Friends Provident International has named Philip Cernik to the new position of chief marketing officer for the United Arab Emirates, as it looks to continue its expansion in the region.
Cernik, pictured, who will now be based in Dubai, had been FPI’s head of global expatriate propositions, and worked out of the UK.
The move comes after FPI’s decision last November to move away from the UK offshore markets and otherwise reshape its business, following on from the acquisition of its parent, the Friends Life Group, by Aviva in April of last year.
Focus on Asia, Middle East
In a statement, FPI said that its continuing integration with Aviva’s Asia operations would help to give it “more focus on our core regions of Asia and the Middle East”.
Cernik’s new role was created as a result of an internal FPI restructuring that had been designed to “bring the business even closer to our customers and distributors in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates”, an FPI spokesperson told International Investment.
Operations formerly handled by FPI executives in the UK are now being decentralised, “to give the regions more control on marketing, sales, proposition capabilities”, the spokesperson added.
FPI provides life insurance and investment products to global expatriate and local clients in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and other major markets.
It currently has more than 160,000 clients worldwide, and maintains offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the Isle of Man, staffed by more than 500 employees.
FPI continues as standalone business
Speaking in November 2015, FPI chief executive Adrian Emery said the company planned to remain a “standalone business with its own brand and target customers”, but that it would integrate areas of its business with those of Aviva Asia where it was seen to be beneficial, in order to maximise the businesses’ combined potential and accelerate FPI’s growth.