Allianz Malaysia CEO Jens Reisch’s interview extracts from Insurance Mazagine (May-Jun 14 Issue)
Question: How does Allianz Malaysia stand apart from its competitors in the Malaysian market?
Jens Reisch: We are relatively new to the Malaysian market, only having arrived in 2002. We just recently celebrated our 10th anniversary of the Allianz brand in Malaysia and we are extremely grateful to have been very successful this past decade. We started small in the general insurance market and are now the leaders with 1.9 billion ringgit while our life insurance is placed 5th in the country with 1.5 billion ringgit and we have a collaborative customer base of over 2.8 million.
Allianz is a strong brand but we haven’t reached the peak of being established in Malaysia and it may be because of our number of years here. However, we have a very wide network with over 40 branches nationwide. We also have more than 6000 agents in general insurance and 7000 agnets in life insurance as well as multiple partnerships with CIMB, HSBC, POS Malaysia, car dealerships and brokers creating various gateways for our customers to connect with us.
We are constantly striving towards an ideal position where we can leverage on innovation, experience and reputation. We are in a very strong position in my opinion.
Question: What is Allianz Malaysia’s outlook on the global economy, emerging markets and Malaysia?
Jens Reisch: The global economy is a very mixed picture and we just finished our global CEO conference. Globally we are facing many challenges; some economically driven while others maybe political and geographically driven. America’s economy is still recovering while Europe is stuck with low interest rates and high unemployment so the two regions that are still showing economic growth are Asia and South America.
Volatile currencies are also a challenge but I foresee Malaysia having a good 5-6% growth and I’m optimistic and confident with that.
With the implementation of GST, I hope inflation is monitored, managed and controlled carefully. The other thing is the ringgit that was a little more volatile in recent months. But within the industry, we still have low penetration with life insurance at 56% so there is still opportunity whilst big responsibility for us to basically reach out to Malaysians for the need of insurance.
Question: What are you plans for the year?
Jens Reisch : In 2014, we launched a big campaign, “Let’s Get Personal” to promote general insurance solutions to families and communities in smaller towns and rural areas. This campaign will take a bit of time as we were sit with families and discuss the need of insurance.
The second big campaign “Protect Your Retirement” is centred on our life insurance to promote savings for our retirement age. Malaysia has just increased the retirement age to 60 so there is a big focus from the government that Malaysians are well aware and better protected in regards to their retirement needs.
Digitization is another focus for this year. It is important for Allianz Malaysia to be able to provide round the clock service that is efficient, paperless and simple.
Lastly we need to be leading in service. We have had good feedback on our service in Malaysia but good is never good enough. We need to strive to excel even further and win the hearts of our customers especially in delicate situations.