Establishing ‘a voice at the executive level to effectively influence risk control’ is the most difficult task faced by our region’s risk managers, says new Generali Asia hire

Asia-based risk managers are “sophisticated enough to appreciate the cost of not effectively managing emerging risk within an organisation”, according to Generali Asia’s recently appointed head of value proposition and marketing Tricia Koh.

“However, the tough role they face is convincing the executive to invest in controlling this risk,” Koh says.

Koh, who is now based at Generali’s Hong Kong regional hub after joining the insurer from Allianz late last year, says that most companies exercise tight cost control to ensure the highest return, resulting in a tendency to treat insurance as an expense rather than an investment.

“This approach to risk management continues to place risk managers in a challenging position,” she says.

Koh says Asia has proven to be a high-growth market given its strong economic outlook and “exciting growth story” over the last decade.

“As the businesses in Asia grow so do their insurance needs,” she adds.

“This opportunity has been identified by many companies, generating an increase in investment and competition in Asia.

“However, the insurance landscape is highly diverse, due to the variances in political, social and economic development across the geography.”

Diverse exposures

Koh says the risk landscape in Asia is diverse too, from the well-known catastrophe exposures through to emerging exposures such as the cyber liability.

“This risk landscape demonstrates the importance of our industry to support the development of risk management sophistication in the region, especially in the developing countries,” she says.

The most exciting challenge of her new role, Koh believes, is helping insurance buyers appreciate the importance of selecting a loyal risk partner that is service-oriented and flexible, rather than focusing purely on price.

“At the end of the day, what makes a risk partner a loyal one is its value-adding capabilities and commitment to deliver on the tailored solutions and services to its customers,” she says.

“The day the customer suffers a loss is the real moment of truth. This is when the value of having a trusted partner can be realised and appreciated.”

Koh says as the Asian economy grows, it becomes more important to have local infrastructure to fully service and support customers in the region.