Banking, Finance & Takaful

New Takaful player enters Malaysian market

Richard Li, the younger son of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing, has joined forces with Malaysia richest man Robert Kuok-controlled JAB Capital Bhd (formerly known as Jerneh Asia Bhd) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to launch a new takaful in the country under the FWD brand.

FWD Takaful Bhd, a 49%-owned unit of Pacific Century Group, announced the launch of the takaful here today.

Pacific Century, founded and headed by Richard Li, owns its stake in FWD through FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd.

JAB Capital, a wholly-owned unit of Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, holds a 31% stake in FWD Takaful.

EPF owns the remaining 20% of FWD Takaful, according to Companies Commission Malaysia data.

FWD is a five-year-old brand, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance and employee benefits across eight markets, before entering Malaysia.

FWD Takaful is therefore the first takaful business under the FWD Group.

Speaking at the launching ceremony today, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the entry of FWD Takaful into the Malaysian market, bodes well for the local insurance and takaful industry, as it will provide Malaysians with more competitive choices of takaful plans for themselves and their families, and reflects the growth potential of Malaysia’s takaful industry.

“This is also in line with the government’s commitment to assist Malaysian households to become more financially resilient, through insurance and takaful protection.

“FWD Takaful’s entry into Malaysia certainly bodes well for the domestic takaful industry, with total investments of RM1.06 billion over the next five years,” he said.

Lim also said FWD Takaful’s digital strategy adoption in distribution channel and takaful product offerings is a step in the right direction for consumer convenience, and seamless operations.

“FWD Takaful’s aim to foster digitally-enabled relationships with customers, is a great way for Malaysia to be at the forefront of this movement. By encouraging and introducing digital products, it adds to a collective effort that will help the transformation towards digitisation of our Malaysian economy,” he said.

Also present at the launch was Li himself, together with Pacific Century director Peter Allen, FWD managing director of emerging markets and group chief distribution officer Binayak Dutta, FWD executive vice president Arthur Lee, and FWD chief executive officer Salim Majid Zain.

In a statement, FWD Takaful said it officially launched its brand today and introduced its vision to change the way people feel about Takaful.

“Marking FWD Group’s ninth market in just five years, the brand will leverage FWD’s strength and expertise in the insurance and protection business to cement its position locally as a family takaful operator, offering innovative and easy-to-understand products and a straight forward approach to claims,” it said.

Source: The Edge Markets

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