ACE’s new regional head of financial lines for Asia Pacific Stanley Wong talks legislation, liabilities and leadership

Wong has told StrategicRISK that recent regulatory changes in the region have necessitated the creation of new risk management solutions, thereby creating a host of business opportunities for innovative insurers.

For example, the new Companies Ordinance and subsidiary legislation that came into full force in Hong Kong last month, save for a few provisions. It aims to enhance corporate governance, ensure better regulation, facilitate business and modernise the law.

Wong told SR that directors and officers needed to “purchase or manage the new exposures arising from such a regulatory change”.

“Such a change impacts management liability covers and has made directors and officers sit up to pay more attention to the coverage they have,” he said.

New amendments to Australia’s Privacy Act 1988 also came into effect last month, and Wong believes these have created new liabilities.

“They call into question the types of the risk management solutions available in the market,” he said.

Hong Kong-based Wong also warned that loss activities arising from economic crime in Asia were increasing.

“Therefore we have just introduced our new commercial crime policy called elite III fraudProtector for our clients to manage such exposures,” he added.

New focus

Wong, who was appointed regional head of financial lines last month after five years as ACE’s financial lines manager for Asia, has indicated that his focus will now be on product development, new business opportunities and driving the overall profitability of the financial lines portfolio.

“The financial lines business is growing and changing rapidly in the region where ACE has built a strong position as a key primary market player,” he said.

“As market leaders, we are committed to this region and are keen on staying on the cutting edge with continual product upgrades and the introduction of the new risk management solutions.

“At the same time, we are constantly on the look-out for opportunities which the region offers through data analysis and innovation.”

Developing D&O

In another leadership change in ACE’s financial lines business, Ben Ingram – concurrently serving as international directors and officers [D&O] manager for ACE’s financial lines business outside North America and regional head of financial lines for Asia Pacific – will now focus entirely on his international D&O role.

Ingram will continue to be based in Sydney and to have responsibility for executive leadership to drive the insurer’s financial lines business internationally.

Deputy regional president and regional head of property and casualty for Asia Pacific Paul McNamee said ACE viewed the region as “a mosaic of countries at different levels of maturity and opportunity where we will continue to build on our already strong and growing presence in the D&O, professional indemnity and financial institutions segments”.

“Our goal is to continue to leverage our global expertise in financial lines, share best practices, innovate, and create bespoke coverage to meet the growing needs of our clients across the Asia Pacific region,” he said.