MANULIFE Philippines, the local arm of Canada-based insurance giant Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC), said it is on track toward meeting its targets for this year and next and is confident of expanding its market share by next year.
The group aims to ramp up its business and increase its network to 50 branches from the current 37 by 2016, said Manulife Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Charland.
After the launching of singer Sarah Geronimo as the new face of its campaign #StartYourStory, Charland said, “We have our own internal targets and we’re confident that we will achieve those targets. We are confident that we will do better than last year.”
“We think it’s a great time to launch a campaign. Last year, we launched our campaign in October, and this year we wanted to give it a little more time prior to Christmas,” he told reporters on Wednesday, citing that the newly-launched campaign may help them achieve targets by next year.
He added: “We saw an increase in people who would consider buying Manulife, so we are expecting it to deliver similar if not better results this year.”
Earlier, Charland bared Manulife Philippines’ targets, saying they will open 18 branches more by end-2016 — 10 branches this year and eight more in 2016 — from the 32 branches recorded as of last year, in a bid to service more markets nationwide.
This will raise Manulife Philippines’ network to 50 branches by the end of next year from the existing 37 branches.
In terms of market share, the company said it has cornered 8 to 8.5 percent of the Philippine market but is targeting to reach double-digit levels or at least 10 percent share after its expansion program next year.
He added that they are on track with their target to double their business by the year-end with first quarter sales up 40 percent from a year ago.
Keeping pace with industry
“The industry did quite well in the first six months and we also did well. We’re up to keep pace with the industry in the second half,” Charland said, noting that bulk of Manulife’s growth will come from the regular premium business, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the company’s sales source.
For the first half, the total life insurance industry grew by 49 percent compared to the same period last year.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the market given that a lot of Filipinos still do not have the coverage. With 7,000 advisers, and partnership with China Bank, we will continue to work well and execute what we already have,” Charland said.
Last year, its financial adviser insurance sales force grew by 38 percent, while insurance sales grew 44 percent. As of end-April, Manulife’s financial advisers already reached 670,000 from 600,000 last year.
Manulife Philippines is comprised of two-thirds of traditional savings plan and one-third single-type mutual funds. Also, some two-thirds of its sales come from the life insurance business, while the rest is sourced from its bancassurance tie-up with China Banking Corp.
China Bank owns 40 percent of the bancassurance joint venture with Manulife Philippines, called Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. The bancassurance business with China Bank started in 2007 and in October last year, China Bank hiked its interest in the joint venture to 40 percent from 5 percent.
At present, Manulife Philippines’ assets under management amount to about P90 billion.
Established in the Philippines 108 years ago, Manulife Philippines is the wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Toronto-based MFC, which is mainly involved in life insurance, pension and the education businesses. Aside from the Philippines and Canada, MFC has presence in the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.