Insurance CEOs in Asia outperform global peers - research

Region houses some of the best-performing insurance CEOs in the world, study finds

Insurance CEOs in Asia outperform global peers - research

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Insurance CEOs in Asia are outperforming their global counterparts in seven out of eight C-suite differentiators, a study has found.

This was revealed by a study titled ‘Asia Insurance: The Next Generation CEO’ and conducted by search and leadership advisory firm Russel Reynolds Associates. The research found that insurance CEOs in Asia scored higher in seven qualities, namely being disruptive, risk-taking, heroic, galvanizing, reluctant, vulnerable, and connecting.

The researchers combined benchmarking data from a dataset of 5.5 million people, its C-suite Leadership Span psychometric assessments, as well as interviews from 12 high-performing Asia insurance CEOs to arrive at their conclusions.

According to the study, the findings are largely due to the unique facets of the rapidly changing insurance market in Asia, which is facing unprecedented market growth and liberalisation, as well as an evolving regulatory landscape and emerging technologies. Global insurers are assigning their top-performing executives in the region to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Coupled with the rise of successful regional insurance companies, Asia is currently home to many of the world's premier insurance CEOs.

The study also analysed the backgrounds of over 30 Asia-based CEOs working in both the life and general insurance segments of the industry and compared the differences between CEOs working in multinational companies versus those in local or domestic insurers. The only differentiator in which Asia-based CEOs did not outperform their western peers was regarding the trait of being pragmatic.

“The region is stockpiling best-in-class financial services executive talent,” said Ric Roi, leader of the Asia-Pacific leadership & succession practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. “We also found that compared to peers in other sectors, Asia-based insurance CEOs tend to be more intuitive, outgoing and sensitive to others’ needs. These characteristics underscore their ability to execute through uncertainty, act as connectors and exude optimism.”

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