Lakshya Exclusive Issue
Dear Colleagues, 8
values, our personality and our brand
years of successful operations on 1st
essence. It is important that all of us
September, and I extend my heartiest
represent the soul of ING Life India,
congratulations to all of you. Your
and align to its values and personality.
I am happy to share with you that the
work has laid a strong foundation for
Group has made significant progress
ING Life India, which we should all be
on its strategy of ‘Back to Basic’, which
has started showing results. ING Group
In the last issue of the Pride, I had
posted an underlying net profit of
shared with you that your company
EUR 229 million in the April-May-June
has set its objective to breakeven by
quarter of this year. This turnaround
financial year 2011-12. I am glad to
reflects a strong leadership and focus
inform you that the clear roadmap
on the successful implementation of
to achieve this milestone has been
the ‘Back to Basics’ strategy.
indicators (KPIs) finalised. The plan
outstanding position in the Fortune
stands on three key pillars: finance,
Global 500 rankings as the 8th largest
distribution and service delivery. Each
corporation in the world, making it
of the pillars has focused initiatives
the only financial institution to be
that would drive the targets to achieve
included in the top 10, otherwise
our “Lakshya” of breakeven. The KPIs
dominated by oil and gas companies!
of the plan will help us measure the
This is the second year in a row ING is
progress on the plan. The executive
featured in the top 10.
team is responsible and accountable for successful execution of the plan.
During my recent travels across many of our offices, I have noticed a resolve
Your function/department KPIs are
and enthusiasm to grow amongst
being aligned to the organisation’s
many of you. I find similar energy in
KPIs. This way, each one of you will
the Head Office. I am proud of such an
have an opportunity to impact the
environment and have confidence in
plan and make it happen! Hence, it is
your capability to take ING Life India
very important that each one of you
to its Lakshya..
I had shared with you that your company has set its objective to breakeven by financial year 201112. I am glad to inform you that the clear roadmap to achieve this milestone has been prepared and key performance indicators (KPIs) finalised.
understand the plan. This issue of the Pride details the breakeven plan, and shares the direction that your company is setting for the next three years. At the foundation of ING Life India’s breakeven plan is our soul, Mera Farz. Many of you may relate this to our
Kshitij Jain, MD & CEO
Mera Farz represents the soul of your company, and is hence more than just a tagline. It embodies our mission, our
The ING Story If someone asks you what ING does, how do you reply? Here are a few facts to help you out. ING is a leading global financial services company and among the world’s top three savings banks. With leading positions in Europe and North America, and strong footprints in the fast growing markets of Asia, Central Europe and Latin America, ING is ranked the 7th Largest corporation in the world*. With 130,000 employees serving more than 85 million customers in over 50 countries, we aim to set the standard in the way we help customers manage their financial future. We offer banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services that serve our customers throughout the course of their lives. Looking at the combination of consumer trends and our strengths, we see four clear priorities on which we will increasingly focus our energies: •
Retail customers (middle-class consumers)
Bank distribution (selling our productsincluding insurance products-through banking networks)
Developing markets and high-growth markets
Offering a distinctively ‘easier’ customer experience
Focusing on these priorities will allow us to achieve real growth-both organically and through add-on acquisitions-while benefiting shareholders, customers and employees alike.
In a minute
ING Life India’s Lakshya: Breakeven by FY 2011-12
Mera Farz N SIOnda rd ers MISthe sta custom
Optim Know ism Trustwledgeab Trans orthy le paren t
*Fortune 500, July 2008
Joy of resp fulfillin onsib g ilities
fession e Pro Positiv table Accoun tforward Straigh
Distribution Strengthening Distribution to achieve Lakshya
Service Delivery Preparing or 3 year breakeven
Finance Approach for breakeven
Knowing John Boers
An overview ING Life India
Number of employees including front line sales is 8,000+
BRA N ESSE D NCE
To set ping our ancial fut in hel e their fin manag
& John Boers 3
News from ING Group Extract of Jan Hommen’s Statement on Q2 results ING posted solid commercial performance in the quarter, as a more favourable interest rate environment and improved margins on savings and lending led to a 19.4% increase in interest income at the banking operations. In Insurance, the recovery of equity markets in the second quarter helped boost fees on assets under management. However, sales of investment-linked products remained subdued as customers awaited a sustained market rally or opted for traditional life products. Benefits of Back to Basics and improvements in equity and credit markets helped
Jan H.M. Hommen, chairman of Supervisory Board and CEO Executive Board
the Group return to profit with an underlying net result of EUR 229 million. However, market impacts and the weaker economic environment continue to strain ING’s results. The uptick in equity markets led to a reversal of some of the DAC unlocking seen in the first quarter, but was more than offset by negative results on hedges to preserve regulatory capital. As the real economy was impacted, credit quality worsened, leading to a rise in risk costs, while lower property prices in many markets triggered negative revaluations on real estate, which are immediately reflected in the P&L. While we begin to see signs of recovery in financial markets, economic conditions are expected to remain challenging for some time. Against this backdrop our Back to Basics programme is our top priority and progress is ahead of plans. Our employees have managed these aggressive cost cuts with professionalism and a continued commitment to our customers. Of our target to reduce operating expenses by EUR 1 billion this year, EUR 525 million was already achieved in the first half and we now expect cost savings to reach EUR 1.3 billion driven by further reductions in infrastructure costs. Headcount has been reduced by 8,219 FTEs year-to-date, well ahead of the original plan to reduce 7,000 FTEs this year. Deleveraging of the balance sheet is also ahead of plan: the bank has achieved a total balance
Of our target to reduce operating expenses by EUR 1 billion this year, EUR 525 million was already achieved in the first half and we now expect cost savings to reach EUR 1.3 billion driven by further reductions in infrastructure costs
ING Group News 1] ING Q2 Results Solid Commercial performance: ING posted solid commercial performance in the quarter, as a more favorable interest rate environment and improved margins on savings and lending, led to a 19.4% increase in interest income at the banking operations. In Insurance, the recovery of equity markets in the second quarter helped boost fees on assets under management. However, sales of investment-linked products remained subdued as customers awaited a sustained market rally or opted for traditional life products. Back to Basics programme ahead of targets: ING Group’s ‘Back to Basic’ strategy is ahead of its targets. Deleveraging, de-risking and cost-containment measures are progressing on track or are ahead of targets. The cumulative reduction in Bank balance sheet of EUR 164 billion, or 15%, since 3Q08 exceeds the target for 10% reduction. There has been an achievement of 53% of targeted EUR 1 billion cost savings in first half of 2009. The risk-reduction efforts has helped offset credit rating migration, limiting the increase in risk-weighted assets to 1.7%. All key capital and leverage ratios robust during the quarter: All the key capital and leverage ratios have shown a robust performance during the quarter, including the Bank Tier 1 ratio of 9.4% and core Tier 1 ratio of 7.3%. The shareholders’ equity increased by EUR 2.9 billion, driven by tightening credit spreads and the uptick in equity markets.
2] ING ranks 8th on Fortune Global 500 Rankings! The ING Group has retained an outstanding position in the Fortune Global 500 rankings as the 8th largest corporation in the world, making it the only financial institution to be included in the top 10 dominated by oil and gas companies! This is the second year in a row ING is featured in the top 10, though dropping one spot compared with the 2008 list. This is also the second year in a row that ING has managed to secure the top spot by industry. The top 5 financial services companies in the world are: ING Group, Dexia Group, HSBC Holdings, BNP Paribas and Banco Santander
Revenue ($ Million)
ING Group Dexia Group HSBC Holdings BNP Paribas Banco Santander
226,577.0 161,268.0 142,049.0 136,096.4 117,803.0
sheet reduction of EUR 164 billion, exceeding the EUR 110 billion target.
News from ING Group
Message from Hans van der Noorda Dear All, The positive news of ING Group’s return to global profitability is a welcome boost for all of us after three quarters of battered markets, but we should not lose sight of the pressure that remains on sales which remain depressed compared to 2008. ING’s return to profit saw Insurance Asia/ Pacific report a strong result of EUR 201 million underlying result before tax, an increase of 62% over 2Q 2008. This increase is attributable to all business units broadly delivering on their profit targets and volatile items, in particular the SPVA result in Japan was positive. In addition we were helped by favourable investment results in Korea. I am pleased with our efforts towards de-risking our balance sheet and our continued actions to minimise capital consumption. Improved efficiency over a sustained period will go straight to the bottom line. While the market is currently looking at our profitability in a favourable light, we will soon come under pressure if we are unable to shore up sales. As a region we are heavily dependent on the performance in Korea, Japan and Australia. With sales under pressure in all these three markets for a multitude of different reasons, overall regional sales performance can be strengthened. Cost management on track We have made substantive progress across the region in managing our operating costs and capital which shows in our improved bottom line. Expenses are significantly down in the first half of 2009 compared with the first half of 2008 and not far off the full-year 2009 targeted reduction of EUR 75 million. Year to date, we have also eliminated approximately 650 fulltime employee (FTE) positions, completing the majority of the 2009 planned FTEs reduction of 900 people including the impact of the closure of the SPVA business in Japan. It is important to have the same discipline in the rest of 2009!
Engaging sales There have been some good initiatives from the region in terms of creative sales competitions that look past traditional methods to achieve value-for-money results. In Thailand, on the back of an already established ING-Pepsi football promotion to send retail consumers to the Holland-England football match in Amsterdam including a tour of the city, Life Thailand organised an internal competition for VP-level tied agency sales managers to win tickets to watch the game. To get to the stands for the game, managers had to achieve production sales valued at THB 8,000,000 (EUR 166,700) APE to win one ticket and THB 20,000,000 (EUR 417,000) for two tickets. In total, 22 sales managers claimed the prize resulting in cumulative APE of about THB 345 million (EUR 7.2 million). Management changes As you know Frank Koster is relocating to Asia to start in his role as CEO for Insurance Asia/Pacific, effective 1 October. This will allow me to devote my attention equally among Insurance Asia/Pacific and Europe, which includes Insurance Benelux and Insurance Central Europe. He brings extensive insurance experience and is familiar with Asia having spent almost half of his career here. In his current role as head of ING Group’s Corporate Communications and Affairs, he has worked closely with the executive board in managing the company in its rapid growth phase and subsequently through the financial crisis.
Hans van der Noordaa, ING Group Executive Board Member Chairman and CEO, Insurance & Investment Management Asia/Pacific
We have made substantive progress across the region in managing our operating costs and capital which shows in our improved bottom line.
In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that the regional sales competition Chairman’s Challenge closes at the end of September. Have you achieved your target?!
Best regards, Hans van der Noordaa
News from ING Life 1]
ING Life India launches Customer Portal
inglife.co.in/m (You will need an active GPRS connection on your phone).
ING Life India launched its Customer Portal, a self-service channel for its customers. ING Life India customers can now access their policy details at the click of a button, 24x7, thus making it easier and accessible for them! The launch of the customer portal is a small step towards building a more robust self service capability for customers, who are increasingly net savvy and expect instant access to their information.
the Power of 3]Lakshya, Responsibility
With the ING Life Customer Portal, our customers can now1. Register themselves instantly using their policy details 2. Choose their own User id and Password, making it easier to remember 3. Once registered a policy owner can • ➢See all polices in a single User id • ➢View policy details & premium due dates • ➢Check the latest fund value • ➢Update email and mobile details • ➢View and print premium receipts as • See an overview of all ULIP investments in various funds across policies in our new feature – the Portfolio Statement Customers can visit www.inglife.co.in to register their policy and start availing of all the above services.
The ‘management’ team of ING Life India got together at the head-office for a two-day Business Plan meet on 3rd – 4th July. Over 150 management employees were invited to the meet to discuss the company’s 3-year business plan, which was communicated to the team by ING Life India’s executive team. The tow-day event began with a business update by MD & CEO, Mr. Kshitij Jain, followed by a session on the 3 year business plan. This was followed by business sessions by ING Life India’s CFO, CDO and COO. The business session culminated in a Q&A session, which was followed by a cocktail and dinner evening at the Taj Residency in Bangalore. The second day was a sales session, which started early and saw sales best practices presentations from all regions across the country. The sessions included active discussion on best-practices. The day culminated in a high-voltage evening, full of dance-music, cocktail and dinner.
Life India amended 4]ING Gratuity Policy ING Life India’s Gratuity policy has been recently amended as follows: •
Life Website now 2]ING available on your Mobile and through the intranet! ING Life India launched the Industry’s first custom mobile site, making its internet site, www.inglife.co.in available on mobile handsets. For employees, it was the site is also available on their intranet, which makes it available even without internet connectivity! The light-weight custom made mobile site is available on mobile phone on www.
Gratuity will continue to be paid as per the Payment Of Gratuity Act – which provides for a payment of gratuity as per the Act on completion of 5 years of continuous service and a maximum amount of INR 350000 (the amount payable is calculated as per the guidelines of the Act)
As per current policy, in the Total Fixed Compensation of employees, there is a component of 4.81% of the current Basic salary towards Gratuity.
This component is now being reduced to 2% of the Basic salary. The balance 2.81% of Basic salary will be added back to Special Allowance resulting in an increase in Take Home salary.
Therefore, while individual Total Fixed Compensation may remain the same, there will be an increase in the Take home on account of this change. •
The 2% component of the Total Fixed Compensation will also be added back into the Special Allowance once the maximum payable limit of INR 350000 has been reached at an individual level. This will ensure that component of Gratuity does not cross an accumulation of INR 350000 at an individual level.
This change will be effective 1st April 2009 for all employees who are on the rolls of the company as on 1st July, 2009 and those who join thereafter. This change will not apply to those who have separated from the company on / before 30th June 2009.
This change is being made to reflect the level of future funding required for the Gratuity Trust to continue payments as mandated by the Act.
Vysya 5]ING Foundation’s volunteering program – “Homework buddy” ING VYSYA Foundation has been instrumental in facilitating education for more than 5,000 under privileged children in India. The foundation, in conjunction with their NGO partners recently launched a volunteering program to provide homework support to the children living in difficult circumstances. Volunteers from ING Life contributed significant time teaching every Friday and Saturday at one of the organizations supported by the foundation, at a location chosen by them; thereby supporting the cause of lending an active hand to educate children from the weaker sections of the society
Questions to Kshitij Jain… 1. Can you share your thoughts behind the breakeven target – why now? •
We have completed 8 years of successful operations of ING Life India. In these years, your company has laid a solid foundation, with a pan-India presence, a good product portfolio, a strong service delivery infrastructure and a recognized brand name in the industry. Above all, we have a very strong talent pool across our business.
This strong foundation and our ambition to grow have led itself to a breakeven objective.
For every business to be sustainable, it is important to be making profits, as it benefits our customers, our shareholders and our employees. I have always said that ING Life has 3 critical stakeholders, and it is important that we take care of them.
The life insurance industry in India offers a huge opportunity, and we are ready, with our strengths in place to ake the best of it.
2. Does the bottom-line focus undermine our objective of aggressive topline growth? • We will not be able to achieve our bottom line without an adequate focus on top line growth. Make no mistakes; we are not replacing our top line growth objective. We continue to aim for atleast twice the market rate of growth.
Our bottom line objective is more comprehensive, as we believe that ING Life India is now ready to become profitable in 3 years. This has several indicators, including our topline growth, expense management, Value of new business, assets under management and non-financial risk. These together will help us deliver on the breakeven objective.
3. How is the breakeven plan integrated within the organization? • The breakeven plan will be measured along the KPIs. Each of department’s KPIs are being aligned to the organisation’s KPIs, thus drilling the breakeven plan to every level within the organization. This alignment will give a
& Kshitij Jain MD & CEO
ING Life India
chance to every employee to impact the plan, and hence will be driven by its people from every function across the organization.
We will be monitoring the progress of the plan regularly, and it will helps us take timely decisions for any required thrust, initiatives or course-correction measures.
It is important to understand that the plan requires effective implementation, and that is where our people come in.
4. You have launched ING Life India’s company values. How do you want our employees to live by them? • It is critical for all our employees to know the soul of the company that they work for, which is represented in a simple expression of Mera Farz. It is not an advertising tagline only, but embodies our mission, values, personality and our brand essence.
The values of organisation have been manifested into our personality aspects, which help our employees to know the proper way to conduct themselves, and in a manner that that the organization expects them to conduct. These include being positive, professional, accountable and straightforward.
5. What is your message to employees – how should we respond to the plan? • These are times to remain focused on our deliverables. A clear roadmap has been laid as the direction of this company. I expect each one of our employees to understand the plan clearly, and most importantly, appreciate that they have a role in it.
I am very proud of the talent that we have build in this organization, and have confidence in our management team to drive the plan with their teams, and deliver.
ING Life India’s Lakshya: Breakeven by 2011-12
ING LIFE INDIA TO BE PROFITABLE BY FY 2011-12
KPI Service Delivery
Distribution Productivity in Fixed Cost Channels
Customer Engagement and Retention Operating Efficiencies
Higher contribution from Variable Cost Channels 13th month persistency
Operational Risk Increase share of Traditional Products
Financials Product Margins and duration Investment performance Expense Management Project Management
Power of Responsibility
This September (2009), ING Life India completes 8 years of existence. In these 8 years, the company has established a strong foundation and crossed several milestones that employees can be proud of. ING Life India today has a pan-India presence of offices in 234 cities and many more through its partner’s network, a strong product portfolio and a recognized Life Insurance brand in a market of more than 20 players! However, one of its greatest strengths has been its people – a strong and stable ‘management’, backed by their enthusiastic teams. Having established a strong foundation, ING Life India has now set its eye on the next major milestone – to become a profitable
company by financial year 20112012! A clear roadmap has been finalised by the top management, which will guide the direction and action of its people to accomplish this objective.
Breakeven – why the focus now? Through the initial years, ING Life India has focused on growing its topline performance, and establishing its business in the market. In eight years of operations, the company has invested significantly to develop a wide distribution network, robust service delivery and creating a strong team of people who can drive the company to its success. This has given ING Life India the foundation and readiness it requires to become a
profitable and sustainable company.
Breakeven plan ING Life India’s breakeven plan is represented in a house structure, which captures the key elements of the plan. The roof of the house represents the overall objective, which is to become a profitable company by Financial Year 2011-12. This is the overall objective of the company. The five blocks below the roof represent the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the plan. The progress of the plan will be measured on these KPIs. The roof of the house rests on three pillars, and represents that the company’s objective is supported by the three pillars of the breakeven plan. Each of the pillars is critical to
the plan, and provides the required support and strength to the plan. The pillars include finance, distribution and service delivery, with their respective executive team member responsible to deliver the initiatives of the plan. All of them have their listed initiatives, which will be implemented and measured to achieve the overall objective. The soul of ING Life India or ‘Mera Farz’, is represented as the foundation of the house. The soul helps employees of ING Life India connect to the company and its beliefs. Since at the foundation of the plan is the employees themselves, the soul has its rightful place in the house, giving the much required strength as its foundation.
The key pillars of the plan To achieve profitability by 2011-12, ING Life India has developed a clear roadmap that will take the company to its breakeven objective. The three pillars to this plan have been clearly identified. These include strengthening distribution channels, building operational efficiencies and managing its financials. Under each of the pillars, top few initiatives and activities that influence the pillars have been clearly defined and detailed targets are being rolled out. There is a clear thrust to strengthen the distribution channels. The focus is to improve productivity in the fixed cost channels, including that of tied and alternate channel. The focus is also to significantly enhance the contribution from variable cost channels – both by improving productivity in existing variable channel through enhanced support, and by growing the variable channel itself. A significant change that is being brought about to improve our premium income collection is in the area of renewal collection, and going forward, sales will own the responsibility of ensuring that customers pay their renewal premium till the 13th month (13th month persistency), thus contributing significantly to customer retention. On the product side, ING Life India will continue thrust on traditional products. The service delivery pillar has three broad focus areas in the breakeven plan – improving customer engagement and retention, building operational efficiencies and managing operational risk. Several initiatives are being rolled out to build a robust service delivery system, which will help to further strengthen our customer service and retention proposition, develop a cost effective service delivery model and ensure that we operate within the accepted Risk Management framework
Expenses, Value of New Business (VNB), Asset under Management (AuM) and Non-Financial Risk. These KPIs will be measured on a regular basis and will determine the progress being made on the plan.
How can I contribute to the plan? For the plan to be successful, it requires effective implementation, and can be impacted by the employees. Various key initiatives have been identified under each of the pillars, which will drive the plan and requires to be implemented. For effective implementation, the organisation’s KPIs will be aligned to the function’s KPIs. Thus, the organisation’s KPIs will be the sum-total of the function’s KPIs. In turn, by effectively contributing to the function’s KPIs, employees will be able to contribute to the overall business plan. This way, every employee has a role to execute the plan, and help meet the objectives.
Understanding who we are? At the foundation of the breakeven plan are the people at ING Life India, who would drive the plan to its success. The company has firmed its values and personality that will help connect its people to a common statement of belief – its soul - represented in a simple phrase – Mera Farz. Hence, Mera Farz is an expression of ING Life India’s soul, which is represented through its statements of beliefs – its mission, values, personality and brand essence. ING Life India manifests its soul externally through its communication to customers and internally through the way its people embody the soul. For employees, living the soul means making it their responsibility to embody and behave or act as per the defined personality aspects of the company, to represent the values of the company.
MIeSt the stanrdcaurdstomers ture To s g ou nancial fu elpin in h e their fi ag n a m
Opt im Kno ism w Trus ledgea two ble rt Tran spar hy ent
BRA N ESSE D N Joy of fu CE re lf spon
illin g ities
n fessio ve Pro Positi table n Accou tforward h Straig
To measure the progress of implementation of the plan, the key performance indicators of the plan has been identified. These KPIs include, Premium Income,
Mera Farz –
the soul of ING Life India
For every successful company, it is critical that its people
ii) Knowledgeable: We cultivate the knowledgeable value through
understand what they stand for – the soul of the company
our robust way of working, sharing and actively communicating.
- a common set of beliefs that is represented though
iii) Trustworthy: We deliver trustworthiness by doing the ‘right
its mission, values, personality and its brand essence. It binds the employees together and helps develop a
things in right way’, by delivering an ‘easier’ customer experience and by being a socially responsible corporate. iv) Transparent: Our value of ‘transparent’ drives our actions,
connected environment within the organisation. These
reflects in our products and services.
beliefs manifest themselves into how the company is
For employees, it is important to understand how we can live
perceived in the market. In a service environment, it
the organisation’s values in our working environment and our
becomes even more important, as people from the organization connect with its customers, and hence
daily lives. Each of our values is mapped to a corresponding ‘personality’ aspect.
impacts the ‘image’ of the organization. The soul of ING Life India is represented in ‘Mera Farz’ which is a simple expression that connects its employees to its statements of beliefs, viz. the mission, values, personality and its brand essence. For
unifying beliefs that drive our actions and decisions
Our way of living our values
Confidence in ING Life India, in each other, in customer-centric products, in our service
Bearing a positive and can-do attitude to work
ING Life India, Mera Farz does not only represent the advertising tagline used in its advertising, but the soul that embodies its values, and helps to establish who we are and what we represent in the market.
Supporting knowledge management & sharing, robust way in our work and
Embedding high standard of professional behavior and professional advice to
Being a service company, it is important that the soul is reflected through our people. ING Life India expects from its employees to embody its soul, becoming true ambassadors of what ING Life India wants represented as amongst its stakeholders.
Our Mission: ING Life India has its mission as that of ING Group – ‘To set the standard in helping our customers manage their
Right things in right way, and delivering it in a way that people expect them delivered;
accountable for our actions, words and decisions
way we deal with our people, our customers, our partners and other
straightforward in conduct and work, while dealing with customers and colleagues
financial future.’ At ING Life India, it is the responsibility of every employee to know and understand this mission, and direct every action to help contribute towards the mission.
Our Values and Personality: The values and personality of ING Life India has also been firmed up, after thorough research and discussions internally. The set of
These personality aspects are: i) Positive (Corresponding value: Optimism): ING Life India employees live its value of optimism by bearing a positive and cando attitude to their work.
values represent what the company aspires to be represented and
ii) Professional (Corresponding value: Knowledgeable): At ING Life
perceived as amongst its stakeholders, including its customers,
India, we expect the highest standard of professional behavior by
shareholders, peer group companies, and amongst its people. ING
providing professional advice to customers, by treating customers
Life India’s values are:
equitably, abide by company’s culture and act with compliance.
i) Optimism: We bear an approach of ‘Optimism’ towards our
iii) Accountable (Corresponding value: Trustworthy): ING Life India
company, towards each other, in our products and in our care for
expects employees to be accountable for their actions, words and
our customer’s interests.
decisions such that it builds their personal integrity and fosters ING Life India’s value of trustworthiness.
iv) Straightforward (Corresponding value: Transparent): ING Life India expects employees to be straightforward in their conduct and work while dealing with customers and colleagues. It is important the employees demonstrate these personality aspects at work, in their conduct and their decisions, which will help build the organisation’s
ION MISSe standard omers
ture cust t th ial fu To se ing our nanc lp in he e their fi ag man
BRA N ESSE D NCE
Joy o resp f fulfilli n onsi bilit g ies
Our Brand Essence: Our brand essence, ‘Joy of fulfilling responsibility’ represents the intrinsic value
Opti m Kno ism w Trust ledgea b Tran worthy le spare nt
that ING Life India provides to its customers. To employees, brand essence is a beacon that motivates and inspires ongoing commitment.
essiona e Prof Positiv table Accoun forward ht Straig
ING Life India expects its employees to understand its soul, and respond to it in a positive manner and in the right spirit
ING Life India Personality: What it means and does not mean
What does it mean
What does it not mean
• Exhibit motivation to go the extra mile for our customers
• That we shy-away from confronting professional and inter-personal issues
• Be easy to deal with
• That we blindly act on customer feedback or justify an action only because it is what the customer wants
• Be pro-active about providing solutions Being Professional • Demonstrate competent behavior in our jobs
• That each one of us has all the skills.
• Attention to details and timelines
• That we over-promise or over-commit for customer wins
• That we do the right things, the first time - and do it politely, with a smile Being Accountable • Deliver on promises and honor our commitments • Managing compliance risks in our work consistently
• Be responsible for actions beyond our span of control • That we compromise on our integrity and values for serving customers demands
• Avoiding operational lapses Being Straightforward • Set clear and agreed expectations before delivery • Being upfront is important. Inform about the true picture, such as how much time a ‘task’ will take, what can be done and cannot be done. Do not make promises you cannot meet.
• That classified/sensitive information can be made available to anyone who asks for it • That we do not make an attempt to stretch ourselves to reasonable levels
• Provide relevant, concise and easy to understand responses/ solutions/ information
Questions to Rahul Agarwal... •
Mr. Rahul Agarwal Chief Distribution Officer
1. ‘Distribution’ in the breakeven lan, has several initiatives and changes that are likely to happen. Can you share your overall perspective on the plan? •
Distribution is central in the breakeven plan. The focus is clearly on improving productivity in all fixed cost channels – of tied and of alternate channels. We are also working on increasing the share of variable cost channels from both TA and Alternate Channels
Improving our persistency is important, and hence we have made sales teams responsible till 13th month. There is also a need to grow the share of traditional products.
The biggest drop in persistency happens in the 13th month. While there are several reason for this, one very important reason is the quality of sale.
By making sales teams responsible for 13th month persistency, we will not only ensure better quality of sale but also ensure follow up for renewal , which would have the biggest impact on improving overall persistency.
3. You have laid significant stress on the Financial Consultants (FC) programme and a huge drive for recruitment of advisors. How would
are oriented towards driving sale of traditional products. Training is also focused towards driving traditional business. Going forward, we will enhance our traditional products portfolio and drive them through various initiatives.
We are also focusing on increasing recruitment and retention of our advisors, as increase active advisors per sales managers is essential for increasing Sales Manager’s productivity.
The big shift of accountability is on 13th month persistency, which is now the responsibility of the sales teams (both, tied agency and alternate channels). This is being done with an objective to achieve 75% persistency by the end of FY 09-10, and is in line with ING Life India’s focus on improving persistency.
4. The plan envisages a huge thrust on Alternate Channel, with a target to contribute 40% by FY2011-12. How do you see our progress on this front? • I think we have a huge potential in this channel, and we are focusing on several initiatives to increase its share of business.
2. You have made 13th month persistency as the sales responsibility. Can you give us some insight into this decision – what benefits do you see in the immediate and mid-term? •
you like to see the tied agency force grow from here on? The FC Program is critical to our breakeven plan, and we expect almost 25% of our tied agency business to come from this channel by FY 11-12. Further, it will not only make our costs variable, it will also drive productivity. Hence in many ways, FC will become the driving force of the Tied Agency going forward.
We are increasing the strength of this channel by investing in manpower deployment in IVB branches and helping in improving IVB RM productivity. There is also significant focus in driving new sign-ups with potential partners, who can distribute our products. Increasing the productivity in the referral bank tie-ups is another area that will help improve the channels contribution.
5. With the markets likely to gain momentum in the coming years, ULIP is likely to become favorable once again. However, you have stressed on focusing on traditional products. How would you drive this within the organization? •
IIt is important for us to understand that traditional products are good for our customers. We will continue to drive traditional products and look at increasing their share. Our incentive programs
& Rahul Chief Distribution Officer
Distribution Strengthening Distribution to achieve Lakshya The ‘distribution’ business plan for ‘Lakshya’ is a clear roadmap, drawn on four key focused elements that will drive to achieve the breakeven Lakshya for ING Life India. These include: (1) to enhance productivity in fixed cost channels (Both in the tied agency force and alternate channels), (2) increase the share of variable cost channels, (3) sales teams to take the ownership of 13th month persistency and (4) increase the share of traditional products in the ING Life portfolio. The economic slowdown has resulted in a negative growth of the life insurance industry. In the Financial Year 2008-09, ING Life’s customer acquisition remained flat, in line with the industry. The average premium size also fell by 3%, as compared to 12% for the private life insurance industry. However, the strength of the Indian economy will help the growth rates to resume, and is likely to bring the life insurance industry back on growth trajectory soon. Over the next three years, ING Life India plans to achieve a 16% CAGR on its topline, with both Tied and Alternate Channel contributing to this growth. The contribution from Alternate Channel is expected to grow from current 27% (FY 08-09) to 40% (FY ’11-12) in this period. A detailed plan has been developed to help both the channels contribute to this plan. Focus for the tied agency force There is a clear mandate on the tied agency to improve the productivity of the sales managers (SM) and to increase the share of business of variable cost channels. With this as a broad direction for tied agency, specific plans and initiatives are being rolled out. The SM productivity needs to improve from 2.7 active advisors per SM to 6+ active advisors per SM. This is a critical building block of the plan, and will be driven strongly throughout the tied agency force. Focus is also to drive agent productivity within the channel. To achieve this, five key initiatives are being rolled out across the channel. Agency development, one of the priority initiatives is a focus, with an objective of recruiting more advisors (approx 46000), driving rising star to 30% from current 10% level (of the new recruits) and developing club members, with a target of 5000 from current 2700. Clearly, there is a lot of emphasis on driving the business by building and developing the agency force, rather than chasing policies and premiums alone. Training is another big focus area in the tied agency force. The strength of the training team is being enhanced by 70% to 80%, so that it can support the organisation’s aggressive plans for a productive and quality agency force. In over
210 branches, the pre-recruitment training has already been moved in-house, to enhance its quality. By end of FY 09-10, 75% of candidates will be trained in-house. A big thrust has been laid on workways, to enable a uniform productivity tracking nationally. The roll-out for SM and BM workways has been achieved nationally, and an online review mechanism is in place. There is a huge focus on workways to improve productivity. Performance management is another focus area and a new SM performance management is in place to drive productivity and overall performance driven culture within the tied agency force. Improving manning is a priority in the tied agency force. By end of FY 09-10, 95% manning of SM is to be achieved, with confirmation to improve from 30% to 50% and reduce attrition by 1% every month. The second big initiative in tied agency force is to increase the share of business from the variable cost model, which is the Financial Consultant (FC) model. Currently, there are over 240 FCs in ING Life India, contributing close to 2% of the tied agency APE. In the past year, there has been a huge thrust to develop the FC model. In April 2009, 11 FC branches were launched, and 9 more FC branches are in the pipeline for JulyAugust-September. The target is to increase FCs to 500, their share of APE in Tied agency to 7% and increase the number of FC branches to 30 by March 2010. Focus for the Alternate Channel The Alternate Channel has moved to an efficient and tighter management structure, with merging of management layers to improve productivity. The field structure now has four levels, which are Regional Manager, Senior Cluster Manager/Cluster Manager, Territory Manager/ Senior Territory Manager and Sales Officers. The re-structuring will help in better span of control through reduction in supervisory levels and deployment of manpower in productive channels/branches. Within the Alternate Channels, a clear roadmap of initiatives has been developed for both, ING Vysya Bank (IVB) and the non-IVB channel. For IVB channel, the priority initiative is to strengthen its manpower. This is already underway, and the manpower has increased from 300 to 450. The workways, another critical initiative has already been rolled out nationally, with an objective to increase productivity of IVL Manpower and of IVB Wealth Relationship Managers (WRMs). The thrust is also significantly on training, where customized training programs for bank staff, insurance specialists, WRMs and
branch heads are already underway. Improving branch productivity to Rs. 3.5 lacs per month is another key initiative, where there is already an impressive progress. Branch productivity has improved from Rs. 1.02 lacs per month to Rs. 1.9 lacs per month. A reward & recognition programme for IVB branches is being developed to drive both new business and persistency. There are several growth initiatives in the nonIVB part of the Alternate Channels as well. Acquiring new partners is a key focus area. In the past few months, ING Life India has already tied-up and commenced business with Reliance Money, Religare and Artha Insurance. A clear focus is being laid on top 30 relationships, with a dedicated approach and differentiated service. A national head has been appointed to manage this initiative. The workways has also been rolled out for Alternate Channels, which will help augment activity of the channel. Training is another focus area to strengthen the non-IVB channel. There is a revamp in the sales training, and enhanced focus on relationship and activity management. The training team has already introduced induction programme for Cluster Managers and Territory Managers. A reward and recognition programme is being developed for the non-IVB channel to drive both new business and persistency. The big shift of accountability is on 13th month persistency, which is now the responsibility of the sales teams (both, tied agency and alternate channels). This is being done with an objective to achieve 75% persistency by the end of FY 09-10, and is in line with ING Life India’s focus on improving persistency. To achieve this, 13th month persistency has been made into the key responsibility area of the Branch, Area and Region (Tied agency). The variable compensation has been linked to 13th month persistency, and a branch level tracking of 13 month persistency has already commenced. For the Alternate Channel too, it has been made the KRA of Territory Manager, Cluster Manager and Region Sales Manager. Renewal commission to distributors will be linked to persistency. This will also be tracked through the MIS support. The focus on traditional products will continue, with sales incentives and contests to push more of traditional products. In new sign-ups with alternate channel partners too, the emphasis will be on Traditional products.
Questions to Ashwin… breakeven plan? •
Ashwin B Chief Operating Officer, ING Life
1. You have mentioned several initiatives to enhance customer engagement and retention in the breakeven plan. Can you share a perspective on why is it critical now? When do you foresee most of these initiatives getting underway? •
Over the course of the last 8 years, our business has grown considerably, to a level where today the quantum of Renewal Premiums is greater than our New Business Premiums and we will see the share of renewal premiums increasing further over the coming years. It is therefore important for us to focus on engaging with and understanding our customers better so as to be able to service their needs proactively and ensure a higher level of customer retention. This is especially more important in the life insurance business, since the life insurance is a long term contract with relatively lower level of engagement with customers, compared to other financial institutions. Higher level of customer engagement will help build customer confidence in the company. This will help us in several ways, including sustaining a long-term relationship with the customer and to obtain references to cross sell to the customer’s kith and kin. Further, given the long term nature of the Life Insurance contract, it is likely that the customer need for insurance will change through the years (from protection; to savings; to retirement planning) which would offer us the opportunity to cross sell other products at their various life stages. An engaged customer will more likely to continue and build on their relationship with us as opposed to buying from others.
2. Building operating efficiencies has been the focus of ING Life India. How is it going to contribute to the
The breakeven plan envisages increasing our New Business as well as ensuring higher retention of our Existing Business. This will naturally result in a larger customer base and increase in the volume of transactions. By improving our operating efficiencies, we are confident of being able to handle the increased volumes with marginal or no increase in resources (and expenses), thereby reducing the overall cost per transaction, thus making a positive impact on our P&L. Efficient operations and processes will also ensure reduction in the turnaround time for processing, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.
3. With our contribution from renewals growing, and persistency getting a big focus, what measures do we have in place to sustain the growth in the future? • In my view, Persistency starts from Good Sales Practices. A customer who has been properly explained the benefits of an insurance product is certainly more likely to renew his/her policy. It is also important for everyone across the organization to recognize the criticality of retaining our existing customers. In order to do so, we have fixed accountability for customer retention with both the Sales as well as Customer Services teams.
Further, we have made it easier for our customers to make their renewal payments, by making payment outlets more accessible. Some of the arrangements include tie-ups with ING Vysya Bank, South Indian Bank and Suvidhaa Outlets across the country as well as state specific tie-ups such as Bangalore-One; Hubli-Dharward one; Department of Post in Karnataka and e-Seva in Andhra Pradesh.
4. What was the reason to create FOCuS team? How do you see efficiency building because of this within the organization? • The Field Operations and Customer Services (FOCuS) team has been created to take over the responsibility of all non-sales activities at a branch level. This would enable the Sales teams to
focus on the sales so as to increase the New Business as well as Renewal activities, while the FOCuS team would handle all the other processing requirements. We are confident that this would not only enabling a higher level of productivity and operating efficiency, but would also facilitate a higher level of compliance to processes and operating standards. 5. Risk Management is a clear focus are a for us at ING Life India. How do you view our progress on this front? •
I believe that we first need to build an appreciation and understanding of Risk Management within ING Life India. There is a significant thrust to drive this through the various e-learning modules which we have launched recently covering several topics across Compliance and Risk Management functions. I would encourage everyone to actively participate and complete these e-learning modules.
We are also looking to build a more robust Risk Management framework through the active engagement of Operational Risk Management (ORM) and Information Risk Management (IRM) with the various operating functions right at the start point of designing our Processes and Systems. There is an increased focus on Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, as well as identification and management of the Key Business Risks across the organization. This year, there is an increased focus on testing of processes through several Functional as well as Branch Audits, in addition to the proactive monitoring and closure of all audit and non-audit observations.
Chief Operating Officer
Service Delivery Preparing for 3 year breakeven plan • • •
ING LIFE INDIA TO BE PROFITABLE BY FY 2011-12
Non Financial Risk
KPI Service Delivery
Distribution Productivity in Fixed Cost Channels
Customer Engagement and Retention
Higher contribution from Variable Cost Channels
13th month persistency
Operational Risk Increase share of Traditional Products
Financials Product Margins and duration Investment performance Expense Management Project Management
Power of Responsibility
The service delivery team is all geared up for the 3 year breakeven plan of ING Life, and has a clear focus on three key focus elements: (1) Focus on enhancing customer experience, (2) enhancing operating efficiencies, with clear focus on productivity and cost-effectiveness; and (3) managing operational risk well. Over the past 4 to 6 months, the service delivery leadership team has been significantly strengthened to ensure delivery of the plan. The team across the country has also been strengthened for the service delivery to meet the growing requirements, as the organization grows and to help achieve the breakeven plan. Customer Engagement and Retention Customer engagement and retention is a clear business focus at ING Life India, with the growing customer base, increasing renewal premiums and the need to manage persistency effectively. With this in mind, the service delivery team is further focusing on several initiatives to engage and retain customers. Key initiatives and retention • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Streamlining the Claims Process Strengthened Customer Complaint handling – complaint software Service dashboards and meetings initiated with key alternate channel relationships Tie-ups for acceptance of renewal premiums significantly enhanced Customer portal launched Call centre IVRS HNI Servicing differentiation Enhancement of system capabilities to cater to Customer Service Requirements Detailed analysis on Persistency has been completed 13th month persistency is now a priority of the sales organization FOCuS teams tasked with 13th+ month renewal collection Direct Policy Management System being implemented Lapse Revival Campaign (phase II) launched
Simplified Policy Revival guidelines Automated payment options being increased Lean Six Sigma (LSS) project for increasing contactability initiated
• • • •
Streamline Customer Communication Roll out cost effective IT solutions Renegotiate Rentals for Offices Rationalize office infrastructure support
Streamlined processes are in place for a fast and efficient settling of claims, especially for non-early claims. The new customer portal has been launched, which will help our existing customers to track their policies and help them manage it well. Customer Complaint handling has been significantly improved and a new customer complaint software is being rolled out to all branches, so as to enable timely capture and resolution of complaints. By early 2010, customer service requirements will be catered by enhanced system capabilities. The customer servicing staff will also undergo training to enhance their skills in handling our customers well.
In order to have cost-effectiveness in the system, the team has initiated several steps, including streamline new business process to eliminate non-value added steps. There is also renegotiations that are on with vendors to make contracts cost effective. Cost effective IT solutions are being deployed so as to make processes robust, and also save costs.
To enhance our service model, the team will soon launch a differentiated service model wherein there would be enhanced services for HNI. The service differentiation will help improve satisfaction of our HNI customers.
ING Life has invested significantly in building the renewal premium collection network, through tie-ups with various agencies and organizations, such as the Post Offices in Karnataka, Bangalore One, Hubli-Dharward One, eSeva, South Indian Bank, Suvidhaa etc. Currently, ING Life India is amongst the top 3 private insurance companies in the country to have such a network and reach for renewal collections. In order to enhance service levels and track service delivery, service dashboards have been developed to track progress. Regular service meetings have been initiated with key alternate channel relationships as well. Some of the other steps being initiated to improve customer engagement and retention include, easier processing for distribution, a dedicated team, called FOCuS teams, tasked with renewal collection (13th+ month), options for automated payment being increased and a lapse revival campaign, which will soon be launched. Enhancing Operating Efficiencies Improving operating efficiencies is a clear focus area for the service delivery team. This includes streamlining and improving processes and making them cost-effective. With this in mind, the team has undertaken several initiatives, including revise underwriting guidelines for faster and efficient issuance, rationalize proposal forms to make it easier and efficient for customers and processing; and integrating all non-sales activities under the FOCuS vertical to build efficiency and better supervisory. Key initiatives in strengthening operating efficiencies • • • • • • •
Revise Underwriting Guidelines Rationalize proposal forms Integrating all non-sales activities under the FOCuS vertical IVR application in Contact center Enhance HR systems Streamline New Business Process to eliminate non value added steps Renegotiate vendor contracts
The team is all geared up to make a significant impact through these steps, by managing the increased business volumes (30% over last year) with lesser number of resources and within the existing cost base (as last year).
Key initiatives in managing risk • • • • • • •
Welcome Calling prior to acceptance of proposals eLearning modules on Compliance and Risk Management Increased Internal Control Monitoring Enhance Control over Data Security Timely investigation of Frauds and non Compliance Enhance Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Capability Ensure timely closure of all Overdue Audit observations
While ING Life India progresses to achieve breakeven, it is equally important to ensure that the operations are carried out in a minimum risk environment – by doing the right things the right way. Some of the key initiatives for efficient risk management includes ‘Welcome Calling’ prior to acceptance of proposals, which is done to ensure a cross-check of details with the customers. eLearning modules have been developed for employees to enhance risk awareness. Internal Control Monitoring has been initiated, with increased focus on branch and departmental audits – over 100 branches are being covered for audit this year. There are also enhanced measures and control in systems to ensure data security. Timely investigation of frauds and non compliance is another focus area to develop a managed-risk environment within the business. Another big focus area is on disaster recovery, should there be an accident, to help the organization tide over any accidental challenges. Clearly, there has been significant progress and preparedness to increase service delivery through customer engagement and retention, enhancing operating efficiencies and managing risks in the business.
Questions to CFO
& John Boers CFO ING Life
1. How do you view the current position of our asset pool, in light of the breakeven plan? • I must say that we are moving in the right direction. Our asset pool gets impacted by the number of policies we sell, by the term of the policies and by the performance of our renewal collections.
While the downturn has impacted in the sale of number of policies, ING Life India has not been unique. The entire industry has been impacted. However, I am positive about the future, as the economic conditions are reviving, and our sales teams are motivated. They are clear, not only about increasing customer acquisitions, but also about long premium paying terms. I am also happy at our renewal collections performance, which has grown over the years. With the responsibility of13th month persistency shifting to sales, it will have a positive impact on renewals in the long run. Overall, I am confident of our position.
2. With detailed KPIs now in place, which ones do you view require utmost attention in the next 6 months? Which ones are you most satisfied with? • All the KPIs are important for the breakeven plan, as they all contribute to the objective. Amongst them, Nonfinancial risk will require immediate attention, as we have brought in significant focus to it, and are regularly measuring it.
Currently, I am satisfied with our expense position. However, I must say that this is a continuous journey, and all of us have to keep a constant vigil on all our KPIs
close to 60%, and currently stands close to INR 3300 crore. I am satisfied with the performance. With the market conditions improving, it should have a positive impact on our AuM.
3. You have laid significant stress on the Non-Financial Risk in the breakeven plan. Can you give us more insight into why this stress? How are we going to measure this? • In my view, non-financial risk refers to all kinds of risks of not being able to meet our targets. It is hence critical to be managed well, and it is amongst our priorities. It is important that the employees ensure that their acts do not violate our business principles, applicable laws, regulations and standards, which could damage ING Life India’s reputation and expose it to various risks.
5. We would be measuring the progress of the plan along the 6 KPIs. How frequently would you communicate this to employees? • In my view, people are one of the most important constituent of our plan, as they will drive it to its success. Hence, we would be very open in sharing our progress – good or bad. We will be sharing the progress formally every quarter.
For employees, managing the risks begin by being aware, and hence I expect our employees to go though our e-learning modules, be vigilant and make it their responsibility. They need to contribute actively by not only sticking to the procedures, but also reporting any deviations and non-compliance. Closure of audit observations is also critical, and requires priority attention. To measure the non financial risk, a Non Financial Risk Dashboard has been developed to deliver comprehensive and integrated risk information on all existing Operational, Compliance and Legal Risks to ING Life India, using a consistent approach. This measure gives the top management an overview of all key risks within the company, enabling them to prioritize the risks and take necessary responses to address them. NFRD helps assess the risk level per risk area, thus determining the overall final rating of the Business Unit.
4. How has been the growth of our AuM? In light of the market scenario improving, how do you expect it to perform in the rest of the year? • In the first quarter of FY 09, we have seen a good growth in our AuM of
John Boers, Chief Financial Officer
The focus for ING Life India is to build a strong asset pool, so as to breakeven by the end of financial year 2011-12. In order to measure and monitor the progress of the breakeven plan, ING Life India has developed its Key performance indicators or KPIs of the plan. These KPIs will be regularly monitored to determine the progress of the plan.
Finance Approach for breakeven The focus for ING Life India is to build a strong asset pool, so as to breakeven by the end of financial year 2011-12. In order to measure and monitor the progress of the breakeven plan, ING Life India has developed its Key performance indicators or KPIs of the plan. These KPIs will be regularly monitored to determine the progress of the plan. The KPIs include:
ING LIFE INDIA TO BE PROFITABLE BY FY 2011-12
Non Financial Risk
Premium income: Premium income is the total premium collected by the company, which includes the new business premium, as well as the renewal premiums.
Expenses: ING Life India will monitor its expenses. A cost conscious approach to business will continue, where the expenses will be monitored and controlled closely.
Value of New Business (VNB): or the future profit out of the new business.
Asset under management (AuM): AuM reflects the total amount of reserves that the company is managing, on behalf of its customers. The company charges a fee to manage this asset from its customers.
Non-financial risk: The Non-Financial Risks pertains to operational risks, IT risks and compliance risk. There is a significant focus at ING Life India to manage these risks. NFR will be measured to deliver comprehensive and integrated risk information on all Operational, Compliance and Legal Risks, using a consistent approach. This KPI will give management an overview of all key risks within the company, enabling them to prioritize the risks and take necessary responses to address them.
KPI Service Delivery
Productivity in Fixed Cost Channels Customer Engagement and Retention
Product Margins and duration
Higher contribution from Variable Cost Channels
Investment performance Expense Management
13th month persistency
Increase share of Traditional Products
Power of Responsibility
A life insurance company’s business is dependent on the ‘asset pool’ that it creates within the company by selling policies and managing the reserves. Clearly, at ING Life India also, the focus is on creating a large asset pool which will cater to our future benefits. The company’s asset pool is created by bringing more premiums from selling large number of policies, and also by having longer premium paying terms. Longer premium payment terms ensure that the asset pool is created not only for today, but continues to have the source of premium in the future as well. Premium Paying Terms Policy 1
Policy 2 Policy 3 Policy 4
‘RESERVE FOR FUTURE BENEFITS’
Each of the KPIs has its own value driver tree, which are translated throughout the company, and linked to all our initiatives. The monitoring of KPIs will help to review the strategy regularly and take necessary corrective actions if required. The company’s KPIs will be aligned with every function’s KPIs to contribute effectively to the plan. The 6 KPI’s are high level indicators, which get impacted by various activities across the organization. This way, every employee has a role to execute the plan, and help meet the objectives. To achieve breakeven, every employee has to execute their tasks in an effective and efficient manner.
Policy 5 Policy 6
The asset pool is also the source from where the company draws its income. These sources include Investment margins, or the money that the company gets from investments made for customers. Fund Management charges, or the fee charged by the company to customers for managing their funds; Expense margins or the money made on ‘expense fee’, charged to customers and Technical Results or the benefits from mortality charges. Hence, by growing the asset pool by selling more number of policies and for longer premium paying terms, the sources of income will also grow. For breakeven, the sources of income have to become positive (before tax).
Investment margins Margins that the company gets from investments made for customers Expense margins Margin on ‘expense fee’, charged to customers
Fund Management charges Fee charged to customers for managing their funds
Benefits from mortality
KPI Result before Tax
Questions to John Boers place will still be there. Now we will certainly enjoy the surroundings of Bangalore during the weekends. 3. •
John Boers, Chief Financial Officer
& John Boers CFO ING Life
We extend a very warm welcome to you at ING Life India. Could you give us more insight into John Boers, the man? John Boers is the spouse of Hanneke for 35 years and the proud father of Femke (30) and Geertje (26) and also quite connected with ING. Even before ING was established (1991) I start working for Postbank, in 1986. I have been working in several management positions in the Netherlands, UK and US, mainly in the Audit, Finance, Risk and Operations area. I know ING very well, the retail bank as well as the wholesale bank and insurance, at ING Group level as well as at the business level. I prefer to work with a wide variety of people while trying to bring the best out of them. I start my assignment mostly with a clear objective but I’m aware that there are many ways leading to Rome. In other words, I accept that it has not always to be my way, as long as we are going to meet the objective. I appreciate professional discussions and sharing arguments to come to the right decisions. Teamwork and cooperation is key.. What are your hobbies and interests? What do you do at leisure? I have many interests, like nature, cultures, music, movies, books, hiking, but to be honest sports are not in this list. The most favorite place we used to spend our free time is our house in the northern part of The Netherlands (the Frisian lakes) and our small boat. Unfortunately we have to wait some years but we know the
What is your leadership style? If you want to bring the best out of people you have to enable them to make their own mistakes. As long as you learn from your mistakes, there is nothing wrong. My style is more coaching than commanding. I like to see people take their own responsibility and not wait for instructions. Commitment to an organization, which is basically commitment to the colleagues around you, is important for me. You have launched ING Life India’s company values. How do you want our employees to live by them? It took me no more than a few minutes to react positive on the proposal. Sure, I had to talk first to my wife and daughters and explain to them what was happening. There was certainly some hesitation there, why to leave a comfortable environment like home? Hanneke and I came for our pre-assignment visit in December last year and even before we left Bangalore we had already decided to come back. The reason is quite simple, the people. We notice during our visit a very positive atmosphere, a lot of drive, enthusiasm, willingness to learn and eagerness for further development. This is an inspiring environment which gives us lots of energy. What were your initial impressions of India and of ING Life? Our business here is just in the beginning of the lifecycle compared to my previous business Nationale-Nederlanden, which operates in a mature market and on the top of the lifecycle. This is a big difference and the basis for further growth is definitely here. There is energy and drive. Like in any other new organization there is of course room for improvement but that gives us something to work on.
work hard in managing that well as efficient as possible. We invest a lot in new business so we have to manage our portfolio carefully to keep this business as long as possible in our books. By selling policies we build a reserve for future benefits to our customers. We invest this pool and we are making a fee or a margin out of these investments. This reserve for future benefits is our oil well, our profit pool. The bigger the profit pool, the bigger the value of our company.
The next challenge is the investment performance. As said, we have to manage the oil well efficiently, in other words, we have to manage our investments as good as we can. A well equipped investment department is key.
Last but not least: Jan Hommen has said: ”It’s not only important to make profit, it is also important how we are making profit. In other words, we have to manage our risks adequately. Proper attention for risk management and compliance are key in this
The Executive Team has announced the 3 year business plan for ING Life. What are your suggestions to employees around the plan? As said execution is key. All employees have to work together in achieving the targets. We have developed a set of Key Performance Indicators. We will cascade these down in the organization, so each and every employee will get to know how he or she can contribute to our success. Important here is to work together. It will not be sufficient to do your own job, it’s the total result of the whole team that counts.
What are your impressions about the ING Life culture and leadership and how in sync is it with the group? Our mission and our values are in line with those of ING Group and are supporting Jan Hommen’s strategy “Back to Basic”. Again, like in any other new organization, we have to build further on our own culture. We have to work together in implementing the values throughout our organization. This is quite a challenge due to the fact that ING Life is well spread over a huge country. I’m however convinced that we are making progress in this.
What financial and non financial risks do you foresee in our organization? How to we tackle them? Business means risk, that’s all in the game. As an insurance company we operate in a fast changing environment. Our ability to adopt ourselves quickly to that changing environment and to be pro active in managing change will be important. That goes for the organization as well as for the individuals. I’m a strong supporter of the Enterprise Risk Management model. By performing frequent risk self assessments supported by the risk management department, we will be able to recognize risks in a timely manner and to respond on these risk with adequate measures. My advice: do not wait until CAS, the regulator or the external auditor comes and tells you about the risk you are running. Manage your risks pro actively.
What are the immediate challenges that you see for yourself? The first challenge is our Break Even Plan. This plan contains the direction for this company to become break even or in other words become profitable as from the first quarter 2012. Now the plan is ready and agreed upon by our shareholders, execution will be key. An important element in the plan is the need to grow our business not only in number of policies but also in the duration of the individual policy. I have tried to explain this by comparing our business with an oil company. An oil company invests a lot in exploring new oil wells. When they have found one, they
10. Lastly, what are your top three expectations from the employees and what can we expect from you? ? • What I expect from all of us: commitment to the organization, a pro active attitude and cooperation and on top of that, enjoy your work. My knowledge of ING and my experience are available for each and everyone. In my role as CFO I will monitor with my people the progress we are making in achieving our Break Even Plan and we will give our advice when needed. I will support the further development of our organization and our people and above all I feel committed to make this organization an even more successful member of ING.
In The News
TIME IS PRECIOUS. MAKE EVERY SECOND COUNT. A WARM WELCOME FROM ING LIFE