Around 200 agents from AXA Singapore have reportedly moved to local rival Great Eastern, in what could be the first mass migration since the Monetary Authority of Singapore tightened regulations for advisers switching firms.
According to a report by the Straits Times, a group of around 200 financial advisers from AXA transferred to Great Eastern Financial Advisers (GEFA), the Singapore-based insurer’s financial advisory arm. Reference checks for the advisers were completed in late August, and the former AXA agents were at GEFA’s office at the beginning the following month, a senior executive, who declined to be identified, told ST.
Poaching of agents became a hot issue in the Singaporean insurance industry following the exodus of 244 financial advisers from Prudential Singapore to the then-newly formed Aviva Financial Advisers. The agents were under the Peter Tan Organisation, a group led by former Prudential agency leader Peter Tan Shou Yi.
The incident, which led to lawsuits against Tan and other individuals, prompted the MAS and the Life Insurance Association (LIA) to introduce more stringent rules governing insurance agents that switch companies. The new rules came into effect in 2018.
Agent migrations have become somewhat common in recent years, with many major insurers, such as AIA, Aviva, and Manulife, setting up their own financial advisory affiliates. The new firms often offered attractive compensation packages to entice agents to jump ship.