AIP News RoundUp – Episode 10 – Rahul Mathur and Theresa Blissing – January 15 – Continuous Deluge of Activity

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Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance in Asia. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Rahul is the Startup lead at Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London. Prior to joining Accenture, he was an Insurance Product Manager at Laka Insurance, a London headquartered early stage InsurTech start-up which recently won at the British Insurance Awards 2019.  Rahul holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Warwick. He is an Ambassador at the Asia InsurTech podcast.

Welcome, 2020! We are looking forward to another year filled with exciting developments in InsurTech and innovation in insurance in Asia. The biggest financial news to kick of the new decade has probably been the race to become one of Singapore’s first digital banks. On December 31st the application period ended and we are seeing two interesting consortiums applying for a license from an insurance point of view: Grab and Singtel as well as gaming company Razer with partners including Hong Kong insurance group FWD. Alibaba’s AntFinancial is of course also one of the 21 applicants. By mid-2020 we will know who made the grade for one of the five licenses.

The other big story is the expansion of Grab’s insurance offerings. While the company had mainly focused on insurance solutions for their drivers in 2019, they start 2020 with an offering of travel insurance for their Singaporean riders with insurance partner Chubb. We are excited to watch what other insurance services they will roll out to their millions of daily users and how this all fits into the Grow with Grab concept. 

As always, there was some major news coming out of China and Hong Kong as well. At the end of December, Ping An Insurance’s fintech arm OneConnect announced a JV with Japan’s SBI Holdings called SBI OneConnect Japan. The JV will give access to OneConnect’s cloud-based and AI-driven financial services and aims to accelerate the digitalization of banking services in Japan. The other major Chinese InsurTech player, ZhongAn, is expanding as well and is betting on South-East Asia to help defy skeptical investors and turn its fortunes around. Further, Hong Kong insurance group FWD is not only making news in connection with the Singaporean digital banking license but has also announced it is going open source with partner Red Hat to boost its competitiveness and become faster and nimbler across markets and products.

Cheers to a new year, a new decade and the continuing acceleration of the insurance industry in Asia!

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