HONG KONG, Monday 23rd March 2015 – FWD Hong Kong & Macau (“FWD”) today announced its strong 2014 business results. Supported by a strengthened position across FWD’s agency, bancassurance and brokerage channels in Hong Kong & Macau, the company recorded impressive growth across its life insurance, general insurance and pension operations.
David Wong, Chief Executive Officer of FWD Hong Kong & Macau and Executive Vice President of FWD Greater China said, “I am delighted to announce FWD’s strong growth and performance in 2014 in Hong Kong & Macau. We made great strides over the past year to further develop our distribution platforms as we continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
2014 Business Update
FWD’s life insurance business served as the key contributor to the company, accounting for 79% of its profit (notes 1) in 2014. It achieved a 38% growth in Value of New Business (VNB) as a result of a strategic increase in more profitable health and protection product lines from 18% to 26% of product mix in terms of APE. FWD also saw a continued growth in its general insurance business with a 12% rise in gross premiums. Additionally, pensions were again a stable source of profit generation for FWD with Assets under Management (AuM) increasing by 11% to HK$3.128 billion (notes 2). Profit before tax of the three business units rose by 20% to HK$263 million (notes 2).
FWD achieved outstanding performance across its core distribution channels – agency, bancassurance and brokerage. In 2014, FWD’s agency force increased by 17% to 1,828 agents, with agency productivity improving by 12%. In the bancassurance channel, the business sustained strong growth with its VNB increase by 25%, reflecting an enhanced product mix with a focus on health & protection products. FWD’s brokerage business was the fastest growing channel achieving a 73% VNB growth with sales doubling.
FWD will focus on further expanding its balanced multi-channel distribution in 2015. By boosting agency recruitment and reinforcing a dynamic sales culture, FWD aims to grow its agency force to 3,000 by 2018. FWD will also continue to strengthen existing relationships with its bancassurance and brokerage partners, while exploring new partnership opportunities.
“Our vision is to change the way people feel about insurance. We want to be inspiring and dynamic in our approach to building customer relationships, and to enhance their insurance experience with FWD,” added David. “With our customer-led approach, we will continue to grow and provide quality products and services that will meet the evolving needs of our customers”.
Staying true to its customer-led approach, FWD is rolling out a number of initiatives to enhance its customer engagement capability. This March, FWD acquired a new customer engagement office in Metroplaza, Kwai Fong to complement its existing engagement and loyalty programmes, and customer analytics capacity. FWD also plans to launch an e-commerce platform later this year providing a brand new, integrated digital insurance experience for customers. With an increased number of customers in mainland China, FWD will cooperate with QianHai organisations to develop an online platform that would allow FWD to extend post-sales customer support and services to mainland customers who bought FWD products in Hong Kong.
In recognition of FWD’s achievements, the business received a number of industry awards. Accolades include the “Outstanding Marketing Campaign Award” from the Hong Kong Insurance Awards 2014; three “Best-in-class” awards in (i) Brand of the Year – Insurance, (ii) Healthcare Insurance Product and (iii) Online Usability – Insurance from BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards 2014; “Gold for Excellence in Integrated Marketing” from Marketing Magazine’s Marketing Excellence Awards 2014; and Gold Award for Best Original Content from Marketing Magazine’s Mobile Excellence Awards 2015.