have invested a lot of effort on the infrastructure for the distributors to sell IL products and we wish to see positive growth from this business. The company will focus to improve agency’s productivity and activity with emphasis on quality recruitment. We will also recruit Gen-Y agents who will explore the market of young people. We aim to innovate our product suite, including continuing our expansion of Accidental and Health product range and implement regional branding exercise beginning 2015. To resonate with customers, our new brand campaign is about “Making Progress Personal”. Our advertisements will be skewed towards our customers when they look for a brand that champions their aspirations.
QCan you share what is Tokio Marine Life CSR activity? Contributing to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is in line with the vision of Tokio Marine Group CSR Charter i.e. to achieve sustainable growth, together with the society. We respect the diversity of the cultures and customs in the countries we operate in and we aim to contribute actively to society in response to needs of the communities that we choose to work with. Recently we started our collaboration with Make-A-Wish® Malaysia, a nonprofit organisation to bring hope, strength and joy to the children with life-threatening medical conditions. Some of the past CSR activities completed are visiting old folks home in conjunction with Hari Raya; beach cleaning and nature conservation i.e. throwing mud balls into Pulau Pangkor and Port Dickson; visiting homes of schizophrenia patients at Skizorfrenia Malaysia and raising funds for underprivileged homes.
QHow does Tokio Marine Life drive its CSR activities? Globally, we share a single vision – to be a “Good Company”. As a life insurance company, we always seek what lies beyond profit, that is to say we always give the benefit to our customers, business partners and society.
We are building a corporate culture that is based around the pursuit of Good Company, both through internal reflection and our actions. Via the platform ‘Empower Our People’, we inspire engagement and passion in all our employees to get involved in a multitude of CSR programmes. Having our employees and agents in CSR activities will make us think what “Good Company” means to us. What is the purpose and significance of our work? What type of relationships should we have with our society? It is not just a concept that we want to identify ourselves with but to make it a reality.
QWhat other CSR activities that are being driven? Protection of the Global Environment is also a key CSR program driven at Group level. Tokio Marine Group is active in the conservation of mangrove trees in Malaysia. Mangrove trees are not only essential in helping to prevent global warming by absorbing large volumes of CO2 but also serve as protection against tsunamis. Through a Mangrove Planting Project with the Sabah Forest Department which is funded by the Tokio Marine Group, a total of 152 hectares of mangroves have been rehabilitated since 2011. Volunteers from high school students and Tokio Marine Group staff also participated in the planting activities. We aim to continue this project for 100 years. Other countries where this Mangrove Planting Project is implemented is Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Fiji. To date, a total 7,993 hectares of new forest has been planted and 84,000 tons of CO2 has been absorbed. The Tokio Marine Group actively promotes the development of young people in the local community. In Malaysia, Tokio Marine Life has been supportive of Olympic Council of Malaysia, sponsoring Malaysian Contingents to the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games including the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. We are proud to be associated with OCM as the Official Life Insurance Partner for 3 years until December 2016. This year we are also the major sponsor for the National Cancer Council of Malaysia (MAKNA) in their charity run, raising funds for the NGO.