HSBC Life Singapore makes senior appointments

Firm appoints Lee Kah Jing as chief product officer, Gajan Yogaranandan as chief risk officer, and Kapil Arora as chief financial officer

HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (HSBC Life Singapore) has appointed three seasoned executives to its management team - Lee Kah Jing as chief product officer, Gajan Yogaranandan as chief risk officer, and Kapil Arora as chief financial officer.

These appointments will further support the Singapore insurance business’ growth as it ramps up its manufacturing and distribution activities in this market.

In May 2019, HSBC Life Singapore made sweeping upgrades to its business including the launch of its new brand, the expansion of its product suite, and widening its distribution channel to include independent financial advisory (FA) firms.

The business overhaul reflects the overall growth and evolving composition of Singapore’s insurance market including an ageing and wealthier domestic population, and a rise in international citizens seeking more sophisticated wealth and insurance solutions.

HSBC Life Singapore has since expanded its product manufacturing capabilities to ensure it offers a range of products and solutions that meet the needs of its customers across their different life-stages. It plans to introduce more product-first innovations which will close the protection gap that Singaporeans are currently facing.

In particular, HSBC Life Singapore will develop more protection-geared products that can support its customers’ long-term financial and retirement planning needs. To date, it has grown its overall headcount close to 25% within a year.

Carlos Vazquez, CEO, HSBC Life Singapore shares, “To meaningfully grow our business to scale, there’s a need for us to fire up all cylinders. This means having the support of a strong leadership team to drive key pillars of our business, be it at the product development and management aspect or oversight of key business risks and our financials, is critical.”

The new appointments are as follows:

Lee Kah Jing has more than 10 years of life insurance experience across key areas including analytics, enterprise risk management, product development and actuarial pricing. Lee was most recently head of product actuarial at Sun Life Financial Indonesia, where he successfully grew the business by expanding its product suite and deepening collaboration with key distribution partners.

As chief product officer, Lee will be responsible for the strategic implementation and execution of new product developments and the management of HSBC Life Singapore’s product suite. Lee will also be responsible for the delivery of customer-centric propositions that meet customers’ protection, education, retirement, legacy and saving needs.

Lee’s appointment is effective July 1 and he’s also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Kapil Arora has a proven track record of more than 15 years in the field of finance & accounts. He joined HSBC Group in 2007 with its insurance JV in India, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Co Ltd as vice president, Business Planning & Management Information. Arora subsequently joined HSBC Insurance (Hong Kong) in 2014 where his last held position was head of financial control.

As chief financial officer, Arora will be responsible for all regulatory, statutory and management financial reporting of HSBC Life Singapore. Arora will ensure key financial risks are within the business' risk appetite and put in place strong cost disciplines to ensure the efficient operation of the business.

Arora is a chartered accountant and his appointment is effective August 19.

Gajan Yogaranandan has a proven track record of more than 15 years. He joined HSBC Group in 2011 where his last held position was global market and credit risk manager. Prior to that, Yogaranandan was the lead market and credit risk manager for HSBC’s Europe insurance business.

As chief risk officer, Yogaranandan will lead the insurance risk function in identifying, assessing and monitoring risks faced by HSBC Life Singapore’s Insurance business. Yogaranandan will also provide strategic counsel to the management team on key risk concerns.

Yogaranandan’s appointment is effective August 26. He is also a CFA charterholder.

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