Unique: Hong Kong “excellent hub” for global insurers making plans Asian expansions, Prudential CEO says newsfragment

Prudential’s CEO Anil Wadhwani, who’s the British insurer’s first world head to be primarily based in Hong Kong in its 175-year historical past, pledged to proceed the use of the town as a centre for its growth programmes in Asia and Africa, nearest it confirmed a powerful post-Covid fix.

“Hong Kong is an excellent hub for international insurance companies to base themselves to capture the strong growth in the insurance sector in Hong Kong and to be able to expand more widely across Asia where there are significant opportunities for us,” Wadhwani stated in an unique interview with the Put up.

“Looking ahead, we continue to see strong growth opportunities in Hong Kong to serve the mainland Chinese visitor customers coming into Hong Kong for saving, health and other protection products,” he stated.

Evidently, Prudential’s industry in Hong Kong has thrived at a era when Hong Kong’s month insurance coverage gross sales to mainland Chinese language guests surged 59-fold within the first part to collision HK$31.9 billion (US$4 billion). Total unused month insurance coverage gross sales in Hong Kong rose 26 in step with cent 12 months on 12 months within the first part to HK$103.1 billion, marginally upper than the HK$99.9 billion in the similar duration of 2019 earlier than the pandemic.

Wadhwani, 55, moved from rival insurer Manulife in February. He’s primarily based in Hong Kong in a fracture from custom below which the CEO was once primarily based in London.

Prudential CEO Anil Wadhwani photographed in Central. Picture: Xiaomei Chen

The exchange befell as a part of Prudential’s contemporary company restructuring below which it shifted its number one center of attention to offering month and condition insurance coverage and asset control products and services in Asia and Africa. It follows the verdict to spin off its UK and Ecu leaving companies in 2019 and its US leaving arm in 2021.

Prudential, up to now headquartered in London with Asia head administrative center in Hong Kong, is now dual-headquartered in each towns, with the CEO primarily based in Hong Kong.

The Prudential CEO’s walk to Hong Kong is thought of as a big success for the town’s Prominent Govt John Lee Ka-chiu, who vowed endmost December to persuade global insurance coverage firms to arrange regional hubs in Hong Kong for regional growth.

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“I am the first CEO in the history of the 175 years of Prudential to be based here, and we have chosen Hong Kong as our home as the city is our flagship business,” Wadhwani stated.

Prudential’s enlargement trajectory has accurate the religion the corporate had in opting for to bottom its CEO within the town. Since Wadhwani took the helm, Prudential has discoverable upper industry enlargement in its 24 markets in Asia and Africa.

The gang’s total unused industry gross sales within the first 9 months had been up 40 in step with cent on 12 months to US$4.42 billion. Within the first part, Hong Kong unused coverage gross sales rose 218 in step with cent to US$670 million, as mainland guests returned nearest the border reopened between Hong Kong and mainland China in January.

Hong Kong could also be alike to mainland China, the place Prudential and Citic Team had been running their 50-50 three way partnership, Citic Prudential Generation, since 2000.

A obese puddle of insurance coverage skill, tone infrastructure, vibrancy, and the peace of proceed throughout mainland China and to alternative Asian markets all produce “Hong Kong a great destination for us to be based and to expand in the region,” he stated.

Hong Kong is Prudential’s greatest marketplace in relation to overall annual premiums and unused industry price within the first part of this 12 months, with over 20,000 brokers within the town and a vault partnership with Same old Chartered.

Some 23 million travellers visited the town within the first 9 months this 12 months, together with 18.7 million from mainland China, in step with information from the Hong Kong Tourism Board. That is virtually 100 occasions greater than a 12 months previous when proceed was once delivered to a standstill amid the Covid pandemic.

Prudential in June opened its first department in Macau as a part of its unedited push within the Larger Bay Department, which is Beijing’s plan to combine Hong Kong, Macau, and 9 mainland towns as an financial powerhouse.

“The addition of the Macau branch has given us a presence in all 11 cities in the Greater Bay Area and a chance for us to capture the exciting opportunities in the development area, where it is expected to have a greater flow of talent, movement of capital and trade across the border.”

Hong Kong could also be alike to the Asean area and Republic of India, which can be additionally core portions of Prudential’s current companies. Hong Kong can grant as a bottom for the insurer to make bigger into the 8 markets in Africa, despite the fact that those markets lately grant simply 2 in step with cent of unused gross sales price.

“While Africa is small in terms of contribution at the moment, it represents growth opportunities in the medium and longer term,” Wadhwani stated.

“The drivers for growth in Asia and Africa are similar in that there is an emerging middle class where we see huge demand for health protection and retirement savings. If we can replicate some of our learning and expertise in the Asian markets to be adopted into the African markets, we would like to find the next Vietnam or the next Philippines in Africa.”

Prudential now operates in 8 African markets: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo.

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