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Gibraltar BSN Upbeat On Malaysian Market

06 Aug 2018

New Straits Times (Business Times)

Lidiana Rosli,

Insurance firm Gibraltar BSN Life Bhd is well on its way to tap the robust Malaysian insurance market after the completion of its three year transformation journey, ending 2020.

“Malaysia is blessed with underlying factors for the insurance industry, which is a very young population with most bring below 28 years old. It also has a productive population with unemployment rate always in the lower single digits,” President and Chief Executive Officer Rangam Bir said in an interview with NST Business.

He said Gibraltar BSN was on track to become a household name in Malaysia after its transformation journey.“The country provides a lot of opportunities for growth.” Bir said despite the unexpected change of government following the 14th General Election in May, policies in the financial industry remained intact and well regulated.

“Another thing that Malaysia has that is beneficial to us is the deep talent in the industry. If you go to Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, there are a lot of Malaysians in the insurance and financial industries. This talent, coupled with the factors that I’ve mentioned, make Malaysia an attractive market for growth.”

Gibraltar BSN is in the second year of its transformation program, ASCEND. “Part of our three-year roadmap is to enlarge our presence digitally, and this includes investing in data analytics as well as capabilities and enlarging our social media presence.” said Bir.

Up to July, the insurance provider has 530,000 customers, and it expects this number to grow on the back of on-going collaborations with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and Pos Malaysia Bhd. Both collaborations saw Gibraltar BSN products bring distributed at BSN’s 400 branches and Pos Malaysia’s 700 post offices. Bir said these tie-ups allowed the firm to remain lean, as there was less need to expand the number of its branches, which stands at nine.

“We are in discussions with local and Malaysia-based international entities to become distribution partners, but I cannot reveal anything further. We would like to have three to five distribution partners, and to this end, we are always on the lookout for ideal partners.”

Established in 1965 in Malaysia, the firm was rebranded to its current name after being acquired by the United States-based Prudential Financial Inc. and BSN in 2014.