Friday, December 29, 2006

Article in Lianhe Wanbao

Translated from Lianhe Wanbao, December 2007

NTUC Income's CEO Mr Tan Kin Lian
Had Secondary 4 education, did self-study for Actuarial qualification

40 years ago, when NTUC Income's CEO Mr Tan Kin Lian was fresh out of school, he had only a secondary four certification. While he worked, he did some self-study. After 9 years, at the age of 27, he received his Actuarial professional qualification.

During that time only 2 people who self-studied received the actuarial certification, and Mr Tan is one of them. After that, those who want to get this professional certificate had to go to the university as no one was allowed to do self-study.

During those 9 years, Mr Tan worked in an insurance company and did various positions for instance as a programmer, an actuarial consultant and worked in management level. “Because of my work experience, I’m a more practical actuarial compare to a fresh graduate,” he said.

As an Actuary, his duty is based on economics theory and had to analyse, evaluate and manage future unknown risk. “I’m good in mathematics, statistics and finance. I need to about 2 months to prepare for an exam. This is enough. I don't have much time for a social life but I don't mind,” mentioned Mr Tan.

Mr Tan is stepping down from NTUC Income on 1st April 2007, after 30 years of service. He is the third local CEO to step down since June this year, after SingTel's and NOL’s CEOs.

Mr Tan, aged 58, said that he would continue working up to 70 years old. He plans to set up an insurance company that offers high quality and low-cost insurance, using high technology and commercial strategy, to increase an organisation's performance.

Mr Tan Kin Lian writes daily in his blog. The information in his blog is transparent and has an open approach.

On one occasion he was approached by an union official who addressed him as “smiling tiger”. He said this may sound embarrassing but he can felt that the party did not mean anything negative.

Mr Tan also shared a light moment he had. On the day the newspapers published the news of his resignation along with his photos, Mr Tan was flying. The steward asked," Excuse me, sir. Are you the person on the front page of the papers?"

After the announcement was made about him stepping down, his personal blog had hits up to 1,100. This is a four-fold increase. His personal blog is

His most satisfied investment is a $300,000 investment in a computer system

For the past 30 years, Mr Tan had to make a lot of decisions. His decision to invest $300,000 for a computer system proof that he makes the right decision. The computer system's efficiency reduced operating expenses, improved the service quality and helped insurance agents to sell new products. “Because I was a programmer, it helped me to follow through this strategy. For the next 10 years, NTUC Income will enjoy speedy growth because of this system.”

What types of insurance does Mr Tan invests in?

As a CEO of an insurance cooperative, what are the types of insurance does he invests in?

Mr Tan mentioned that, when his children were young he took up term and life insurance. The sum assured is 5 times his annual salary. He took up a living policy for his wife, and also for his 3 children. He has comprehensive coverage for accident, medical and education.

Mr Tan also invests in ILP products for his retirement. His investments are all large, well-diversified and in low-cost plans. His returns for the past few years, is more than 10 per cent.

“For the next 10 to 20 years, I projected the returns to be around 5 to 6 per cent. I think it is a suitable investment for everyone,” said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan has two daughters and one son. His elder daughter is married to a Russian.

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