Saturday, May 10, 2008

TKL and TSC (2)

For this posting, I just like to voice how I feel about TSC. First, I have to say that my views will be rather narrow because I did not work closely with TSC before. I'm talking only from my personal Financial Consultant point of view.

Morale Booster after TSC came in
There was a fresh breath of air for the Consultants when TSC came in Feb07. We were invited to the Esplanade. We felt different compared to the Kreta Ayer environment. He gave a fantastic speech and we suddenly feel that a bright future is ahead of us. The declaration he made in Esplanade was published on Newspaper. My impression that day is that NTUC Income will change and a revolution is on the way.

The change in Environment?
* I feel that TKL is more of the traditional, Asian type of boss, hardworking, caring and hands on to everything. TSC is different, my feel of him is of more hype and modern type of boss.
* He try to change the way people view us and how we view ourselves. It is like changing from the neighbourhood shophouses type of environment towards the Shenton Way environment with his modernisation towards the company.
(I don't argue if modernisation is necessary, but I can feel like NTUC Income is less of an old fashioned, auntie, uncle type of company)

He is good at giving speeches
* I think his public speaking ability is fantastic. He never fails to convince the consultants whenever he goes up for a speech. He is very good in motivating and making the Consultants feel good and confident. The consultants feel great after each meeting and meetings are no longer boring.

His emphasis on Sales
I can see that his core emphasis is Sales. He treats the consultants very well. He do not hesitate to reward the good ones by coming out with a lot of motivating sales contest. He invites many external trainers to train the Consultants. He published the good ones, full page in Newspaper. The feel good factor is there. No wonder he gained quite a bit of supporters within the Consultants.

My encounters with him
* My encounters with him are 2 emails, a short greeting at Income Centre and a handshake during an incentive trip.
* I put up a proposal to improve the Business Centre when he newly joined. He thanked me and told me to greet him and introduce myself when I meet up with him. I'm too shy to do so.
* He always acknowledge my emails promptly and thank me whenever I suggested something.

Feel good factor over. How I feel of him after a year
* He keep telling us that NTUC Income will transform but I have no idea how he will transform NTUC Income as he described. There don't seems to be concrete actions or change except the renovations and many sales contests that keep pushing us.
* Too many contest and emphasis on Sales seems to make the Consultants focus on selling other than doing a proper review. Consultants start to avoid policies like Incomeshield and Term Policies because they need to get their Sales quick.
* There are grievances but he don't seems to hear and don't seem bothered to address. Only see him during major meetings every 2 months. We sometimes don't know if he is listening or doing something about it. He seems near but yet so far when we are voicing out our ideas and grievences.
* He seems to be telling us "You, as a Financial Consultants, just focus on your sales. Don't bother too much on what we are doing at our end."
* He came out with innovative things like the change in Mission, Vision, etc. But I only see things happening on paper and speeches.

His image is a disadvantage to him in NTUC Income
* NTUC Income have long build up the image of frugality and caring type of Insurance company. He appeared in the Press, sometimes with a wine glass, relaxed and seemingly enjoying life.
* He lacks the cooperative image that people preceive. People started to think that he is too commercialized and don't care for them anymore.
* For the older Policyholders, he may looks like a spendthrift. For the younger ones, he may looks quite cool.
* The Policyholder base of NTUC Income is generally from the older age group. This, may be a disadvantage to him. But of course, the good point is that he may be able to attract more younger ones in future.

His achievements
* I think he improved in changing the NTUC Income Image towards modernization. Unfortunately he was dragged down a bit by allegations that he overspent and the recent saga of the Change in Bonus Scheme thingy.
* He improved the morale of the Consultants and improve sales and market share. He managed to stretch the ability of almost every Consultants in the small sales force. But I don't know how far stretched can they go when new recruitment seems to remain relatively low.
* He put in a lot of attention on Training and professionalism. Capabilities of Consultants improved as a whole. Frankly telling, everyday, we are pushing for Sales, not sure how much they learn are being applied.
* He also seems to line up a strong management team with vast experience.

The Future
* I'm not sure. He did build up a vision for us but no mention at all of what he is going to do. This is call "Uncertainty". Maybe I'm thinking too much.
Will he deliver? I really don't know. Its "Faith" that he will because I cannot see the concrete steps in going towards that vision.

(The above are just opinion from where I'm standing, about my boss. It is not meant to credit or discredit him.)


Anonymous said...

Adrian, thank you for your frank opinion.

I do not know if you will agree with me but I am a strong believer in showing result prior to asking for changes.

John F. Kennedy : Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

I guess no one, including myself will condemn Tan Suee Chieh for over-spending HIS OWN ACHIEVEMENT at NTUC Income Insurance for those luxury renovations and giving themselves fat salaries and, or bonuses. I shall consider that he deserves such reward though.

However, with due respect to him, it is definitely unbecoming of him to recklessly over-spend the monies when we are still wondering what can he really do for NTUC Income Insurance instead.

leothu said...

every move a company made is important and will definitely affect the employers and customers. in the insurance field, you can almost choose what service you want to provide to your clients, you only need the backbone from your company to provide you what you can provide to your clients in your own way.

leaving income, your clients will be handled by income direct biz and customer svs, do you think they can do a better job?

not leaving, you can continue to provide updates coz you can access the internal system. you continue to plan the best plan that suits your client...

so you really made the choice? is it a harsh choice due to some unhappiness over something? or is it a long thought and consideration?

Anonymous said...

Spending to spruce up the image of ntuc or himself? It is both. If he spruces ntuc 's image his too will be spruced up. Agree? That was what he spent. And he also wanted to be great with the salespeople because they can make him great with sales.It is you scratch my i scratch yours. His first day at the Kreta Ayer meeting he already showed that. He knows what he wants and he knows how to use people.
But who suffers?

It is like management and the greedy agents team up to strip the customers off.

Anonymous said...

It is amuzing what you posted in the onlincitezen about decreasing term insurance. You have four reasons against it but on one issue, that is the issue of insurability. This is flawed. You argued on the assumption on "what if" scenerios. Let me ask what if none of the events you expected to happen never happens? Remember you studied FP, it is looking at the big picture. When you put money here somewhere is starved. In another words the priority is important and not skewed too.
It is very common and bullshit of insurance agents to frighten buyers of the future events that may or may not happen.Because of this I find agents very despicable and no insincerity. YOU DON'T INSURE THE FUTURE of imaginary or ASSUMED EVENTS. YOU INSURE YOUR NEEDS AT THAT POINT IN TIME. And this how you can adequately compute the insurance needs for a customer.
If your argument is right, then you should ask every parent to insure their children for every possible event that might happen in the future and into the next in the name of insurability. Your assumption is that these events will happen .
It is another cheating and trickery used by insurance agents to frighten parents and others into buying.It has no validity.
Do you know that marriage is very a
risky event? Do you insure it? How do you mitigate this risk? Is this risk considered when you provide financial planning?
There is no possibility to be completely free from and insure all the risks. Remember this. One risk at the time and based on needs.
Another reminder, if you have the money you can buy all the insurance that you need or don't. No one is hurt but the problem rich people don't need insurance. Maybe the risk is only a fraction of their assets which is peanuts (10 millions peanuts)
Using DTA or LT or YRT or WL is a matter of budget and adequacy of coverage.
Eg for a vely vely poor guy YRT sevrves him best.


Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian,

I agreed with you our new boss is result focus person. He just joined us within a year and he broke all the sale records, both API and SPI, (beside the year 2001 CPFIS liberalization) that TKL has 30 over year.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...


I am not advising people against DTA but I do like to point out that Insurability is a very real issue.

If you are from the industry, you may understand how tough it is to get covered especially if there are any black mark on ones health.
I had met many people who wants insurance but are not able to get it.

Insurance Planning is not just calculating the exact figures about the present. We have to guide our clients to look into their future and the possibilities. If one day, they have medical problem, they may blame us in recommending too little insurance and did not highlight to them on insurability.

I din tell people not to get DTA, but I want to emphasize that not everyone must get a DTA. There are many situations that warrants my advice for them to take up a level term. I am suggesting the people should discuss with an adviser to understand more.

You seems agitated with my posting. Hope you don't feel that I am not trying to scare people and am not greedy about that few extra dollars between a Level Term and DTA.

Anonymous said...

Adrain, tell me what are insurance do I need. I am 36 years, single and have no dependent. I am staying on my own in a 3 room HDB flat.


Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

Hi Terminator,

A single with no dependent doesn't mean he don't need insurance. A person who stay in a 3 room flat doesn't mean he is poor and his future lifestyle will remain as today.

I still need to know more about this person before we can determine his insurance needs.
But from your example, there are so many things that I may recommend after a fact finding analysis,
1) Home insurance to protect his asset
2) Basic Medical Insurance ranging from Medishield to a Private Shield Plan depending on his needs
3) A Critical Illness Term plan just in case of Illnesses that deter him working for 3 years
4) Additional Term Insurance just in case of Disability
5) A RSP to help him start saving towards his retirement
6) Recommend him some investment for his CPF and Cash assets.
7) Recommend him towards Will Writing to determine who he wants to give his money and assets to when he is not around.
8) I may introduce him about AMD and be one of his witness if he needs to.

There are so many things that we can possibly do for him.

Anonymous said...

So you see, Adrain, i have many needs that need addressing immedaitely.
But i have limited income. How would you ensure that my immediate concerns are taken care of. Prioritisation, right?.
Would you consider what if i get married in the future or have one or two or three children? or concerned what universities i will sending them to. or if i should buy a landed property or a car and worry whether i will be insurable at that time.
Friend , first thing first.. The immedaite things need to take care first. Another point is , is transferring all the risks to the insurance company is the smartest way? You have to weigh>> Don't jump and be blinded. If you are an unethical insurance agents you would cook up a lot of imaginary needs to cheat your customers.Every thing needs insurance. Don't do that Remember the poor guy has limited money. He is depending on you to give his money a good run.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

Thanks for your advice and comment. Your comment is important to me.

I want to emphasize it will be wise to discuss with an advisor when they wants to get their financial plan done up. We will guide them in the prioritise process. We also have to help them see further than the present. We are not trying to cook up some imaginary needs.

There are no fast and fix rule on which insurance plan to be recommended.

Anonymous said...

The first thing that Tan Suee Chieh ought to do is to show the board of directors that he can increase the assets value and policyholder populations of NTUC Income Insurance.

Unfortunately, he prefers to walk around with a glass of wine in his hands instead !

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian,

As an FC, who is the CEO make no difference to me. I still have to work hard for my income. However, I Agreed with you our new CEO is a very very very good motivator, I feel charge up and in fact nowaday I had spent more my time to call my clients now as compared to TKL’s time I felt lost and no energy to work. Anywhere, the our sale result had proven who is more capable.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

As far as I try to approve as many comments, I'm sorry that I have to reject some because there are too many personal attacks which often contain vulgarities.

Please be more refined as we post comments. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

tcs is a new broom. it sweeps clean now but it will soon become a broken broom and in 3 years and not 30 years, just like before.

Anonymous said...

each to its own....

having a broom, is better than no broom at all.

same goes for everyone, if it is good for customer it will also be good for you....vice versa

Anonymous said...

More sales means more capable ah? Look beneath the surface and see whether these sales last and are good value. Suay Suay sell more but what if policyholders buy already become Kuai Lan because not good value one?
Adrian is right in that his new boss is good talker but no concrete action. Feel good for one year then now trouble starts. In another year he will be gone and then who is left to sweep the debris? Any business that does not put its customers first is bound to go bust.

Loh Hon Chun said...

I would say NTUC Income agents are now merely sales people. They don't do planning. I purposely sat down with them on 2 occasions pretending I am interested to find out more.

On both ocassions, they tried to push Revosave to me. After showing no interest in it due to poor guaranteed returns, they quickly come out with their VivoLife, telling me how Revosave and VivoLife and work hand-in-hand. I did the same trick of showing no interest and very quickly, they showed me their Endowment plan.

Is this planning? Throughout the session, they did not even assess my financial conditions or my risk profile. What they were capable of were just pushing products and laying all of them on a table.

The new CEO must be pushing them very hard for sales.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I say that your new ceo is a big shit? He is a good actor only. I heard from many of my ntuc firends that that he was trying to bullshit with stage acts. People can see through his fakeness and insincerity.
he is a very dangerous man. let me forecast again. he will leave you guys holding the babies and the shit after this year. he will fail and he will leave a lot of mess in ntuc. Just watch.