Our clients typically come from three segments:
Insurance companies (life & non-life)
Professional services firms
1. Insurance companies
We provide insurance companies with information on competitors that they cannot gather themselves. Insurance company distribution channel managers (e.g. Chief Agency Officers), agency development managers, and strategy department managers all subscribe to our market intelligence.
These people use our analysis to monitor the competition (e.g. agent poaching, new agent recruitment, agent retention), benchmark their own operations, and identify trends in the market for their own internal management presentations.
2. Investment community
Equity analysts, fund managers, private equity investors, and hedge funds all subscribe to our market intelligence.
Most of the time, the value of our analysis for these clients is in being able to monitor key dimensions of listed insurance companies that they track, or (in the case of private equity investors) unlisted companies.
Companies such as Ping An Life, China Life, Taiping Life, New China Life, Sunshine Insurance, AIA, Allianz, AXA, FWD, Generali, Prudential, Manulife, AXA, Sun Life, are all of interest to equity analysts and hedge funds/fund managers who target the Asian/Chinese insurance space. We provide information that is not available to them from the public domain or from the target companies' Investor Relations departments. In particular, we provide cross-company benchmarks that relate to operational health and leading revenue indicators, of the target insurers.
For hedge funds, in particular, our market intelligence is seen as a source of alternative data.
3. Professional services firms
Strategy consulting firms, actuarial consulting firms, and investment banking corporate finance and M&A divisions use our market intelligence for project work, e.g. conducting due diligence on target company's distribution channels, or distribution channel strategy development.
Often, our analysis will be used to provide evidence of shortcomings in the target company agency channel, such as poor agent retention relative to competitors, lack of recruitment vigour, or low agent productivity proxies such as agent experience levels.
The insurance industry, in Asia in particular, has a number of characteristics that frustrate the analytical objectives of the investment community:
Lack of consistent, reliable, timely, and publicly available metrics on insurance company key value drivers, such as new business premium revenue and profitability.
Heterogeneity of regulation across Asian markets, making it difficult to analyse pan-Asian insurers like AIA, Prudential, and Manulife, which have footprints across 10+ Asian markets.
Opaqueness and lack of discipline in the Investor Relations departments of some of the larger Chinese listed companies, limiting the usefulness of the information they provide to investors.
This provides an opportunity to use unconventional data sources and outputs in order to generate insight about a company's operations. Our market intelligence outputs on life insurance agency channels speak to a number of key dimensions:
sales revenue (agent headcount, agent productivity proxy measures)
agent productivity (key proxy measures: agent retention rate of experienced agents, agent experience levels)
agency channel operational health (recruitment, retention, poaching)
channel size and growth (agent headcount)
channel inherent costs (recruitment, retention rates)