MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Canadian-based insurance firm, Manulife Philippines, said the life insurance industry’s first half 2014 performance was slow versus overall 2013 performance.
The entire industry is challenged to replicate the 2013 performance, Ryan Charland, Manulife Philippines President and CEO said on Friday, September 26.
Regular premiums across the industry grew sluggish in the first half of the year, while single premiums declined in the first semester. Exact figures were not cited though.
Charland attributes the 2013 stellar showing to the stock market and special deposit accounts’ performance.
“Those conditions haven’t been replicated in 2014, that’s why it’s going to be a challenge for the industry,” Charland added.
Manulife Philippines, which has been in the country for 107 years, has climbed to the 3rd spot in terms of premium income. Apart from life insurance, Manulife also offers pension and education plans.
Charland said the company is not likely to match its 93% growth in premium income last year due to 2014’s first half poor showing.
But Charland added that recovery is on its way as more Filipinos are starting to invest in insurance products.
Charland said expanding its footprint in the country and increasing its sales force are the huge opportunities that Manulife Philippines have to improve its numbers moving forward.
“That’s going to be our primary focus – taking advantage of the huge opportunity that we already have as opposed to looking for other partners,” Charland said.
From 2013’s 4,400 financial advisers, Manulife Philippines is inching to 5,400 sales force.
Manulife Philippines’ client base is also expected to increase with the firm’s tie-in with China Banking Corporation.
Manulife Philippines is also targeting to increase its branches from 30 to 50 in the next 3 to 5 years.
Charland said the company will continue to expand its provincial footprint by opening more branches outside of Metro Manila.
“What we really want to focus on is to have breadth as a company, to talk to as many people as possible,” Charland said.
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Phils) Inc (“Manulife Philippines”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, the insurance company of Manulife Financial Corporation. – Rappler.com
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