Gains spur New York Life to add agents

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 July, 2007, 12:00am

New York Life Insurance plans to boost its 1,000-strong sales force to 1,700 over the next two years after a 50 per cent gain in sales of new life policies in the first half of this year.

'While many other insurance companies use the internet or bank networks to sell policies, we believe professional agents remain the best sales channels as they can offer comprehensive advice to customers,' said Jeff Walker, the president and chief executive of New York Life Hong Kong.

Mr Walker said that the growth came from higher sales of investment-linked products, up 88 per cent from a year earlier.

The strong stock market outlook, with the Hang Seng Index rising 10 per cent in the first six months of the year, prompted policyholders to opt for such products.

The sales growth, combined with cost controls, led to a 37 per cent rise in profit for the first half at New York Life, Mr Walker said.