New Sun Life PH chief takes challenge to make the giant insurer future-ready

SLOCPI President and Chief Agency Distribution Officer Alex S. Narciso

As more millennials join the country’s productive workforce and as outlooks of the national economy maintain the bullish run, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. (SLOCPI) is making itself future-ready. This is the mandate the giant insurer’s new President and Chief Agency Distribution Officer Alexander Narciso said he is taking.

In a recent gathering organized by the company for the press, Narciso emphasized that Sun Life Financial will continue its advocacy to help more Filipinos achieve a better quality of life through their practical and comprehensive insurance products. The executive said they are now taking strategies that would target millennials as well as those belonging to a segment of the middle market that are expected to benefit more from a continuously growing economy.

About a third of the country’s overall population comprises of millennials (based on 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority) or those belonging to the 15- to 34-year-old age group. Based on the October 2015 Labor Force Survey, millennials account for about 47.1% of over 66 million working Filipinos that constitute the local labor force.


Opportunities for 2018
“I am very optimistic that we’ll be able to deliver and grow our business in the next few years,” Narciso said. He cited three major opportunities that are under the company’s focus this year—a continuously growing economy, well-informed consumers who are taking investment options for their hard-earned money, and wider use of new technology especially among the younger Filipinos who are predisposed to using digital tools.

Narciso is also confident that the newly implemented national tax reform law would drive more Filipinos into saving more money from their greater disposable income and investing the amount to promising opportunities like insurance and mutual funds.

Sun Life Financial is poised to reach its target to have 5 million insured Filipinos by the year 2020. This goal was set through its RI5E PH campaign that was launched in June 2016. The company revealed that by the end of 2017, they have signed up about 2.8 million local consumers into its broad range of insurance products. Sun Life Financial had 1.5 million local clients prior to the launch of this campaign.

Targeting more Filipinos
Most of the insurer’s policy holders belong to the upper segment of the middle-class or class C market. The company has started widening its target to include those in the middle segment of that market classification. “We want to remain strong in our traditional market but we are already moving, developing business and distribution models to penetrate the middle market,” said Narciso.

Aside from adopting a ‘maintenance mode,’ Sun Life Financial has also started getting into partnership with various business and organizations so it could reach out to more consumers. “That is why we partnered with USSC. So far, it has been generating the lives count that we want. From September to December 2017, we have insured over 70,000 of that business’ customers.” Narciso added that they hope they could provide insurance to a significant portion of USSC’s over 5 million regular clients across the Philippines.

Sun Life Financial is also making adjustments to its products so those could be more appreciated by more consumers. “We are reviewing our processes to simplify those as well as to leverage the use of technology,” he disclosed. Among those simplified products are protection and accident insurance, which come with affordable premiums as low as P50 to P100.


New president
Narciso assumed the role as President of SLOCPI on July 1, 2017. The post is concurrent to his role as chief agency distribution officer of the company. He is also the president of the firm’s philanthropic unit, Sun Life Financial Philippines Foundation, Inc., which celebrated its 10th year in November 2017.

He joined Sun Life in 1989 and has handled various agency support roles, including sales training, sales promotions, and agency events. Narciso played a key role in recent major projects of the company such as the Centennial Celebration, demutualization, and the launch of its mutual funds and pre-need businesses.

According to Sun Life Financial Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, Narciso was usually behind the scene but has been among the main factors that propelled the firm into its status as the top insurance company in the Philippines for several years now. “As chief agency distribution officer, he empowered advisors and boosted their skills and passion in helping improve more lives,” Lopa said about Narciso.

Meanwhile, former SLOCPI President Riza Mantaring will remain as country head and CEO of the company. She will continue to oversee Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI) and Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (SLGFI).