Asia Pacific Operations Net Premiums
(in millions USD)
Asia Pacific Operations ended 2016 with $492 billion of life reinsurance in force.
Total revenues reached $1.8 billion, an 8% increase over 2015.
In 2016, RGA ranked #1 on NMG Consulting’s All Respondent Business Capability Index in the Asia region, and in the Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand markets.
From left, from RGA Japan: Arthur Ozeki, Chief Executive Officer; Jaqui Wassenaar, Chief Marketing Officer; Akira Sakamoto, Vice President and Chief Underwriter.
RGA’s Asia Pacific segment operates from offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Primary business lines include individual and group life reinsurance, living benefits reinsurance, Retakaful, superannuation, annuity reinsurance, and financial reinsurance.
With aging populations driving demand, RGA solidified its position as the regional leader in critical illness (CI) reinsurance in 2016. New CI products included staged products in India, such as single-illness coverages for cancer, heart disease, and dengue fever; simplified issue offerings in Korea to meet growing market demand; and the first premium waiver product for early and intermediate stage CI in Indonesia.
Product innovation was not limited to CI coverages. In Hong Kong, RGA worked with a key client to add a first-in-market guaranteed increase option rider, called FlexiWays, to the client’s top-selling product. The add-on offers flexible options for comprehensive protection and wealth management, including a unique whole life long-term care benefit. In Taiwan, RGA teamed with a leading insurer to launch the market’s first wellness product, which offers premium discounts for health status improvements.
RGA once again applied expertise and innovation in underwriting to better serve clients throughout the region. RGA Japan reviewed a record high 84,546 cases facultatively (not including e-underwriting cases or RGA’s Advantage Program) and signed a facultative treaty with a key new client, giving RGA revenue-generating relationships with nine of the top 10 life insurers in Japan. Superior underwriting and pricing capabilities also enabled RGA to maintain its dominant market share in Asia’s high-net-worth sector.
RGA’s “Claims as a Business” initiative epitomized cross-market collaboration in 2016. First introduced in Hong Kong, the distribution strategy was later launched in Korea, with additional market introductions underway. Leveraging claims data, insurers can generate leads through cross-sell and upsell opportunities and support distribution channels more effectively. The approach has produced sales conversions many times that of standard direct marketing.
In Australia, RGA built on its leadership role in promoting more disciplined practices amid ongoing disability claims volatility. At the end of 2016, nearly 3,000 attendees had participated in RGA’s Claims Management Paradigm Shift program since its 2014 launch. RGA also partnered with a major client to implement an installment-based TPD (total permanent disability) benefit that focuses on returning claimants to good health and to work through structured rehabilitation and retraining.
Executive Vice President, Head of Asia
HOW IS RGA HELPING INSURERS IN ASIA IMPROVE CAPITAL EFFICIENCY?
Low interest rates and reserve strain led clients to seek more-effective alternatives to manage solvency requirements as part of a longer-term capital strategy. RGA partnered with clients on multiple levels to deliver traditional reinsurance alongside structured reinsurance solutions. A comprehensive suite of products and services, as well as experience in the reinsurance of investment risk, enables RGA to deepen relationships with existing clients and create new partnerships in emerging markets. In mainland China, for example, our financial solutions team provided a unique solution to address reserve strain, while elsewhere we continued to support the capital needs of many of Asia’s largest and most successful carriers.
IN WHAT WAYS IS RGA EQUIPPING CLIENTS TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF ASIA’S AGING POPULATIONS?
As elderly populations in Asia continue to grow, so do associated diseases, such as dementia, diabetes, and cancer. The strain of health care costs are testing governmental systems, pressuring pension plans, and increasing longevity risk for insurers. Yet within the challenges lie opportunities for those willing to innovate. RGA partnered with clients in 2016 to develop customized living benefits products, including health, disability, and critical illness, that enable consumers to meet healthcare needs while conserving assets. In Singapore, for example, RGA teamed with a leading insurer to launch a senior product with annuity payout, one of few products specially designed for this market segment.
HOW DOES RGA MAINTAIN ITS LEADERSHIP POSITION IN ASIA YEAR AFTER YEAR?
RGA’s success is built on unequaled client focus and innovative solutions, both of which require an outstanding workforce. In 2016, RGA was named Employer of the Year by the Asia Insurance Industry Awards. This is a testament to the talented team of people we have working toward one common goal: our clients’ success. A new generation of leaders at all levels is bringing a new energy and fresh ideas to our already strong platform. Behind it all is a consistency of strategy that applies proven approaches to anticipate and embrace change.