Only five percent of Vietnam’s population of nearly 92 million has life insurance coverage, making Vietnam one of the most attractive countries for global insurance companies. In recent years, more and more international life insurance companies have been eyeing Vietnam, with its fast rate of growth and development and rapidly emerging middle class, as an ideal destination with many excellent opportunities, especially at a time when many Western economies are struggling.
Most recently, March 2013 marked an important milestone for Sun Life Assurance Company and PVI Holdings when both sides officially presented PVI Sun Life Insurance Company Limited (PVI Sun Life) with a charter capital of VND1,000 billion (approx. C$ 48 million), of which PVI owns 51 per cent of the company, and Sun Life owns the remaining 49 percent. The creation of PVI Sun Life was aptly timed, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Canada diplomatic ties (1973-2013).
The formation of PVI Sun Life will help the Canadian based Sun Life to expand its footprint in the fast-growing Asia market and become the latest entrant to the Vietnam market, where growth has been particularly strong. Mr Steve Lorenz, CEO of PVI Sun Life, said that the strength of PVI Sun Life comes from the combination of Sun Life’s global insurance and risk management expertise and PVI’s local knowledge, reputation, brand and nationwide distribution network. Sun Life has a proven record of success in the joint-venture model in other countries in Asia, including China, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. A key element of that success has been the formation of relationships with companies that share similar values to those of Sun Life, in particular when it comes to putting customers first. “With a long history and more than 150 years of experience, including over 120 years in Asia, the deep expertise of Sun Life combined with the local knowledge and distribution network of PVI Holdings provides a compelling mix, and we believe PVI Sun Life will enjoy the sort of success achieved by Sun Life joint ventures in other countries”, said Mr Lorenz.
The joint venture demonstrates Sun Life’s deep commitment in Asia in general, and in Vietnam in particular. PVI Sun Life aims to be a market leader in the Vietnamese insurance market by delivering innovative life insurance products through multiple sales channels, including through PVI’s diversified distribution channels.
After a short time of establishment, PVI Sun Life now has attracted over 500 agents in the major urban centres including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. This number is expected to reach 2,000 by the end of year and PVI Sun Life expects that this will continue rising, as the company also targets to expand its presence in all regions of Vietnam in the future.
At the launching ceremony on June 16, the company’s first policy contracts were signed celebrating the start of the company operations. In July 2013, PVI Sun Life officially launched its third product in Vietnam, Bao Nhan Tri, after Bao An Toan and Bao An Binh in June. It is expected in the near future, PVI Sun Life will launch a pension product as well as other individual products.
Mr Steve Lorenz revealed that to achieve the objective of becoming the leading insurer in Vietnam, PVI Sun Life will pay special attention to its core values of customer focus, superior quality service and professional financial advice.
In recent years, many Canadian enterprises have been making profits in Vietnam and contributing to the expansion and deepening of bilateral relations between the two countries. The existence of PVI Sun Life will not only bring success to the two founding companies, but also contribute to the development of the insurance market in Vietnam and help to strengthen the diplomatic relationship between the Canadian and Vietnamese governments. It is hoped that the success of PVI Sun Life will pave the way for a new wave of Canadian investment in Vietnam.