The LIA of Singapore recently released its industry performance for 2015 with 14 per cent increase in new business and almost $3 billion in new business premium. With a bumper crop of insurers vying for a slice of this pie, what does the future hold for insurance in Singapore? Are we in a market boom or is this a bubble that is about to burst?
Rapidly changing regulatory landscape
The introduction of the Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) 3 years ago sought to raise industry standards and bring about more transparency in terms of the products and sales process. While this was on the whole, welcomed in the industry – which viewed increased regulations as a step in the right direction – it also led to an exodus in sales talent, especially in the Banking segment where sales commissions were most drastically cut.
Changing business model – direct purchase
One of the key recommendations from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was the introduction of direct purchasing for insurance products. While the majority of insurance professionals we spoke to felt that Singapore is not ready for such a model, a number of companies have expressed interest in creating a direct purchase model for the life segment to both combat rising operating costs and bypass the problem of attracting and retaining talent.
High net worth landscape – demand for specialists
The demand for specialist talent in the high net worth segment continues, especially in the sales segment, albeit at a slower pace. While employers remain open to strong specialist profiles, the increasingly uncertain market also means tighter recruitment criteria such as:
1. Stable profiles – movements within 1 – 1.5 years are usually scrutinised and some employers have been known to request for proof of job performance / track records.
2. Strong track record – this relates both in terms of sales performance but also career progression that makes sense. For instance, opportunist candidates who make the leap for a small increment in pay will find the current market challenging.
By Cherylene Wee
See full story at www.morganmckinley.com.sg