Fri, Jan 06, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Chinatrust Life aims to be top retirement insurer

NEW OUTLOOK:The former local unit of MetLife has no plans to build its own sales team, but will seek to attract new policyholders through telemarketing

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Chinatrust Life Insurance Co (中信人壽) aims to become Taiwan’s top retirement insurance provider in four years, senior executives said yesterday.

The company was the local unit of New York-based MetLife Inc, which was acquired by Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) last year and then renamed.

“The company will create its niche around provisions of wealth management and retirement insurance products,” chief executive Frank Ling (凌氤寶) told a media briefing.

Toward that end, the life insurer will take advantage of Chinatrust Commercial Bank’s (中國信託商銀) sales channel and enter a strategic partnership with local insurance brokers and agencies, Ling said.

With 146 branches nationwide, Chinatrust Commercial Bank is the nation’s largest bancassurance provider and will lend critical support in advancing Chinatrust Life’s ambitions, Ling said.

The insurer has no intention of building its own team of sales agents like Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) or Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), but will seek to maintain its leadership in the telemarketing arena, Ling said.

Chinatrust Financial delivered the acquisition on Nov. 1 and has retained all of MetLife Taiwan Insurance Co’s (大都會人壽) 620 employees with a promise to maintain their current benefits and compensation for at least two years.

It has also pledged to honor the terms of 1 million existing insurance policies.

For the coming two years, Chinatrust Life will first focus on boosting competiveness and synergy benefits, Ling said.

To facilitate compensation claims, the insurer will team up with 7-Eleven convenience stores and express-delivery companies, as well as developing Internet and automatic teller services, he said.

“The company will soon unveil new insurance policies featuring technology innovations,” Ling said.

He declined to comment on first-year premium targets or staff size, after increasing it to the present 710, on concerns this might affect the parent company’s ongoing capital increase scheme.

Chinatrust Life chairman Scott Chien (簡松棋) said the company would take its social responsibilities seriously and encourage employees to support community service activities.

“There is no shortcut to winning customers except being genuinely caring, professional and reliable,” Chien said. “Chinatrust Life will treat customers as its own family and work steadily toward the goal of being the best insurer in 2015.”

Despite global economic uncertainty, first-year premiums rose to a five-year high of NT$1.4 billion (US$46.26 million) last month, jumping 81.82 percent from NT$770 million in November, Chien said.

Chinatrust Financial, the nation’s third-largest financial services provider by assets, bought 100 percent of the shares in MetLife’s local unit for US$180 million with the aim of expanding into the life insurance market in Taiwan and China.

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