FWD has achieved a 15% business growth in 2013, with its total premium income exceeding Bt13 billion.
Mr. Mike Plaxton, CEO of FWD Life Insurance Public Company Limited (FWD), announced that the firm’s business grew by 15% in 2013 with the total premium income reaching well over Bt13 billion. Of this amount, FWD’s tied agency channel is responsible for 41%, bancassurance for 52% and alternative channels for 7%. Normalized statutory profits were also up 25% year on year.
New sales for FWD were at an all-time high of 2.7 billion last year. Bancassurance was the biggest contributor accounting for 74% of new sales. Agency new sales were second with 21%, with other sales at 5%.
In 2013, FWD’s total invested assets jumped by 14% to Bt45 billion. The RBC ratio, meanwhile, stands at a very healthy rate of 291%.
“The 2013 operating results reflect the continued warm response from our customers. This is even though we changed our name from ING to FWD last year. The response from staff and our business partners has equally been very positive.” Mr. Plaxton said.
Following the goal to be within the top 5 life insurance firms in Thailand within five years, FWD will focus on a 3-pillar strategy.
The first pillar is strong multi distribution channels. Restructuring will take place to improve the agency channel and to introduce a new compensation scheme to encourage even greater productivity. FWD’s Academy program has been enhancing the agency’s knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits through a Boot Camp program nationwide. The Academy program is world-class training delivered here in Thailand by experienced Thai trainers. Such training will greatly contribute to FWD’s alternative distribution channels, allowing current and new business partners to recieve product and sales skills training, as well as various kinds of support.
For the bancassurance channels, TMB is a key partner. FWD is actively developing processes and systems to align with TMB channels and their customer servicing model. For alternative channels, FWD will be seeking to forge strong relationships with current and new business partners.
The second pillar is a strong brand and operational effectiveness. FWD aspires to be bold and different. FWD is currently implementing a “Going Mobile” plan to respond to customers’ changing lifestyles. Under this plan, customers can get FWD services “easy and fast” via smart phones and tablets.
In addition FWD is taking responsiblity to its customers and society seriously. The firm has hired people with disabilities and has carried out many kinds of activities to extend assistance to the less fortunate. For example, the “FWD helps PWD” project has a van providing free transportation for disabled people in Bangkok.
Third pillar is strong people management. FWD has put people at the heart of its business strategy. People here cover customers, distributors, and staff. In line with this strategy, FWD is investing in new technology to enhance the customer experience. For agency staff, FWD is ensuring agency staff receive the training and technology needed to be a professional agency team. As an employer of choice, FWD has never stopped investing in development programs for all staff.
Mr. Aman Kapoor, FWD Chief Marketing Officer, expects Thailand’s life-insurance market to grow further this year, and grow at an even faster pace after the ASEAN Economic Community materializes in 2015. His projection is based on the fact that Thailand’s insurance penetration is still relatively low, at below 3% of GDP, compared to Malaysia and Singapore which are around 5%.
This year FWD plans to launch several products in response to customers’ evolving needs. The FWD Unit Linked Product, provides customers with both life protection and market returns from fund investment choices. The product is designed to be flexible to the customer’s needs and situation. Customers will be able to buy this product via TMB.
Another exciting product in the pipeline is the all-in-one Health Benefits Plan. It responds to Thailand’s demographic trends with statistics showing that by 2025 more than 20% of the Thai population will be elderly, while medical costs are rising.
FWD will also launch the Education product, which will serve the real needs of customers looking to safe-guard their children’s future education against life’s uncertainties.
“We are also happy to announce that we will launch the FWD Smart App in Q2 2014 for selective products - this is a “paperless” digital solution which allows our agents to complete a sale process digitally at anytime from anywhere. We are an increasingly digital society and this is one example of how we are using technology to adapt to the evolving lifestyle preferences of our customers and distributors” Mr. Kapoor said.
To boost FWD brand recognition, FWD will launch a digital campaign online with the theme “Real People, Real Passion” based on the concept that “everyone has passion”. Through this campaign, FWD will be your inspiration to pursue your passion. FWD invites everyone to upload his or her “passion picture” to Instagram with #FWDPASSION, FWD Thailand Facebook page, or the FWD microsite www.fwd.co.th/passion, accompanied with a description of the passion. The top three popular passions voted on the FWD Facebook page via “likes” will be selected and FWD will sponsor these people to make their passions come true.
Mr. Kapoor added that during the second quarter of this year, FWD will have an official brand launch that will establish its brand positioning and what FWD stands for. Through all these efforts, FWD aims to create a brand which is passionate, different and delivers to customer expectations.