The insurance sector in Hong Kong is going strong and is in need of talent, says Michael Ho, country president of Chubb Life Hong Kong
The insurance sector in Hong Kong continues to grow, spurred on by a number of factors, both technological and demographic. This has in turn created new employment opportunities in a diverse range of roles, says Chubb Life Hong Kong’s country president.
What trends have you seen shaping the insurance sector over the last few years?
There are various changes that shape the future of the insurance industry, including changing customer behaviour, tighter regulation and increasing competition.
Demographic shifts have been creating new opportunities. An ageing population creates a growing market for retirement products, and the prolonged low interest rate environment creates demand for life insurance products with a savings element.
What effects are these trends having on careers in the sector in Hong Kong?
The dynamic changes in the insurance industry have spurred greater demand for talent, bringing a wide range of career opportunities in the insurance sector.
On the other hand, practitioners in the industry need to be adaptable to changes, and able to meet customer demands.
What are the current recruitment challenges for insurance companies like Chubb Life when looking for talent?
Insurance companies in Hong Kong are facing keen competition for talent. Over the past few years, the number of people working in the insurance industry has risen. There are over 87,000 people engaged in the insurance industry, representing 3 per cent of total employment in Hong Kong.
At Chubb Life, we strive to create a culture that we all embrace and value, in which we can work and grow together. We are constantly looking for talented people with passion, courage and determination.
Has Chubb Life made any changes to its recruitment strategy recently?
Chubb Life strives to put the right people in the right positions. We give balanced consideration to factors such as educational qualifications, previous work experience, desirable career paths of candidates, and the potential for their future development.
What separates a great professional in your field from just a good one?
Being committed and inspired about what you do and being attentive to individual needs. You should also never be afraid to tackle challenges.
Can you outline the path your career took to get to your current role? Is this a typical progression?
It is not typical at all. I had been serving in the army before changing to consumer goods as brand manager. I began my career in the life insurance industry in early 2000. Before joining Chubb Life in Hong Kong, I was responsible for building and developing regional agency capabilities in Asia for a multinational insurance company.
Are there any formal qualifications you would recommend professionals in your industry, or those hoping to get into it, acquire?
There is a range of career options in terms of the job function you perform, such as actuarial, finance, underwriting and so on.
Some roles may require strong mathematical skills while others may require extensive product knowledge. Regardless of technical skills, it is important for the individual to be dynamic and flexible.
How easy is it for professionals from other sectors to move into insurance? What do they need to consider?
We are a diverse company. We welcome professionals from other sectors since our customers also come from all walks of life. They can bring different perspective to help our customers. My only advice is that this is a dynamic, fast-paced and competitive industry that demands quick responses and innovative solutions.
What is the hardest part of your job? And the most rewarding?
As a leader, my job is to get everyone in the company to understand the company vision and strategic goals. I would say it is critical, but not easy. The most rewarding part is to see that our people are maximising their potential and are fully aligned to contribute to company growth.
Is a good work-life balance possible in your line of work? Do you have any tips on how to achieve this?
Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires managing our work and personal life effectively and efficiently.
In order to do so, it is essential to determine priorities, focus on the most important ones, and turn the list of priorities into measurable goals.