EP 60 – Bob Wouters – Country Manager FWD General Insurance – The Relevance of Insurance Is Becoming Clearer and Clearer


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Bob Wouters

Bob leads FWD’s General Insurance business in Thailand. This new business venture called bolttech covers digital underwriting, digital brokerage and device protection and is being set up in all countries where FWD Life is present. FWD recently acquired Siam City Insurance in Thailand. Bob is leading the transformation of SCI to FWD’s digital GI underwriter in Thailand. In his country head role, he also oversees Frank.co.th – Thailand’s leading digital broker. Prior to this role Bob was Chief Distribution Officer of FWD Life in Thailand, where he was responsible for business development and sales delivery in Agency, Bancassurance and Alternative Distribution. Bob was part of the pioneering leadership team that has built FWD and its brand from the inception in 2013.

This episode is brought to you by:

In this episode, Michael Waitze talks to Bob Wouters, the country manager of FWD’s general insurance practice in Thailand. Bob shares a bit of FWD’s digital strategy. The Company has recently started to roll out non-life insurance capabilities across all its markets. FWD had already made a seed investment in Thai non-life aggregator platform Frank.co.th but increased the share to 100% in summer 2019. Their latest addition to the group is the acquisition of AM Trust Mobile Solutions, which provides device protection for smartphone holders and is now part of the group’s new brand bolttech

FWD has always prioritized digital and they are witnessing a sharp increase in online sales due to the global corona pandemic that acts as a catalyst. Within five weeks over 2 million COVID-19 protection plans have been sold in Thailand and most policies were sold online. Bob suggests that this trend will remain post-COVID and that insurers will focus more on digital distribution as well as on meaningful, situational coverages that are launched instantaneously. The pandemic has shown that it is possible for insurers with digital capabilities to react agile and launch new products within days. 

Bob also shares FWD’s measures in response to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of their 2000+ employees. Staff who are able to do their tasks remotely are working from home. Communication can be a challenge here and Bob explains how employees ensure they stay connected. For those who have to come into the office, the Company has split the teams into different groups to minimize the number of people in the same room. Bob notes that an important ingredient in the response to the global pandemic is flexibility. 

Find the episode with Prem, the founder of Frank.co.th here

Other companies mentioned SCB Life

Episode 77