FWD Life Philippines said it plans to continue expanding its network this year by opening new business hubs in key locations and provinces around the country.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, FWD Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said the life insurance company continues to be very bullish about the Philippines since its entry in the local market in September 2014.
“The very obvious economic development and increasing affluence of Filipinos has changed our mind. In fact, we are more bullish for the future since we made the decision to enter the Philippines as one of our markets in Asia,” he said.
“We will open new branches but the most important thing for us is to be where there is a need. We will open new branches to satisfy our potential customers,” he added.
FWD had already set up a total of seven branches as of last year, he noted.
Overall, FWD is looking at driving further growth by making insurance more relevant, easier to understand and buying insurance a more accessible, convenient, and an engaging experience for customers.
“While the first quarter of 2017 has continued with strong momentum for FWD, our mission remains the same: To be a challenger brand, drive innovation, and change the way Filipinos feel about insurance,” Grimes added.
Having secured all regulatory requirements, FWD said it has strengthened its capital position, and is now the life insurer with the highest level of paid in capital in the Philippines at P2.3 billion.
“The local Life Insurance industry faced some headwinds in 2016, with Total Premium Income for the sector down three percent from the previous year. Despite the slight overall industry downturn, FWD continued to grow by focusing on our vision and core operating strengths, leveraging technology and business and product innovation as our primary growth drivers,” Grimes said.
FWD said it continues to be one of the Philippines’ fastest growing insurers with its total premium income in 2016, growing by 35 percent over its 2015 income, enabling it to reach No.12 in market ranking in 2016 after just two years of operations.
Its total assets grew by 67 percent to P6.14 billion and total investments more than doubled to P5.09 billion compared with the previous year.
The company said it has also expanded its two main distribution channels by growing its agency sales-force to almost 1,900 agents, while their Financial Solutions Consultants—FWD’s insurance advisors based in Security Bank Corp. (SBC) branches–grew from 90 to over 150, thereby reaching more SBC clients in the bank’s expanding branch network across the country.