Industry veteran ensures he is covered, 10 times over

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2003, 12:00am

LIFE INSURANCE Council chairman Anthony Lau Ting-yin has more than 10 life policies to his name - evidence of his loyalty to the industry in which he has worked for 30 years.

Back then, the young Mr Lau, desperate for a job, accepted an offer to become a salesman for an insurance broker - even though he did not know much about insurance at that time.

He worked for the firm for four years before setting up his own insurance brokerage company, which he ran for 13 years. Mr Lau joined Sun Life Financial (Hong Kong) in 1990 as its president, a position he still holds today.

Last year, he was elected chairman of the Life Insurance Council, the industry body for all 46 SAR life insurers.

The Informer caught up with the veteran insurer to see how he spends a day.

5.30am - Waking up at home in Tai Po.

'I exercise every morning for 30 minutes. I walk or go for a swim. I like the fresh air in the morning because it gives me strength.'

7.30am - In the office in Causeway Bay.

'Reading e-mails is usually the first thing I do in the office.

'Sometimes I join the morning meeting with agents to share some experience. Before I switched to administrative work in recent years, I spent most of my 30-year career as a sales person, which I enjoyed very much.

11am - Still in the office.

'I will be meeting clients to handle any complaints or just strengthening our relationships. Sun Life Financial has been in Hong Kong for 100 years and we have many loyal clients.

'There was a tycoon who purchased policies for all his 20 children from our company. In another case, there was a client who had contributed for 54 years before we paid out on his life policies last year.'

1pm - Lunch.

'I need to fulfil my public duty as chairman of the Life Insurance Council, so I meet Insurance Authority officials and other industry officials during the lunch hour.

'The hot topic in the insurance industry is the protection of policy holders. The authority is considering the introduction of new compensation funds and new regulations on insurance investment. The poaching of agents among insurers is also a concern for the industry. We have a lot of on-going discussions with the regulator on these issues.'

3pm - At the University of Hong Kong.

'Today, I have to go to the university where I graduated some 30 years ago. I will be there to select the winner of a scholarship from among five actuary students. It is a tough job as they are so smart and hard-working.'

5pm - Running between cocktail parties held by insurance companies.

'This month is a busy time as far as cocktails go, as many insurance companies hold spring receptions. As chairman of the council, I have a duty to attend all these functions. There are several parties being held today so I need to run fast, popping from one to another.

'To avoid seeing my weight balloon with good party food, I only take drinks.

'Besides the spring receptions, China's National Day in October is another hot period for cocktails. They are times for good food and drink as well as for gossip.'

8pm - At Metro Radio.

'Once a week, I host a radio insurance educational programme, during which listeners ask questions relating to their policies.

'When I first joined the industry in 1974, only 10 per cent of Hong Kong people had insurance. Nowadays, 70 per cent of people are holding almost five million policies. I believe the insurance industry will grow further in future as people understand the benefit of insurance.'

11pm - At home in Tai Po.


Weekends - 'I like playing golf in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.'

The future - 'With more than 10 life policies, I believe I have enough retirement protection.'