Asia Pacific

RGA strengthened its position as an industry leader in the region as continued innovation across all lines of business generated new growth opportunities.

Life Reinsurance In Force

$662B

Total Revenues

$2.9B

Net Premiums

$2.7B

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific operations delivered a solid year overall in 2019, with robust business growth in Asia driving an increase in revenues of 18% over 2018. Pre-tax income of $128 million reflected strong earnings in Asia’s traditional and financial solutions business lines mitigating a loss in Australia operations. For the third consecutive year, RGA was named “Life Reinsurer of the Year” at the 2019 Asia Insurance Industry Awards. The Asia Pacific segment serves clients throughout the region from offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Primary reinsurance products include individual and group life, living benefits, health, high net worth, Retakaful, superannuation, annuity, and financial solutions.

Product innovation remained a primary focus in Asia as RGA partnered with clients to meet evolving consumer needs, from family-focused to senior-targeted coverage. Growing demand for holistic critical illness (CI) solutions drove the development of dozens of market-first products, including a comprehensive CI offering in Malaysia in response to that market’s liberalization of its CI definition. Two solutions RGA created with clients earned product-of-the-year awards in 2019: a CI product targeting people with chronic conditions in Singapore and a hospital cash product for cancer survivors in Taiwan.

Lynn Ling, Ava Zhang, Jason Ou, and Colin Cai
From left, from RGA China: Lynn Ling, Manager of Business Development; Ava Zhang, Compliance Officer and Chief Risk Officer; Jason Ou, Chief Executive Officer; Colin Cai, Head of Finance.

RGA leveraged established underwriting expertise, advanced data analytics capabilities, and strategic insurtech partnerships to accelerate the insurance process and launch innovative digital solutions throughout the region. Examples include a digitally distributed cancer product in Vietnam with only one underwriting question, an online offering for seniors in China with health check-up services and a wellness feature, and data-driven risk assessment initiatives in India. The Japan office strengthened its market leadership in underwriting by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies to digitize processes and deliver faster, more accurate underwriting decisions.

Building on sustained momentum over recent years, Asia’s Global Financial Solutions (GFS) business produced strong results in 2019, generating a record-high $23 million in pre-tax income. The GFS team solidified RGA’s position as a regional financial solutions leader, executing transactions in its core markets while exploring emerging opportunities throughout the region. Growth drivers included an ongoing focus on asset-intensive business and development of hybrid reinsurance solutions in collaboration with RGA’s traditional reinsurance team.

The Australian insurance industry faced ongoing adverse claims experience along with persistent regulatory and economic challenges in 2019. Amid this difficult market environment, RGA continued to help clients address shared challenges and develop new solutions, while also working to remediate in-force business and improve earnings results. Ceding companies in Australia ranked RGA #1 on NMG Consulting’s 2019 All Respondent Business Capability Index.

Asia Pacific Operations Net Premiums

(in millions USD)

RGA 2019 Net Premiums Asia

Leadership Q&A

Tony Cheng

Executive Vice President, Head of Asia

Tony Cheng

How do RGA’s hybrid solutions meet clients’ needs?

Our hybrid strategy combines RGA expertise in product development and financial solutions to integrate capital relief structures into traditional reinsurance products. This innovative approach reduces capital strain associated with new products, enabling coverage to be offered at more competitive premium rates. After introducing hybrid solutions in Hong Kong in 2018, we successfully migrated the strategy throughout Asia in 2019 by exploring other markets. Though each market introduction brought unique challenges, our cross-functional teams worked with clients and regulators to make expansion possible. Hybrid solutions generated meaningful premium in 2019, and we look to build on that success in the years ahead.

How does RGA work with insurtechs in Asia?

As players inside and outside the industry continue to pour resources into the insurtech sector, RGA maintains a specific focus in this area: Apply technology to improve risk management, pricing, and product development. In other words, we seek to do what we have always done, but leverage new tools to do it better. Together with our RGAX colleagues, we connect tech startups with insurers and bring expertise, capacity, and perspective as a global reinsurer. The result is a win-win-win: Our startup partners gain access to the industry, our clients receive enhanced products and capabilities, and RGA reaps the business and relationship rewards of bringing it all together.

Describe your team’s approach to innovation.

We take a “blank page” view of the industry, allowing our teams to think beyond standard solutions. Before finding answers, we first try to ask the right questions – our goal for innovation is to seek out the big problems rather than be content with addressing the ones we know we can solve. This enables us to be strategic and to predict where new data sources, technologies, and business practices could lead the industry. While not all predictions will be entirely correct, the process of making them forces us to gather all relevant information and understand challenges at a much deeper level. From there, our team’s technical expertise and knowledge of local markets empowers meaningful innovation.