Nominations for the 2016 Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) are now open

The Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) recognize excellence and innovation in the use of technology within the insurance industry in the Asia Pacific Region.

Nominations for the 2016 AITA Awards are now open. Please find more information on Celent website http://www.celent.com/aita, and you can download the nomination form from there. The deadline for submitting the nomination form is 24 June 2016.

AITA AWARDS CATEGORIES

IT Leadership

This award honours an individual who has displayed clear vision and leadership in the delivery of technology to the business. The recipient will have been responsible for deriving genuine value from technology and has demonstrated this trait with a specific project or through ongoing leadership.

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Insurer: Technology

This award honours the insurer who has made the most progress in embracing technology across the organisation.

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations. However, vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Digital Transformation

This award honours an insurer or broker who has made the most progress in implementing digitization initiatives, such as sale and service of products online, eco-system integration (such as with business partners, repair shops, medical providers, distribution, etc.), leveraging social networks, work-place enablement (such as BYOD, collaboration tools, etc.), business process automation (STP), engaging user interface design, or leveraging mobile technology.
 
Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.
 
Big Data and Analytics

This award honours insurer or broker who has made the most progress in utilizing data analytics technologies, such as predictive analytics (claims fraud, underwriting, pricing, climate analysis), prescriptive analytics (triage, sales automation, ‘next best action’), and virtualization (dashboards and heat maps, catastrophe management, network analysis, geo-political risk analysis).

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Newcomer

This award recognizes the best new player in the insurance technology field. The recipient will have introduced a game-changing solution to the industry.

Nomination accepted from insurers, vendors and Fintech/Insurtech firms

Innovation

This award recognizes the innovation business model, applying of emerging technology, or the innovative usage of technology.

Nomination accepted from insurers, vendors  and Fintech/Insurtech firms

ロボアドバイザー3.0の時代

Robo for blog 2014年12月に発行した弊社レポート「ロボアドバイザーをめぐるディスラプション」では、ロボアドバイザーのもたらす脅威に対し、伝統的なウェルスマネジメント会社がどう取り組んでいるのかを記載しました。 その後今日に至るまで、ロボアドバイザーの世界は大きな変化を遂げました。 ロボアドバイザーの黎明期(「ロボアドバイザー1.0」の時代)は、Charles SchwabやVanguardといった、多様なビジネスを手がけるアセットマネジメント会社の独自ロボアドバイザーの登場とともに終わりを告げ、「ロボアドバイザー2.0」の時代へと入りました。また最近では、より純粋なアセットマネジメント会社であるBlackRockやInvescoの参入も話題となったところです。 こういったアセットマネジメント会社の戦略的意図や将来性について、セレントは独自の分析を行い、先日発刊した最新レポートでその見解を示しました。本レポートでは、富裕層をターゲットとする証券会社など、伝統的な投資サービス提供企業への影響や示唆についても考察をし、さらには「ロボアドバイザー3.0」にも触れました。潤沢な資金を持つIT企業や、イノベーティブな心をもった既存金融機関による、より高機能で、より多くの投資家層に適用可能な「ロボアドバイザー3.0」の誕生に対し、アセットマネジメント会社の参入がどんな影響を及ぼすのかを分析しています。

Call for nomination for Model Insurer Asia Award, deadline extended

Celent is still accepting nominations for our Sixth Annual Model Insurer Asia Awards. To nominate a firm, fill out the entry form at http://www.celent.com/node/31094 by November 13, 2015. Please read the Guidelines on the same page before you complete the nomination form. Questions? Email Wenli Yuan at wyuan@celent.com and copy KyongSun Kong at kkong@celent.com.

Nominations for the Fifth Annual Celent Model Insurer Asia Awards (2015 Awards) are now Open!

Every year, Celent recognizes the effective use of technology in the Asia Pacific region through its Model Insurer Asia Awards program. The nomination period for 2014 has already open. If you know of an insurance company which exhibits best practices in the use of technology, please click here and complete the nomination form. Submissions are being accepted until 31 October 2014. Through our Model Insurer Asia Awards Program, Celent recognizes the year’s top technology initiatives. Past winners received their recognition through outstanding implementation of technology areas such as agent portals, document management, claims, billing, distribution management, and policy administration. Past winners include Max Bupa Health Insurance, Ageas Insurance Company (Asia), AXA Asia, Birla Sun Life Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Yingda Taihe Property Insurance, and Cathay Century Insurance, to name a few. Celent’s Model Insurer research is designed to try to answer the deceptively simple question: What would it look like for an insurer to do everything right with today’s technology? Obviously, the question is not as simple as it appears. The terms “everything” and “right” will mean very different things to different companies. The approach that Celent has taken is to tease out high level best practices in the use of technology across the product and policyholder life cycle and in IT infrastructure and management that a Model Insurer would use. On the back of the global Model Insurer research by our colleagues in North America and Europe, we at Celent Asia are conducting an Asia Pacific specific program to identify the potentially unique Model Insurer solutions that have been recently deployed in our region. Of course, there is no such thing as a Model Insurer Asia across the board. Therefore, we focus on specific real world examples of individual technology initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. These case studies are presented at Celent’s annual Model Insurer Asia event and represent key themes: •Legacy and ecosystem transformation: Legacy technology can hinder innovation, since insurers must typically offer backward compatibility. Insurers must not only modernize, but also transform their internal systems and how they interact with customers, counterparties, and regulators. This theme recognizes projects related to core system replacement or transformation including policy administration, billing, claims, and rating/underwriting. •Digital and omnichannel technologies: Digital transformation is moving from person-to-person interaction toward person-to-machine or machine-to-machine. Integrating and coordinating among disparate and siloed delivery channels will be critical to satisfying ever-increasing customer expectations. Using the definition that digital automates complex tasks, allowing them to be mastered, then reproduced and distributed at no cost, this theme recognizes projects such as online customer portals; industrialization of processes; engaging user interfaces; online sales with STP; integration with business partners; leveraging social networks; and the use of mobile technology. •Innovation and emerging technologies: Celent defines innovation as fundamental changes to products, services, or business models that break existing tradeoffs and provide value to the customer. New hardware, software, and network technologies feed insurance innovation. This theme recognizes projects such as the expansion into previously untapped markets due to technology; the use of technologies not previously used in the insurance industry; or the development of an innovation culture within an IT organization. •Data mastery and analytics: Data has become a key source of competitive advantage for identifying profitable niches, managing risk, and improving service. New external data sources, data derived from devices, and new techniques for interpreting data are pushing the competitive boundaries for insurers at an accelerated rate. This theme recognizes projects such as predictive analytics (claims fraud, underwriting, pricing, climate analysis); prescriptive analytics (triage, sales automation, “next best action”); and virtualization (dashboards and heat maps, catastrophe management, network analysis, geopolitical risk analysis). •Non-core implementation best practices: What does it take to safeguard investments in technology and answer the inevitable question, “What’s next?” This theme recognizes projects such as successful reuse of technology for new initiatives; implementation of a non-core system such as illustrations, document automation, electronic applications, or agency management systems; or finding successes in new methods and processes for distribution and sales. An important note is that a Model Insurer Asia Award is recognition of an insurer’s effective use of technology in a certain area or theme, not necessarily a statement that the insurer is Best in Class. Model Insurer Asia success highlights the insurer’s ability to improve performance and meet market demands when tackling issues facing the industry today. To nominate an initiative at your company as a Model Insurer Asia, please use the brief form on here: Nomination form. Please note that vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive an award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done primarily with the insurer, not the vendor. Guidelines for Celent Model Insurer Asia Award Submissions: This information will assist you in completing the nomination form. Below are generalized criteria that are considered by Celent when evaluating submissions. General submission and award criteria: •The initiative has been implemented in the Asia Pacific region at an insurance company, a company that takes on risks under the policies it sells in return for the payment of premiums. MGA, TPAs or self-insured companies are not eligible for nomination. •The nominated initiative is LIVE (in production) and functioning at the insurance company. Pilot programs are not considered live and in production. •The nominated insurer has been involved in the submission and is willing to be actively involved in the post submission evaluation process which includes follow up emails and interviews, and possible inclusion in the Celent Model Insurer Asia report. •Quantitative success metrics are measured and provided. Nominations without quantitative success metrics will not be accepted. •Quantifiable results from a pilot program are acceptable however it must be noted that the results are from a pilot. Full production results are preferred. •The initiative has not been submitted for another Celent 2015 Award, e.g., Model Insurer. Quality of Nominations The importance of the quality of the nomination itself, and of the supporting information, cannot be overemphasized. The nomination should be as specific, accurate, and complete as possible. It is imperative that the true merits of the initiative be conveyed through this information. Keep in mind that in most cases those involved in the selection process will have no personal knowledge of the nominated initiative and will lean heavily on the information provided below for the information they need to make reasonable judgments. In some cases, Celent will check publicly available information to augment or substantiate the information provided. The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 31, 2014. Once submitted, all communication will occur between Celent and the insurer, however Celent will acknowledge the receipt of the submission with both the insurer and, if applicable, the vendor partner.

Beyond HFT

Last week I attended the Tokyo Financial Information Summit, put on by Interactive Media. The event was interesting from a number of perspectives. This event focuses on the capital markets; attendees are usually domestic sell side and buy side firms and vendors, including global firms active in Japan. This year there was good representation from around Asia ex-Japan as well; possibly attracted by the new volatility in Japan’s stock market. The new activity in the market was set off by the government’s Abenomics policies aimed at reinvigorating the Japanese economy. But I suspect the fact that Japan’s stock market is traded on an increasingly low latency and fragmented market structure gives some extra juice to the engine. Speaking of high frequency trading, Celent’s presentation at the event pointed out that HFT volumes have fallen from their peak (at the time of the financial crisis) and that HFT revenues have fallen drastically from this peak. In response to this trend, as well as the severe cost pressures in the post-GFC period, cutting-edge firms seeking to maintain profitable trading operations are removing themselves from the low latency arms race. Instead, firms are seeking to maximize the potential of their existing low-latency infrastructures by investing in real-time analytics and other new capabilities to support smarter trading. HFT is not dead, but firms are moving beyond pure horsepower to more nuanced strategies. Interestingly, this theme was echoed by the buy and sell side participants in a panel at the event moderated by my colleague, Celent Senior Analyst Eiichiro Yanagawa. Even though HFT levels in Japan, at around 25 – 35% of trading, have probably not reached their peak, firms are already pulling out of the ultra-low latency arms race–or deciding not to enter it in the first place. The message was that for many firms it is not advisable to enter a race where they are already outgunned. Instead they should focus on smarter trading that may leverage the exchanges’ low latency environment, but rely on the specific capabilities and strategies of a firm and its traders. Looking at this discussion in a global context, it seems interesting and not a little ironic that just as regulators are preparing to strike against HFT, the industry has in some sense already started to move beyond it.

Quotes from the Innovation Roundtable

They said it couldn’t be done, but we held the latest installment in Celent’s series of innovation roundtables in Tokyo recently. Our innovation roundtables put the focus squarely on interactive discussion among the participants. This is a relatively untried model in Japan, where events typically take the form of conventional conferences with presentations. We’re glad we tried it though, because we got a very interesting line-up of firms. Participants included the whole spectrum: banks, capital markets firms, and insurers; Japanese and foreign firms; traditional mega-institutions and alternative new entrants. The discussion was lively; below are some quick notes I took of some of the more interesting comments made, to capture a bit of the flavor of the day. Why Innovate? “Innovation is not the goal, it is a method and a tactic.” “We need to innovate because it has become difficult to differentiate us from our competitors.” “In today’s environment, innovation is necessary if you want to stay profitable.” Paths to Innovation “Incremental innovation is an axymoron. You can’t innovate by increments; innovation requires a big bang change.” “It might be possible to rearrange existing elements to create something new.” “When to innovate? If our clients think a new service is interesting, we try and create it for them and see if it succeeds.” “Innovation needs to be business driven.” “Financial institutions need to have an innovation division; an incubation unit that accumulates ideas from throughout the company.” IT and Innovation “IT is not the impetus for innovation, but because IT inevitably evolves, that creates need for innovation.” “Legacy is a barrier: it is hard to throw things away.” Cultural Challenges “We need to justify ROI on any investment each fiscal year. It is hard to show this on an innovation project.” “If you think about it, financial institutions don’t even have R&D departments.” Quote of the Day “Changing company culture is really about changing oneself. I personally enjoy innovation and change. Innovative culture is about getting a bunch of people together who enjoy change.”

Insurance and Japan

One might naturally assume that the tragic events in northeastern Japan would also be devastating the Japanese insurance industry. By the beginning of April some 320,000 P&C claims related to the disasters had already been filed with insurers. After the Kobe earthquake of 1995, when many home and business owners discovered their policies did not cover the damage, people got in the habit of buying earthquake / tsunami insurance. So fortunately more properties were insured on 3/11 than may have been otherwise. In conversations with Japanese carriers, however, Celent has found that insurers are remarkably sanguine about the likely effect on the industry here. Firms say they have adequate reserves set aside precisely to cover an event of this magnitude, which has long been predicted. As a result, Celent expects that major Japanese insurers will continue to invest in strategic initiatives to boost competitiveness and lower costs in this very crowded market. IT spending growth at Japanese insurers, which has been close to flat for years anyway due to the maturity of the market, will suffer a modest dip in the short term. Smaller insurers are likely to put off renewal projects for a while. Pressure to merge will increase at some firms, but again the industry has seen a spate of consolidation activity in recent years already. The recent events are likely to encourage Japanese insurers to accelerate their international expansion efforts, which are already underway. Carriers have been looking abroad for growth opportunities, especially to the Asia Pacific region but further afield in the Americas and Europe as well. In Tokyo, along with the concern, there is a new competitive spirit in the air. April is the start of Japan’s fiscal year and businesses look determined to find ways to grow even as the economy is forecast to contract. The insurance industry would be no exception. For example, the past year has seen the emergence of new internet and mobile based distribution models and products, approaches which seem almost tailor-made for the post-3/11 era. Technology suppliers will want to know that amplified interest in business continuity is leading insurers to think seriously about cloud computing. The blooming sakura and early spring sunshine might be distracting me from some of the harsher realities of 21st century Japan. But certainly a little optimism is not misplaced in what is after all one of the world’s major insurance markets.

UCITS: Knocking on Asia’s Doors !

Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) are investment schemes that allow for free cross border sales of instruments with a single authorization from any one of the Euro-zone member states. They have become tremendously popular in Europe. Off late UCITS are gaining in popularity with international investors.Today, Asia has the lion’s share of all internationally distributed UCITS. Hongkong, Singapore and Taiwan are emerging as hubs for the distribution of UCITS to the wider East, South East and Central Asia Region. Bahrain has become a pivotal center for UCITS distribution in West Asia and Africa.

Majority of investments finding their way into UCITS in Asia are routed into Equity (39%) , Money Market (23%) and Bond (20%) Funds. Most UCITS promoters I spoke to believe that though Asia will continue to be the biggest overseas geography for UCITS sales, challenges remain. These include – taxation issues, distribution complexity because of non-standard platforms , fragmented market and low automation levels. Will be interesting to see how distributors in Asia respond to this opportunity and how newer markets in Asia react to the UCITS offerings. Celent has just released a report on the subject: UCITS IV Directive: Implications for the Asset Management Industry in Europe.