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International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) is the ultimate Health and Medical Insurance Digital Media serving expatriate, corporate, health and travel insurance markets. Due to the nomadic nature of the international healthcare industry iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service, for worldwide healthcare professionals, who need to understand the impacts of healthcare and insurance policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Combined with in depth health insurance industry analysis, best-in-class health insurance industry data, and exclusive, C-Suite Executive health insurance interviews and round tables, iPMI Magazine bridges an information gap between healthcare payor, provider and patient. Written by the health and medical insurance industry, for the health and medical insurance industry, iPMIM is supported and designed by leading international medical insurance companies and service providers.

Website URL: http://ipmimagazine.com

Reassessing Employee Medical Risk In The Shadow Of COVID-19

With the most recent official figures suggesting that two-thirds of people who have been shielding from the coronavirus in England are comfortable going back to work if protective measures are in place, the big challenge now for employers is having the right tools to manage the additional Duty of Care requirement. And all of this must be balanced with the confidentiality issues that surround personal medical information.

Addressing these challenges, Healix International, the health and security expert, has developed a new online tool – COVID Work Safe – which provides businesses with the tools to help identify employees who will be most at risk, as well as provide guidance on additional measures that can be implemented to keep them safe.

“As of 1 August, the government stated those who have been shielding can return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure and adhering to the guidance available”, explained Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer, Healix International.

“To ensure all employees are safe, and additional mitigation measures will be taken where necessary, it is vital for businesses to identify individual employees who may be at increased risk due to medical/clinical vulnerabilities. However, confidentiality issues surrounding personal medical information make this a challenging task for employers needing to evaluate individual medical risks quickly and at scale.”

Through a confidential, user-friendly on-line medical questionnaire, COVID Work Safe helps businesses conduct thorough confidential medical risk assessments. The unique online solution analyses an employee’s relevant medical history – as supplied by them - to produce a consistent and robust assessment of their vulnerability to COVID-19.

“Our dedicated portal provides the employer with a report detailing the assessment outcomes for employees based on a traffic light system”, added Dr Adrian Hyzler.

“Green is where the employee is considered at low risk of developing serious illness if infection with COVID-19 should occur and is fit to return to the workplace. Amber indicates that the employee is at a moderately increased risk of becoming hospitalised if infected with COVID-19, and red indicates there is a high risk of hospitalisation and severe disease if COVID-19 infection occurs. Returning to the workplace is not advised for individuals who fall into the red category unless other risk assessments and measures have been taken.

“Most importantly, confidentiality is maintained. While the employer has access to the report detailing the outcomes for each employee via the portal, they will not have access to any of the medical information submitted by an employee in order for the report to be created.”

In addition, each assessment has a helpful set of guidelines to support the return to workplace process, giving businesses the confidence and peace of mind that they are implementing the correct measures to keep their staff safe.  As well as fulfilling duty of care for vulnerable employees, COVID Work Safe will help reassure staff who may be nervous of returning after being furloughed or working from home for several months.

UK Economy Loses £32m Every Day As Result Of No Airbridge With The US

A new report jointly commissioned by Airlines UK, International Airlines Group, Heathrow Airport and Collinson reveals the true economic and social impact of the closed borders between two of the world’s most critical trading partners. The report concludes that while the closed border has had a major impact on the aviation sector, the impact across the entire UK economy is devastating.

  • New report details massive daily cost to the UK economy of lack of air link to the US
  • £121bn in UK exports and £417bn in Foreign Direct Investment at risk as air link remains closed between the UK and its most important trading partner
  • £3.5bn lost from US tourism and business travellers is revealed to be having a major impact on the restaurant, hospitality and retail sectors, impacting thousands of jobs
  • UK-wide issue, not just London and the South East, with 80 weekly flights between the US and six regional airports currently on ice
  • Report states the urgent need for bilateral agreement between the US and UK for city or state-based travel corridors and a robust airport testing programme to begin opening up this key trade, tourism and business corridor

The impact of COVID-19 on the air transport market between the UK and the US has been dramatic and widely reported. As travel restrictions came into force in late March, seat capacity fell by around 92% compared to April 2019. In September, published seat capacity is around 85% down on 2019 and high capacity summer months have been lost. 

The new joint report provides critical insight into the broader impact of the closed route between the US and the UK, revealing that the hit to UK GDP in 2020 is estimated to be at least £11 billion, with a significant proportion falling in Q4. By the beginning of October the closed air corridor between the US and the UK will be costing the UK economy £32m each and every day the air corridor remains closed.

John Holland Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport, said: “This is a stark warning that action is needed immediately to safely open up connections with our key trading partners in the US. We can start with flights to New York, a city where infection rates are now lower than here, and which is the UK’s most valuable route. PCR testing in private labs, both pre-flight and on arrival, would ensure that there is no risk of importing COVID and could pave the way to a Common International Standard for aviation testing.”

The UK sees more visitors by air from the US than from any other country, ordinarily welcoming nearly 4 million visitors each year – making the US the largest single source of inbound tourism and business travel to the UK economy. Visitors from the US spent a total of £3.8 billion during 2019, but this figure is expected to fall by £3.1 billion in 2020. Critically, the average duration of a trip by US visitors is seven days, meaning that current quarantine rules effectively lock these high-spending visitors out of the UK.

Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways, said: “Government inaction on aviation and its impact on Britain’s economy couldn’t be clearer. Time is running out. Ministers must reach agreement with their US counterparts on a testing regime that minimises quarantine and permits regional travel corridors to re-open the UK-US market. They must learn from trials across the globe and start implementing new measures as soon as possible to return confidence in flying and protect thousands of jobs.”

While recognising that public health cannot be compromised, there is widespread industry and public frustration that blanket country-level travel restrictions are a blunt tool that unnecessarily sever economic ties when viable alternative policies like airport testing are available.

Airport-based COVID-19 testing has been embraced by more than 30 countries around the world and is now in use at more than half the world’s busiest airports including Paris Charles de Gaulle, Tokyo Haneda and Dubai International.

David Evans, Joint CEO of airport services company Collinson, said: “We’ve always known that travel brings an immeasurable value to economies as well as societies at large, but COVID-19 has put into perspective just how critical and quantifiable it is. Testing at the border has been extensively trialled internationally, in locations with very strong scientific oversight such as Germany and found to be a safe means to get the world travelling again. With our partners Swissport, we’ve built a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility which is ready for use at Heathrow but awaits Government approval.”

The US represents the UK’s most important standalone trading partner. Almost 20% of UK exports are to the US. In 2018 these exports from the UK to the US were worth approximately £121 billion, of which £52 billion was trade in goods and £69 billion in services. The US is also the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment to the UK, standing at £417bn in 2018. This new report projects a catastrophic loss in trade between the US and the UK of £45.8bn due to closed borders, £12.8bn of which is due to fall in Q4.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: “The US is one of our most vital markets, worth tens of billions of pounds in trade every year, and millions of Americans come to the UK to visit and spend money in our shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. It’s critical we reopen this link, starting with the all-important London-New York route, so our economy and aviation sector can start the long road to recovery, and we urge Governments on both sides of the Atlantic to redouble their efforts to launch a testing regime as quickly as possible. In the absence of a vaccine, testing for arriving passengers – alongside regional travel corridors – remains the only way to resume international travel.”

The complete report is available to download.

Urgent Rescue Plan For UK Air Transport Needed

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) outlined the need for an urgent rescue plan for UK aviation, in the face of an imminent unemployment catastrophe.

The United Kingdom is experiencing an unprecedented air transport crisis which threatens to put more than 820,000 people out of work across the entire UK economy, and further damage the recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown. The damage has been exacerbated by government policies, particularly the imposition of quarantine measures which kill demand for air travel. Without immediate action, the UK will fall behind international partners and will quickly lose its coveted position as the 3rd biggest global aviation market.

In order to resume air connectivity and save thousands of jobs, the UK government must set out a rescue plan for UK aviation. IATA proposes a four-point plan to outline a roadmap for lifting quarantine measures and create a short-term boost to demand:

  1. A testing regime, to unlock travel from high-risk countries
  2. A review of the infection threshold for quarantine that is fully transparent and aligned with international partners
  3. A suspension of Air Passenger Duty to kick-start demand
  4. Extending the furlough scheme for the air transport sector until border restrictions are lifted and the industry has a chance to recover.

“The stop-start-stop closing of the UK to the world is not a successful survival tactic for COVID-19. Without a rescue plan, 820,000 jobs will be vaporized by quarantine and they may never come back. The answer is a COVID-19 testing regime that manages the risk to keep people safe from the virus. And it will avoid apocalyptic unemployment that is sure to devastate society and the economy,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Testing

There is evidence that the UK people support the testing approach. In the latest IATA survey of passenger attitudes, two-thirds of people surveyed in the UK agreed that people who test negative for COVID should not have to quarantine, and 62% of people feel that COVID-19 is sufficiently under control to open up borders.

Many countries around the world have introduced testing regimes to support air travel. It is time the UK brought forward a similar regime to work alongside the existing Travel Corridor policy. The UK has the opportunity to lead and shape global policy in this area.

Modified threshold

The present UK methodology for calculating which states should be subject to quarantine is opaque, but a frequently-quoted metric is the threshold of 20 infections per 100,000 of population. This level is not aligned with other European states. And if the UK were to agree to adopt a metric that was harmonized with other European countries it would give passengers greater predictability to plan their journeys, and give greater flexibility to maintain air connectivity. For this to be fully effective, however, the UK needs to be internally coordinated so that the devolved administrations are aligned with central government policy.

Suspension of APD and other financial measures

Aviation directly sustained more than 1.5 million jobs in the UK economy in 2019. The economic impact of the collapse in air traffic is estimated to be 733,000 lost jobs and GBP51.4 billion in GDP across the UK economy. If border restrictions and quarantine continue until the end of the year, an additional 87,000 jobs and GBP4.6 billion of GDP will also be lost. Failure to find alternatives to quarantine and the stop-start-stop approach to opening and closing destinations will see these economic impacts continue to increase in 2021. The UK will also lose its third place in the international table, a place it may never recover.

Alongside replacing quarantine with testing, measures to stimulate demand and support airlines will help to mitigate further job losses. Suspension of APD would stimulate demand. Extending the “cliff-edge” end of the furlough scheme for sectors which are recognized to be disproportionately hit by COVID-19 restrictions – such as air travel – would also buy time for the industry to recover and hold on to jobs.

See charts (pdf)

Canadian Government Needs to Consider Safe Options and Reopen Borders

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urges the Canadian government to support the COVID-19 testing initiatives of Air Canada and Westjet as a means to safely reopen Canada to international and domestic travel without the need for blanket quarantine measures. International traffic to Canada has plummeted since quarantine measures were introduced in March 2020. 

‘‘There are alternatives to the quarantine measures currently in place that can both keep Canadians safe as well as revive the economy. The ICAO multi-layered approach (Take-off guidance) is one. The work that Air Canada and WestJet are doing on testing adds another dimension. It is critical that the Government of Canada acts on these before the economic and social damages become permanent and the public health consequences of mass unemployment become even more apparent,’’ said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Economic Impact on Canada:

  • IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines with service to/from/within Canada could fall by C$22.6 billion (70%) relative to 2019.
  • That puts at risk nearly 410,500 Canadian jobs and some C$39 billion of Canada’s GDP, which is generated by aviation directly and indirectly as well as by aviation-related tourism.
  • Air transport in Canada directly and indirectly supports some 633,000 jobs.
  • In total, 3.2% of the country's GDP is supported by the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.

Quarantine Measures Hampering The Restart Of Aviation In Africa And The Middle East

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments in Africa and Middle East (AME) to implement testing as an alternative to quarantine measures when re-opening their economies.

Thirty-five countries in Africa and the Middle East have government-imposed quarantine measures in place. This is an increase of seven countries since August. The impact is that the region effectively remains in lockdown despite borders being open. Recent public opinion research showed that 88% of travelers would not even consider traveling if quarantine measures were imposed on travelers at their destination.

“Mandatory quarantine measures stop people from traveling. We understand that governments’ priority is on protecting the well–being of their citizens. Quarantine destroys livelihoods. Testing is an alternative method that will also save travel and tourism jobs,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

Travelers support testing.  The latest IATA survey of passenger attitudes, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shows 72% of people surveyed agreed that those who test negative for COVID should not have to quarantine, and that 80% of people feel that COVID-19 is sufficiently under control in the country to open borders.

Quarantines, closed borders and travel restrictions continue to decimate travel demand in Africa and the Middle East. Traffic levels in Africa and the Middle East saw the largest drop of all regions in July compared to 2019 levels. Total passenger traffic in Africa in July 2020 was 93.7% below 2019 levels and in the Middle East 95.5% below 2019 levels.

Aviation supported more than 6.2 million jobs and $56 billion in GDP in Africa and 2.4 million jobs and $130 billion in GDP in the Middle East pre-COVID-19. The economic impact of the collapse in air traffic in 2020 due to COVID-19 could be 3.5 million lost jobs and $35 billion in GDP in Africa and 1.5 million lost jobs and $85 billion in GDP Middle East.

 “Testing provides a safe alternative to quarantine and a solution to stop the economic and social devastation being caused by COIVID-19,” said said Albakri.

IATA Comment On Studies Regarding Onboard Transmission of COVID-19

"We are aware of the specific incidents on the studied flights (London to Hanoi and a Boston to Hong Kong), as well as other flights where secondary transmission on board the flight has potentially occurred. IATA references incidents of onboard transmission in its Medical Evidence for Possible Strategies (pdf) to help the industry in its efforts to keep flying safe.

There have been millions of flights since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. And there are very few reported incidents where onboard transmission is suspected. We believe that the data is telling us that the risk of onboard transmission of the virus is low when compared with other public indoor environments, such as trains, buses, restaurants and workplaces. There are published examples which indicate a much higher risk in these environments. Aircraft benefit from very high air exchange rates and HEPA filters which filter more than 99.99% of all particles including viruses.

Furthermore, the two flights studied took place in March and a lot has taken place since. Most notably, face masks and face coverings are now common practice during flights and other environments where social distancing is not possible. And in June, the ICAO “Take-off” guidelines for safe operations during the COVID-19 crisis was agreed and is being implemented by governments.

While the risk of transmission on an aircraft is low, passengers can take additional precautions to further lower the risk. Following guidance to wear a mask or face covering provides significant protection to all onboard. Passengers are also encouraged to practice good hand hygiene – washing hands regularly with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, especially after contact with commonly touched surfaces.  

We continue to keep an open mind and a close watch on emerging data and medical literature."

Regional Air Traffic Remains Stagnant

IATA has renewed its call on governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to allow a wider restart for aviation, as well as consider providing further financial relief and aid to the airlines.

According to the latest figures released by the association, global demand measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) has retracted by 79.8% in July 2020 as compared to July 2019. This was a slight improvement on the 86.8% year-on-year decline registered in June 2020.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean demand in RPK fell by 87.5% in July 2020 year-on-year, with capacity (Available Seat Kilometers) dropping by 83.2%. Load factor hit 63.1%, once again a sign that there is demand for travel in the market (global average load factor is 57.9% in July 2020).

Airlines based in the region are clearly showing the fallout of the continued lockdown in many countries. Demand in July dropped 95%, compared to the same month last year, versus a 96.6% drop in June. Capacity fell 92.6% and load factor sank 27.1 percentage points to 58.4%, although highest among the regions, again as an indication that some demand is present in the market.

In parallel cargo demand also shrank globally, in part due to the lack of capacity driven by the suspension of passenger flights.  Cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell by 13.5% in July (-15.5% for international operations) compared to the previous year. Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), declined by 31.2% in July (32.9% for international operations) compared to the previous year.

Latin American carriers posted a 32.1% drop in year-on-year international demand in July, down from a 28.6% decline in June. International capacity decreased 44.5%. The drop in both demand and capacity was the most severe of all regions. The COVID-19 crisis is particularly challenging at present for airlines based in Latin America owing to strict lockdown measures. In July the Latin American air cargo market was smaller than the African market for the first time since these statistics have been reported in 1990.

“In many countries across Latin America and the Caribbean we are now getting close to the half-year mark of suspended operations. Generating no revenues and still having to cover costs over such an extended period of time is a fight for survival for any industry. We urgently need governments to work with the us on restarting aviation, as this will ultimately help bolster economies and support livelihoods,” said Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas.

Argentina is now the largest market in the region where aviation remains suspended. The industry can no longer accept further postponements of reopening dates.  It needs clarity on when flights can resume, especially since all biosafety protocols are in place. LATAM Argentina has already ceased operations and three international airlines – Air New Zealand, Emirates and Qatar Airways – have announced that they will not resume flights to Argentina, negatively affecting the country’s connectivity once borders reopen.

“Argentina was already going through an economic crisis before COVID-19. The fact that several international airlines have already taken the decision not to return once restrictions are lifted, shows the lack of confidence in the market. Continued procrastination by the government will further reduce the country’s international connectivity. From an industry perspective we would not want the country to become another Venezuela which over the years has gone from being one of the key aviation markets on the continent to now having very limited international connectivity,” said Cerdá.

Chile, although having maintained both domestic and international flights, urgently needs to consider lifting border restrictions and quarantine regulations. International airlines have resumed operations to the country, but if demand continues to be depressed, chances are that capacity will once again be removed.

Meanwhile, Colombia this week made progress with domestic service resuming to 15 destinations, including the country’s main hub airport – Bogota. Coordinated planning with the authorities must now continue to ensure that also international services can recommence without any undue delay.

Following the resumption of domestic services back in July, the authorities in Peru announced the resumption of international services as of October. The industry is eagerly awaiting further details so airlines can begin to plan accordingly.

Bolivia has also lifted border restrictions and will permit international flights to and from Brazil, Europe, Uruguay and the USA.

While resumption of service is a positive development, what is currently being seen across the region is a patchwork of rules and regulations. This is stifling the industry restart, even though the prerequisite to open borders is contained in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Take-off guidance.

“Governments came together to agree on the ICAO Take-off guidance for a safe re-start of aviation. However, there is no cooperation on implementation, thereby keeping 90% of international travel grounded. Governments need to agree on a science-based approach to reopening borders and restoring confidence in air travel”, said Cerdá.

In the meantime, airlines will continue to struggle financially as they enter the sixth month of grounding, Therefore, governments will need to consider further relief and aid. While many governments and industry partners have mainly provided relief in the form of deferred payments, changes in taxation, or lowering of fees and charges, for example, only Colombia this week approved direct financial aid.

“While we applaud the decision taken by the government of Colombia to provide financial support to the country’s largest airline, we would like to remind all governments that it is the entire industry which is suffering, and not just one airline”, said Cerdá.

Before COVID-19, aviation directly and indirectly,  contributed US$167 billion to the region’s GDP and sustained 7.2 million jobs. If governments keep imposing restrictions on aviation in the region, this impact will be massively reduced.

“There is no need to continue restricting air transport as the industry has strict biosafety protocols in place, which have been approved by the relevant authorities. We need to learn to coexist with the virus until a vaccine has been found. Aviation is ready to play its part in the socio-economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean, but we need governments to allow us to do so", Cerdá said.

Bupa Announces Evelyn Bourke Is Retiring As Group CEO And Appoints Iñaki Ereño from 1 January 2021

Evelyn has been CEO since 2016 and served as Bupa’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from 2012. Iñaki joined Bupa in 2005 and has been CEO of Sanitas since 2008 and CEO of ELA since 2016.

Roger Davis, Chairman said: “Our deepest thanks go to Evelyn for all that she has contributed to Bupa. She leaves the organisation in excellent shape. The hallmark of her leadership has been her systematic focus on Bupa’s customers, putting them front and centre right across the organisation. She has also transformed many of the fundamentals across the Group, investing in technology and operational resilience, and strengthening internal controls and risk management. This has served Bupa incredibly well in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having delivered substantive change, Evelyn has decided that the time is right for her to move onto the next phase of her career and go plural, developing a portfolio career.

“We are delighted to appoint Iñaki as Evelyn’s successor. Iñaki is a long-time member of the Bupa team, with an exemplary track record of leadership, innovation and growth across multiple business lines and geographies. His deep knowledge of Bupa and our sectors, his passion for digital and innovation, and his strong drive make him the natural choice to take Bupa forward. The Board and I are excited about what he will bring to the next chapter in Bupa’s development.”

Evelyn Bourke said: “Bupa is a wonderful organisation and it’s been an absolute privilege to have led the organisation through a time of significant transformation, challenge and change. I’ve loved it. This was not an easy decision to make, and in truth it will never feel like the right time to leave an organisation like Bupa. That said, I know that Bupa will go from strength to strength under Iñaki’s leadership, and I’m looking forward to working with him over the coming months as we make the transition.

“Our 83,000 people around the world are at the heart of Bupa’s success and I would like to thank everyone for making the eight years I have spent here so special.”

Iñaki Ereño, Group CEO designate said: "It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to lead Bupa. Evelyn and I have worked closely together over the years, and I want to thank her and wish her all the very best for the future, both professionally and personally.

“Health could not be more relevant to the world right now, and Bupa has a vital role to play. I know we have what we need to succeed in the future healthcare space. I am delighted to be entrusted with taking us forward and ensuring we rise to this opportunity.”

Reinsurance Group Of America Announces New Members To Board Of Directors

Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (NYSE: RGA) a leading global life and health reinsurer, has announced the appointment of Stephen T. O’Hearn and Ng Keng Hooi to its Board of Directors.

Mr. O’Hearn will begin his service on October 1, 2020. Mr. Ng will join mid-2021 following the completion of a previous post-retirement commitment. The addition of Mr. O’Hearn and Mr. Ng increases the number of RGA directors to 12.

“RGA is fortunate to add the extensive experience of Steve and Keng Hooi to our board,” said Anna Manning, President and Chief Executive Officer, RGA. “Steve is a global executive with keen insights into the insurance and financial services industries, and his perspectives on risk, regulation, and global strategy will immediately add value to our board. Keng Hooi’s exceptional track record in leading complex and dynamic businesses for the largest life insurers in the world, along with his experiences in highly regulated environments, will enhance RGA’s board oversight as the company continues to seek growth opportunities globally.”

“With the addition of Steve and Keng Hooi to the RGA board, we are further strengthening an already impressive roster of industry leaders and business professionals,” said J. Cliff Eason, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Steve is an exceptionally accomplished professional who brings a wealth of best practices and strategic insights to our board and will further enhance our financial oversight. Keng Hooi is a highly seasoned life insurance veteran whose expertise will significantly deepen our board's industry knowledge in both developed and emerging markets in Asia.”

Stephen T. O’Hearn

Mr. O’Hearn spent the majority of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and was with the firm for 38 years. Most recently, he served as the Global Leader of PwC’s 15,000-person Insurance Practice from 2015 to 2020, during which time he also served on PwC’s extended global leadership team. A trained accountant, Mr. O’Hearn has 26 years of experience as an audit partner, serving a variety of clients in the financial services industry.

His career has led him around the world: In 2001, Mr. O’Hearn moved to Tokyo with the PwC Insurance Practice, and in 2012, he moved to Switzerland to serve as the Global Relationship Partner and Audit Partner for Zurich Insurance Group. He then assumed the role of EMEA Insurance Leader in 2012, and leadership of the PwC Global Insurance Practice in 2015. In 2018, he moved to Munich to serve as Global Relationship Partner for Allianz.

Mr. O’Hearn attended The University of Notre Dame, graduating summa cum laude in 1982, and he is a Certified Public Accountant in the United States. He served on the Board of the International Insurance Society 2009 to 2018, and was chairman of the finance committee for the first five years of his tenure.

Ng Keng Hooi

Ng Keng Hooi has a wealth of insurance industry experience that spans more than 40 years. Most recently, Mr. Ng served as senior advisor to AIA Group Limited (AIA Group) and was Group Chief Executive and President of AIA Group from 2017 to 2020. From 2010-2017, Mr. Ng served as Regional Chief Executive at AIA Group, and was responsible for the group’s business operations in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Brunei as well as Group Agency Distribution.

He joined AIA Group from Great Eastern Holdings, Singapore where he was Group Chief Executive between December 2008 and October 2010. Prior to his tenure at Great Eastern Holdings, Mr. Ng was with Prudential plc for almost 20 years, including as a member of Prudential Corporation Asia’s board and Regional Managing Director of Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. This followed his successful tenure as CEO of Prudential Malaysia.

Mr. Ng has been a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (U.S.) since 1985. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College (Pennsylvania, USA) in 1979.

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings Of Allianz SE And Rated Subsidiaries

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of Allianz SE (Allianz) (Germany) and its rated subsidiaries (see below for the list of the companies). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Allianz’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, very favourable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management.

Allianz is one of the world’s largest insurance groups, with superior diversification by geography and business line, and leading positions in many developed and emerging markets, offering a complete range of life and non-life insurance products, as well as asset management services. Its competitive position is supported by its scale, strong management capabilities, dynamic strategy and strong brand.

AM Best expects Allianz’s consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), to be maintained at the strongest level, underpinned by a prudent capital management approach. Financial leverage and coverage ratios are supportive of the balance sheet strength assessment and financial flexibility is considered excellent due to the group’s good access to capital markets.

Allianz has a track record of strong and stable operating performance, supported by its diversified earnings profile. The group has produced a five-year weighted average return on equity of 10.9% (2015-2019), as calculated by AM Best. The group’s property/casualty segment has demonstrated consistently strong performance, reporting a five-year average combined ratio of 94.7%, supported by strong group-wide pricing capabilities. The operating profit in Allianz’s life/health segment has demonstrated a five-year compound annual growth of 7%, reaching EUR 4.8 billion in 2019 despite a challenging low interest rate environment. The group’s profitable and scalable asset management business continues to provide a good additional source of income (23% of the group’s operating profit in 2019).

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICR of “aa” have been affirmed with stable outlooks for the following subsidiaries of Allianz SE:

  • Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Resseguros Brasil S.A.
  • Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE
  • Allianz S.p.A
  • Allianz Risk Transfer AG
  • Allianz Risk Transfer (Bermuda) Limited
  • AWP P&C S.A.
  • Jefferson Insurance Company
  • AWP Health & Life S.A.
  • Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company
  • Allianz Underwriters Insurance Company
  • AGCS Marine Insurance Company
  • American Automobile Insurance Company
  • Euler Hermes North America Insurance Company
  • National Surety Corporation
  • The American Insurance Company
  • Associated Indemnity Corporation
  • Chicago Insurance Company
  • Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
  • Fireman’s Fund Indemnity Corporation
  • Interstate Fire & Casualty Company
  • Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
  • Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York
  • Allianz México, S.A., Compañía de Seguros (NSR of “aaa” has been affirmed with a stable outlook)

The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with stable outlooks:

Allianz Finance II B.V. (debt issues are guaranteed by Allianz SE)—
-- “aa-” on EUR 2 billion 5.75% subordinated bonds, due 2041
-- “a+” on EUR 800 million 5.375% perpetual subordinated bonds
-- “aa” on EUR 750 million 3% senior unsecured bonds, due 2028
-- “aa” on GBP 750 million 4.5% senior unsecured bonds, due 2043
-- “aa” on EUR 1.5 billion 3.5% senior unsecured bonds, due 2022

Allianz SE—
-- “a+” on EUR 1.5 billion 4.75% perpetual subordinated bonds
-- “a+” on USD 1 billion 5.5% perpetual subordinated bonds
-- “aa-” on EUR 1.5 billion 5.625% subordinated bonds, due 2042
-- “a+” on EUR 1.5 billion 3.375% perpetual junior subordinated bonds

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Medical, Travel And Technical Assistance

 

A guide to leading international medical and travel assistance companies and providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate business travel markets globally.

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