Q&A: Winnie Wong, Asia Insurance

Winnie Wong

Insurance Post asked one of Hong Kong's most experienced insurance professionals about her latest role as CEO of Asia Insurance.

Winnie Wong, pictured, joined Hong Kong-headquartered general insurer Asia Insurance as CEO on 12 September 2016 after leaving Aon in March 2016 after 13 years.

Founded in 1959, Asia Insurance offers personal lines, including home, travel, motor and health, and commercial lines, such as protection for employees’ compensation, property, shops and offices.

The company has a head office in Central, Hong Kong with a further office in Sheung Wan. It also has overseas branches in Macau and Taiwan, with a representative office in Shenzhen.

Please describe your brief career history:  
After being a group management trainee at Swire Pacific I joined RSA Hong Kong (now Allied World) in 1997 as an assistant general manager working across global, brokers, reinsurance and financial lines.

In 2003 I took an opportunity at Aon in Hong Kong to become director of global and risk managed accounts and was promoted to managing director of Aon Risk Solutions corporate division in 2008; in October 2012 I became CEO of Aon Hong Kong before joining Asia Insurance four years later.

This year I started as a council member of the Financial Services Development Council. I’m also a fellow member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and an associate in risk management at the Insurance Institute of America.

How many staff does Asia Insurance employ?
We employ approximately 220 staff.

What is Asia Insurance’s annual gross written premium? 
Our annual GWP is over HK$1.2bn (£125m); the majority is placed through brokers and agents.

How are you developing your business and what are you investing in?
We are always open-minded in developing diverse business distribution channels and new strategic business partners. We continue to invest in our people, systems and process improvement so that we can provide best-in-class services to our clients. We will up-keep our prudent underwriting discipline and proactive claims management strategy so that clients can enjoy consistent, reliable and profesional services from us.

How would you most like to see the Hong Kong insurance industry improve?
I helped work on the latest Financial Services Development Council insurance report which outlined ways the government can help improve conditions for the industry - our offerings included ideas to support brokers, captives, insurers, reinsurance firms and developing insurance talent. We believe Hong Kong is very well positioned to capitalise on its relationship with China and projects such as One Belt One Road.

You are one of the first carbon neutral insurers in Asia … when was this achieved and how do you improve on this?
In 2009 Asia Insurance became the first carbon-neutral insurance company in Greater China - awarded by Carbon Care Asia. Asia Insurance offsets all its emissions (709 tonnes of CO2) by sponsoring an afforestation and reforestation project on degraded lands in Sichuan, China.

Asia Insurance supports protection of the natural environment and the pursuit of sustainable economic activity for the future well-being of the planet. We take active steps to be a leader in environmental best practices, including – wherever possible – exceeding statutory and regulatory standards. We have a carbon footprint management strategy aimed at reducing our greenhouse gas emissions on an ongoing basis.

The company has been implementing continuous measurement and review of its emission profile since 2010. This enables the company to measure its carbon footprint and plan further reductions in carbon emissions every calendar year.

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