Russell Reynolds Associates Study Finds Insurance CEOs in Asia Outperform Global Peers

As a result of sending high-performing leaders to APAC to secure growth opportunities, as well as the strength of regional firms, the region has high concentration of top-performing executives in insurance

SINGAPORE, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading global search and leadership advisory firm, today announced the results of their study "Asia Insurance:The Next Generation CEO" which found that insurance CEOs in Asia outscored their global peers in seven out of eight C-suite differentiators, including being disruptive, risk-taking, heroic, galvanizing, reluctant, vulnerable and connecting. Russell Reynolds Associates combined benchmarking data from a dataset of 5.5 million people, its C-suite Leadership Span psychometric assessments, as well as interviews from 12 high-performing Asia insurance CEOs to develop this groundbreaking study.

David Cookson, who co-leads Asia Insurance and Consumer Financial Services at Russell Reynolds Associates
David Cookson, who co-leads Asia Insurance and Consumer Financial Services at Russell Reynolds Associates


The findings are largely attributed to the unique facets of the insurance market in Asia, which is facing unprecedented change due to rapid market growth and liberalization, an evolving regulatory landscape and emerging technologies. Global insurance companies are sending their top-performing executives to Asia to ensure a competitive edge in the marketplace. Coupled with the rise of successful regional insurance companies, Asia is currently home to many of the world's premier insurance CEOs.

The study also analyzed the backgrounds of over 30 Asia-based CEOs working in both the life and general insurance segments of the industry and compared the differences between CEOs working in multinational companies versus those in local or domestic insurers. The only differentiator in which Asia-based CEOs did not outperform their western peers was regarding the trait of being pragmatic.

"Insurance CEOs in Asia exemplify an extraordinary breadth of capabilities when compared to their peers globally," said David Cookson, who co-leads the Asia Insurance and Consumer Financial Services Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. "In addition to the seven differentiators, we also found that they are more likely to demonstrate the traits of being intuitive, altruistic, outgoing, calm and modest when compared to their global counterparts."

"The region is stockpiling best-in-class financial services executive talent. We also found that compared to peers in other sectors, Asia-based insurance CEOs tend to be more intuitive, outgoing and sensitive to other's needs," said Ric Roi, who leads the Asia-Pacific Leadership & Succession Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. "These characteristics underscore their ability to execute through uncertainty, act as connectors and exude optimism."

About Russell Reynolds Associates

Russell Reynolds Associates is a global search and leadership advisory firm. Our 425+ consultants in 46 offices work with public, private and nonprofit organizations across all industries and regions. We help our clients build teams of transformational leaders who can meet today's challenges and anticipate the digital, economic and political trends that are reshaping the global business environment. From helping boards with their structure, culture and effectiveness to identifying, assessing and defining the best leadership for organizations -- our teams bring their decades of expertise to help clients solve their most complex leadership issues.

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