One Finanz director's secret is 'over-delivering'
Ester E. Tan moved to Hong Kong from the Philippines in early 1992 and began her career with One Finanz, starting out as the administration manager. Tan believes that hard work, patience, loyalty, determination and attention to detail are the keys to her rise to associate director for Asia. She talks to Wong Yat-hei
What’s your academic background?
I have a degree in business administration, majoring in accounting.
How do you start your day?
My morning ritual begins with a review of all incoming e-mails and any responses to e-mails I sent out the day before. The rest of the day’s work includes conference calls, the usual daily paperwork and meetings with clients and insurance providers.
What does your job entail?
My responsibilities cover several fronts. On the business development front, I look for new product opportunities that my company can sell. I assist in negotiating the best compensation package and incentives for technical representatives. I also ensure that we are compliant with industry regulatory requirements. Finally, I assist our technical representatives and servicing consultants when they reassure clients about the products they are purchasing or have purchased.
What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?
A major challenge for everyone in the insurance industry is facing up to client expectations in terms of the products they have bought. Often, clients buy into new products based on the market perception at the time of purchase. But like other financial instruments, insurance products are built around risks and rewards that are influenced by market forces outside of the control of both the agent and the insurance provider. We need to keep clients abreast of current situations to give them peace of mind that despite the short-term impact of current market uncertainties, their investment, savings and protection plans are in order.
What have you learned about your chosen career? What are your plans?
One of the things I’ve learned is that insurance is a two-way street. As technical representatives, brokers and providers work to make sure that we comply with regulations meant to protect our clients. We also need to ensure that new clients are able to meet the conditions stipulated in the insurance application guidelines.
Any advice for those who plan to enter your industry?
In the insurance industry, you will meet a lot of people from all walks of life. To be successful, you need to be patient, hardworking and always up-to-date on current market conditions. Servicing clients is a lifetime commitment, and you need a mindset that you will be servicing them for life or as long as you are in the industry. Finally, it is always a safe bet to under-promise and over-deliver.