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Productivity, efficiency and scalability – the 3 factors that drives business success

By May 7, 2021April 13th, 2022No Comments

Update: As Sep 2021, Kevin has started a new role with DirectAsia Insurance as Head of Agency

Chubb is the first insurer to have its selected products placed on Surer’s Instant Quote Marketplace!

All Surer users will now be able to generate an indicative quote via this platform for Chubb’s Home and Personal Accident Protection Solutions.
Our Instant Quote Marketplace allows intermediaries 24/7 access to get a quote instantly, anytime and anywhere. To kick-start our launch, we have Chubb as our first insurer onboard with their Home (Simply Home® Enhanced) and Personal Accident (Chubb PAL Protect™ ) Protection Solutions.

Find out more >> 

The team at Surer has been hard at work building on our proposition to improve the speed and efficiency in which an insurance deal can be closed between the intermediary and the insurer.

This journey has given us the platform to speak with key parties in the insurance industry, from experienced intermediaries to highly respected individuals representing insurers – none so more than Kevin Xiong, Head of Independent Distribution Partners at Chubb.

Kevin was instrumental in working with the team here at Surer to help Chubb be the first insurer onboarded on our Instant Quote Marketplace. In our conversations with Kevin, we were constantly inspired by his trailblazing mentality and the passion he has for the industry.

As such, we are honoured to be able to formally catch up with Kevin for this article, to get his valuable insights on the industry and his views on how parties in this ecosystem can evolve to reach greater heights. Read on as his views are fuelled with loads of passion and backed by years of knowledge…

About Kevin Xiong, Head of Independent Distribution Partners at Chubb

Kevin is an accomplished and well-respected veteran of the insurance industry. He has had vast experience in management of the distribution channel development for distinguished insurers, including the likes of AIA, AIG, AXA and currently Chubb across both the Life and General insurance segments. With a proven track record, he is skilled in business strategy development and execution, sales/account/campaign/incentive management and team leadership. His knowledge of the industry coupled with his openness for innovation has seen him build an extensive network in the industry. Kevin also holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) focused on Business Administration and Management.

Kevin is someone who came across to us as a person with an insatiable drive and passion for the industry. However, one thing was very clear in our interactions; Kevin is someone who channels this energy in a very targeted and concise manner. 

Based on the interview with Kevin, there were so many options for us to pick a suitable title for the article. We decided to go with the current title of the article because we felt it was a good representation of our impression of Kevin – passionate, driven but also clear and concise. 

A journey likened to the process of refining precious stones

To understand someone’s perspective, we need to have a peek into his experiences. So this writer started the interview asking about Kevin’s journey in the industry.

Kevin used the analogy of the process of refining precious stones to describe his views on how anyone and everyone starting in this industry have the potential to succeed if this person were to be open to the challenges (or refinement process) and pick up key lessons along the way. This was how he had built his track-record and achievements as well.

‘I would describe my journey in the insurance industry with the analogy of the gemstone refining process. We are no different when we enter the industry. Everyone starts off raw to the market. To command a level of beauty, price and demand, we all need to go through a series of refinement…’ said Kevin.

To command a level of beauty, price and demand, we all need to go through a series of refinement

Kevin shared that he likes to use this analogy because his journey in this industry is not short of tough days and challenges to overcome. While he had a clear plan and vision for his career trajectory, he has had to adapt, and in this sense, continuously ‘refine’ his plans.

‘Changes will always happen and plans will always be ‘beaten’ – this is the case in both life and career. I started my journey in the Life insurance segment and later on, crossed over to GI. This was an intended first process to make myself an all rounder in the industry. With every change, comes challenges – there were tough days of course.’ he shared.

What doesn’t get you down, makes you stronger

In continuation of this, we asked if there were any key lessons or principles he had picked up along the way, Kevin shared that he sincerely believes in the idea that what doesn’t get you down, makes you stronger – this gave us a further peek into his resilience, adaptability and openness to change.

‘There are always two sides to a coin – obstacles come with opportunities, bad experiences with other parties also come with learnings’ Kevin shared.

He also added that in his experience, there are two things he has learnt and lived by. Firstly, it is to treat everyone with due respect, regardless of position or value. Secondly, having a strong believe in yourself and what you do is essential – this, as he explains, will always be the fuel when times are tough or when obstacles are met. 

‘What I believe in is that the agency distribution model will always have its place in the industry. Ultimately, insurance is highly dependent on building human-to-human relationships – trust is essential, when a client chooses to buy from an intermediary.’ Kevin further shared about what he believes in when it comes to insurance.

Ultimately, insurance is highly dependent on building human-to-human relationships – trust is essential, when a client chooses to buy from an intermediary

General Insurance as an industry is evolving – stay current and evolve along with it

Going more in-depth and speaking about General Insurance, you can sense Kevin’s passion on the subject.

Seeing how he believes in the agency distribution model, we quizzed how he feels the industry has evolved and how intermediaries can triumph and his answer was loud and clear – it is all about evolving with time.

‘Stay current in terms of market movements and constantly evolve with the changes of the environment, business directives and policies.’ Kevin mentioned.

He added that while macro-economics is important, leveraging available tools, technology and platforms is key to this evolution as well.

‘Why do some intermediaries perform better than others? Why do some always seem to have more time than others? Why does it seem like someone out there is always faster than me? While insurers are here to provide support, technological improvements have meant the rise of many suitable tools that intermediaries can leverage to solve multiple pain points to free up more time to meet more clients in a day.’ he added.

At this point, Kevin shared that his above example about time or the lack of faced by many intermediaries can and should be alleviated with technology – this is important because to him, ‘productivity, efficiency and scalability of the business are the 3 main factors to keep you on the road to success. 

Productivity, efficiency and scalability of the business are the 3 main factors to keep you on the road to success.

This, he further shared, is the key to intermediaries being able to serve their clients better.

‘Harnessing and leveraging digital tools gives intermediaries the platform to build themselves a unique value proposition – this could be in terms of knowledge or service – and will differentiate them from the rest of competition’ he further explained.

Pain points are starting to be solved

Continuing on the point of digital transformation, Kevin shared that he personally feels many parties within the General Insurance ecosystem are aware of the pain points and have thought of ways to overcome it – something which he feels heartened by.

Of course, at this point, we asked him on his thoughts about Surer and Kevin had this to share: 

‘The solution to pain points might be apparent. However, no one has been able to turn it into reality till Surer. Be open to experience it yourself – find a solution that suits you, solves your problems and that offers to drive you the three main factors I mentioned earlier and the rest will be history.’

We are thankful for Kevin’s kind words but what we respect more about our interaction with Kevin was his passion and belief in intermediaries and their value to the ecosystem. This cannot be clearer than when we ended the interview asking him what drives him to continue in the General Insurance industry.

‘Passion and positivity that intermediaries bring about during course of work – this is what drives me to believe in what I am doing.’

Passion and positivity that intermediaries bring about during course of work – this is what drives me to believe in what I am doing

This, we felt, was an apt way to end the interview and nicely summarises Kevin’s views, advice and passion.

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