Daniel, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a Director in Oliver James’ Hong Kong business and have been with the company for the last 7 years covering the Asia-Pacific region across a variety of senior insurance disciplines; mainly life actuarial.
I currently lead a team of specialized life and health actuarial recruiters who service the local and regional business units of our clients who are located both in Asia-Pacific and internationally.
How is the current situation in Hong Kong?
Despite a difficult few years, our insurance clients continue to grow and re-invest in the Hong Kong market, which is the regional hub in Asia for life insurance. Leading international and local businesses continue to hire both Hong Kong nationals, expats living in Hong Kong, and are also actively recruiting from overseas (keeping us very busy!). We are seeing continued signs of expansion and would welcome discussions with candidates interested in looking at a move to ‘Asia’s world city’ as there is a sense that we are ready to move on to a post-covid world.
What are the key trends and the most sought after skills in the Hong Kong life insurance market?
Aside from IFRS17 and RBC projects nearing completion or being rolled out by the leading life insurance businesses (which will require on-going support through the coming years), there continues to be an evolving trend of hiring actuaries into non-traditional areas. We have mandates from our clients to hire life actuaries into investments, strategy, distribution, M&A and business development.
It is also worth mentioning that innovation is a key trend in Hong Kong and wider Asia. Product development and digitalization is a core focus for our clients as they seek to tap into wider pools of customers.
Why should someone look to relocate to Hong Kong?
A role in Hong Kong will typically offer a more holistic view of a life insurance business and give you more cross-functional exposure than what I’ve encountered in the US, Europe and other markets. For candidates looking to relocate from more saturated insurance markets to the ever-evolving Asian markets, Hong Kong offers proven examples of enhanced career progression.
Hong Kong is a fantastic place to live with a vibrant social scene in the ‘concrete jungle’ as well as abundant hiking trails and beaches to visit. Finally, with COVID restrictions ending, it’s a great base to visit other countries in Asia.
If you have any questions on the above and/or would like to have a conversation with me on our current and upcoming opportunities please reach out to me at Daniel.Kirk@oliverjames.com.