Tokio Marine CEO to step down on May 31

Insurer says successor will start in June but did not name him, thanks Lance Tay for dedication and contributions

Mr Tay was instrumental in helping Tokio Marine to become an MAS Tier 1 Significant Insurer this year, said the firm.

The chief executive of insurer Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore, Mr Lance Tay, will be stepping down on May 31.

A memo obtained by The Straits Times yesterday said: "The board wishes to thank Lance for his dedication and contributions to Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore since he came on board as the head of partnership distribution in 2010, and thereafter taking over the reins as chief executive officer in 2012."

The insurer confirmed the news yesterday evening, adding that a new chief executive has been identified and will start on June 1, but did not disclose the name.

The memo said: "We will introduce him in a separate announcement in due course."

Mr Tay, 55, who studied computer information science at the University of Florida, has been in the industry for more than 30 years.

He has held several top roles such as John Hancock's Singapore deputy chief executive and AIA Singapore's chief marketing officer. The firm noted that Mr Tay has been "instrumental" in helping it to become a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Tier 1 Significant Insurer this year.

A Tier 1 insurer is defined as a direct life or composite insurer whose total assets are at least $5 billion, or a direct general insurer or reinsurer whose annual gross premiums are at least $500 million.

Tier 1 insurers are subject to higher corporate governance standards.

Tokio Marine Life said in a statement to The Straits Times: "He has been keen to pursue his personal priorities for some time but stayed on to steer Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore towards achieving its MAS Tier 1 Significant Insurer status this year."

Financial advisory firms say Tokio Marine - which bought home-grown Asia Insurance, part of Asia General Holdings, in 2007 - is one insurer that has always exceeded projected bonus rates for life insurance products.

Since Tokio Marine Life was established in Singapore in 1948, it has been known as the only insurer here never to have cut its bonus for the last 68 years.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore is part of major Japanese insurance group Tokio Marine Group, which has more than 130 years of history.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2016, with the headline Tokio Marine CEO to step down on May 31. Subscribe