Zurich chief says ‘no U-turn on sales agents in HK’: report

Zurich, the Switzerland-based insurance giant, has no plans to re-instate its direct sales force of 700 in Hong Kong, which it let go of three years ago, even though it has seen a “dramatic drop” in new policy sales during that time, the South China Morning Post has reported.

It quotes Eric Hui Kam-kwai, who was named the chief executive of Zurich’s general insurance business in Hong Kong in 2012, as saying that while it’s true that new life sales had dropped “since we stopped using agents, our overall costs are much lower since we started selling through brokers and independent advisers”.

He added that the company was also planning to develop “other sales channels”, such as banking partners and the internet.

Zurich is Hong Kong’s second-largest general insurance firm, the SCMP noted, without saying which company was in first place, but in the area of life products currently ranks only around 20th out of the 46 companies that are active in that sector in the market.

Said the SCMP: “Its total new life insurance premiums were HK$199.33m (US$25.7m, £20.36m) last year, a huge fall from HK$745.35m in 2014, when the sales force was disbanded, and HK$773.54m in 2013, government figures show”.

To read the SCMP story on the publication’s website, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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