FWD Life Insurance Corporation Becomes First Foreign Life Insurer to Enter the Philippine Market in Nearly 10 Years

"Most people don't have insurance because they don't understand it," states Huynh Thanh Phong, Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FWD Group, during an event recently held in New World Hotel Makati

Mr. Phong
FWD Group, the insurance arm of Pacific Century Group, announced that it has been granted a license to operate its life insurance business in the Philippines. Officially called FWD Life Insurance Corporation, the business is the first foreign life insurance company since 2004 to be issued a license by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines.

Present during the launch was Hon. Emmanuel F. Dooc, Insurance Commissioner of the Philippines. He affirmed that the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Yolanda last year highlighted the need for insurance for more Filipinos

"The amendments to the Philippines Insurance Code have been implemented to keep pace with the changes in the insurance market, and spur the growth of the domestic insurance market, allowing it to be more competitive regionally," explained Commissioner Dooc. "This is an exciting period of change for the industry, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to FWD as we look to expand the local insurance market."

Commissioner Dooc with FWD Group Executives
Hon. Ronald Arculli, Chairman of FWD Group expressed how honored they were to be announcing FWDs entry into the Philippines as they continue to forge ahead with their regional expansion plans. He pointed out that the insurance industry plays a vital role in economic development, fostering investment and innovation by creating an environment of greater certainty.

"The Philippines is an attractive market for insurance with a rising middle class and increasing disposable incomes. In this steadily growing economy with improved governance, insurance has low penetration, and we see vast opportunities to contribute to the country's growth, providing financial security to the people."

The company, targeting to launch in the Philippine market later this year, will be led by FWD Group CEO Phong alongside a newly-established local senior management team to drive the growth of the business and develop products and services relevant to the local community.

Mr. Arculli, Mr. Phong, Mr. Grimes
"We are excited to be entering the Philippines at a time of such positive change and when there is increasing need and demand for insurance," said Phong. He was echoed by Peter Grimes, Group Chief Partnerships Distribution Officer of FWD Group, who agreed that, "The Philippines is a very exciting market and we are very bullish about it." 

Phong added, "FWD is investing heavily in technology to support the delivery of our products and customer servicing, including continuing the roll out of the innovative paperless sales platform that FWD Life Indonesia pioneered earlier this year."

He added that they aim to be among the top five life insurers within five years and that they will continue to proactively build their talented and experienced local team, distribution partnerships, and agency force.   

It was revealed during the event that FWD will be bringing in P1.3B worth of investments to the Philippines.

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