[Sponsored Article] 2019 marks the 90th anniversary of China Taiping Insurance Group, a Chinese state-owned insurance company founded in Shanghai in 1929. Being the only Chinese state-owned financial and insurance group whose management headquarters is located in Hong Kong, China Taiping has businesses spanning a number of countries and regions, particularly in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, North America, Europe, Oceania, East and Southeast Asia. Celebrating this important milestone, the Group has recently moved to a new office building in Fortress Hill, equipping for further growth in the future. Bringing in 90 years of experience “Over the past 90 years, China Taiping has grown to a large transnational financial and insurance group with more than 600,000 employees working in 24 subsidiaries and over 2,000 business outlets. Currently, the gross premiums of the Group exceeds RMB 160 billion, with total assets over RMB 600 billion and assets under management more than RMB 1,000 billion. Since July 2018, China Taiping has been named one of the Fortune Global 500,” says Dickie Cheung, Chief Distribution Officer at China Taiping Life Insurance (Hong Kong) (abbreviated as “TPLHK”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China Taiping Group established in December 2015 and focusing on long-term insurance business (life, annuity and permanent health). Despite that it is relatively new in the territory, TPLHK has soon become one of the top 10 insurance companies in Hong Kong. “Since we officially started three and a half years ago, TPLHK has developed rapidly by leaps and bounds, achieving HKD 10 billion of total assets after 700 days. In 2017, the company has achieved over HKD 2.6 billion of first-year-premium and HKD 3.8 billion of total premium,” shares Cheung. The company’s Diamond series of insurance plans has been a big hit since its launch in the second quarter of 2017. Cheung says, “TPLHK’s Diamond series provides policy holders with stable, relatively high guaranteed returns, enabling them to achieve their financial goals with ease and be less impacted by the rapidly shifting market environments. The plans are also highly flexible, with different duration options for customers to choose from. The Diamond series has now become one of our flagship products and has continued gaining traction among Hong Kong public.” Greater Bay area brings new opportunities In addition, Cheung thinks the development of the Greater Bay area will offer ample opportunities for Hong Kong insurers. “With the Chinese population growing more affluent, demand for insurance products will increase. Hong Kong, as a world’s top financial centre, has a key role to play in the development of the Chinese insurance industry.” He adds, as the Greater Bay area develops and Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong become more interconnected, people will travel more frequently within the region. New insurance needs may emerge. Nurturing local insurance professionals As a state-owned company, TPLHK has also set its sights on growing the local insurance industry and talents. “At TPLHK, we feel socially responsible in helping those who want to develop and advance their career in the insurance industry. Apart from excellent career prospects, we provide a comprehensive training program to our agency force,” says Cheung. He emphasizes that human resource is the most important in an insurance company. “Therefore, in the next few years, we will focus on training and developing our distribution, back office and client service teams, so that we can continue to innovate and get to the next level.” An important initiative for 2019 is the Hong Kong Premier Financial Planner Award held in the first half of the year. The award aimed to honour financial planners who have demonstrated exceptional professionalism in understanding customer needs and providing quality advice and services. Despite that it was only the first year, responses from financial planners were overwhelming. According to Cheung, hundreds of nominations from business partners across various channels were received. This year, there were 16 Emerald, 12 Sapphire, 8 Ruby and 4 Diamond winners. “We plan to make it a flagship annual event of the local insurance industry. By putting financial codes and regulations into professional practice and awarding outstanding financial planners, we target to lift the overall service standard,” concludes Cheung.