Sun Life, 8990 Holdings tie up to boost financial literacy
MANILA, Philippines – Life insurance and financial services giant Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) has teamed up with mass housing developer 8990 Holdings in a bid to raise financial awareness and gain more customers among the middle class.
The partnership, announced in a briefing on Wednesday, June 1, represents the first such tie-up in either the real estate sector or insurance industry.
"8990 Holdings has been blazing new trails in the real estate industry and Sun Life is looking forward to broadening its market and bringing its products to more Filipinos nationwide," said Sun Life president and CEO Riza Mantaring.
She added that while Sun Life retained its top position in life insurance with P32.8 billion in premiums last year, the penetration rate of life insurance in the country remains very low. Few Filipinos also invest.
"Because of this we're shifting our focus towards financial inclusion so that more Filipinos can benefit from the bright prospects of our economy," Mantaring said.
Sun Life also hopes to at least double the amount of premiums in 5 years.
"There's a lot of room for this because if you look at comparable ASEAN nations, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, they have double the penetration rate of life insurance and investment of the Philippines," Mantaring explained.
While the partnership won't entail any cross-selling of products between the two firms, 8990 Holdings president JJ Atencio said they are open to developing products that both firms can market together.
Atencio described the partnership as "an exploration of how we can use insurance products to customers to continue paying monthly amortizations."
He added that teaching Filipinos to make the right investment choices will ultimately lead to more prosperous families.
"If you look at demographics of defaulting accounts, the higher the income, the greater the propensity for default. That tells us that it's not so much about affordability but the knowledge and willingness to continue paying amidst all distractions of disposable income," Atencio explained.
"The partnership will start with education and sharing information on how to conduct financial literacy training in the country, but in the future, we are hoping to have a firmer partnership that will entail cross-product distributions," he added.
For the education aspect, the firms plan to collaborate on tools, products, and services that address financial, housing, and insurance needs of working middle and lower middle class families.
These tools will include seminars and conferences focusing on financial empowerment and security, family budgeting, payment responsibility, and investment.
Ri5e PH plan
The tie-up with 8990 Holdings is part of Sun Life's new 5-year growth plan dubbed "RI5E PH," which aims to net 5 million more customers by 2020.
At the moment, the firm has attracted 1.5 million customers, 70,000 of which are mutual fund customers, Mantaring said.
To press towards its goal, the firm has announced a slew of campaigns set for June, its annual Financial Awareness Month.
The campaigns include a new initiative called "Money for Life," which creates a financial planning program tailored to each client's individual needs.
To kick off the initiative, Sun Life launched a "Bus to the Future" roadshow campaign, where a bus equipped with virtual reality (VR) headsets showing different life scenarios and financial needs will travel in Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon, and Cebu throughout June.
To entice people who may be hesitant to talk to financial advisors, the firm also launched an online financial planning tool that allows potential clients to get product recommendations and buy mutual funds online. – Rappler.com
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