AIA : Everything you need to know

AIA: Everything you need to know

Headquarters address

1 Connaught Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong, SAR

Year established

1919

Size (employees)

23,000+

Annualised new premiums (ANP)

US$5.647 billion

Underwriting expertise

Life insurance, accident and health, income protection, and business life insurance

Other services

Savings plans, employee benefits, variable contracts, investments, securities, credit life, and pension services

Key people

Lee Yuan Siong (group chief executive and president)

History

AIA Group was founded on June 02, 1919, and is the largest pan-Asian life insurance group offering insurance and financial services products.

AIA is based in Hong Kong, and currently has a presence across 18 markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It was founded in Shanghai as American Asiatic Underwriters before relocating its business to New York City in 1939, where it became a subsidiary of American International Group (AIG).

AIA planned to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010, however, was set to be purchased by Prudential Plc for US$35.5 billion on March 02, 2010. When the purchase fell through, AIA held an IPO which raised roughly HK$20.51 billion, the third largest IPO globally to this day. The group has an exclusive bancassurance agreement with Citibank that covers 11 Asia-Pacific AIA markets including Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

New Zealand

AIA commenced its New Zealand operations in 1981 as a member of the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) and is headquartered in Takapuna, Auckland.

In 2017, AIA reached an agreement with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to acquire its Australian life insurance business, along with its life and health insurance businesses in New Zealand. It also entered into a 20-year strategic bancassurance partnership with CBA in both Australia and New Zealand, a transaction which provided access to the bank’s 12 million existing customers and was expected to “deliver a range of important benefits to AIA and its stakeholders,” securing its place as a leading life insurer in the New Zealand market.

According to AIA, its purpose in New Zealand is to provide “simple yet innovative insurance solutions that suit the Kiwi way of life,” and it works through an “extensive network of insurance advisers and organisations.”

In 2018, AIA announced its acquisition of Sovereign, one of New Zealand’s largest life and health insurers. Sovereign now operates under the AIA brand, with the latter being transformed into New Zealand’s largest life insurer.

Commenting on the acquisition, AIA head of Australia and New Zealand Damien Mu said: “This puts us in a unique position to address the nation’s significant insurance gap. AIA is committed to helping make New Zealand one of the healthiest and most protected nations in the world – we will do this as a customer-centric organisation that delivers valued insurance propositions to our customers. These include AIA Vitality, which will be launched in New Zealand in the near future, and AIA’s established rehabilitation and return to work programmes, both of which are helping people live healthier, longer, better lives.”

Products

AIA’s New Zealand branch offers a range of life, health and income protection cover geared towards both individuals and businesses. Its key product offerings are the following.

  • Life cover: AIA offers a vast range of life insurance policies. Its product suite includes real trauma cover for those seriously affected by a major illness, and cover for accidental death and total and permanent disability cover (TPD), which provides a lump sum payment of up to $5,000,000 if you are disabled and unlikely to work again. AIA’s trauma cover also offers an optional cancer treatment benefit add-on, which assists with the cost of specialist consultations and tests for the diagnosis of cancer.
  • Health: AIA’s REAL Health cover offers hospital, surgical and diagnostic benefits among others, and is designed to help deal with the mounting costs of New Zealand’s private medical healthcare.
  • Income protection: This suite of products offers financial assistance in the event of an accident or injury, and can cover mortgage payments, rent and other living costs. This is usually paid out as a monthly benefit, and can cover either a part of, or the full amount, of any costs.
  • Business life and income: AIA’s business life cover provides a one-off payment in the event of a death to ensure business continuity. Business income protection, which includes a policy tailored for the farming industry, offers cover for business income if a key person is incapacitated.

Leadership

Lee Yuan Siong - executive director, group chief executive and president

Lee was appointed executive director and the group chief executive and president on 1 June 2020. He is also a member of the AIA’s risk committee. He joined the group in March 2020.

Lee has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance sector. He has served as a director of various companies within the group, including as acting chairman and chief executive officer of AIA Company Limited.

Prior to his current role, Lee was an executive director of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. from June 2013 and served as the company’s co-CEO and chief insurance Business Officer. Before joining Ping An, he held several senior leadership positions with Prudential plc of the United Kingdom, including president of CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited, a life insurance joint venture in Mainland China. He also has significant experience across various Asian markets, including Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Taiwan (China), Thailand, and Vietnam.

Charitable activity

AIA is involved in New Zealand’s Healthiest Schools Challenge along with Sovereign – a six-week programme promoting fitness and health across 500 primary and intermediate schools across the country. Each registered supporter gives their chosen school a chance to win $50,000 in sports grants.

The initiative was previously run as the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge in 2016.

AIA : In the news