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Impact Story:
Impact Story:


AIA, ALC and IMD: A partnership to future-proof the AIA investment function


AIA is the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group with a presence in 18 markets across the Asia-Pacific region. AIA Investments (Investments) is a key internal function that invests the Group’s assets to ensure AIA’s financial sustainability and deliver targeted risk-weighted returns and efficient capital deployment. AIA Leadership Centre (ALC) is a state of-the-art learning facility designed to advance the knowledge and skills of AIA’s top talent – employees and agents, as well as senior executives from AIA’s key partners.

Mark Konyn, who joined AIA in 2015 as Group Chief Investment Officer (Group CIO), saw an opportunity to drive significant change within the Investments function to ensure its ability to continuously adapt to both a dynamic investment market and rapidly changing business conditions; to keep pace with growth in the underlying insurance business and new regulations; and to develop new skills and capabilities.


There were a number of challenges facing the Investment function, which if left unchecked could risk compromising AIA’s continued high growth:
− The need to diversify the asset portfolio to ensure that Investments continued to keep pace with the business growth. For over a decade, business growth had exceeded that of the region’s capital markets putting Investments under pressure to source new assets, engage with more third-party providers and ensure appropriate levels of risk control across an expanded book of business.
− The need for more flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing and dynamic investment market and take account of the global convergence of investment-related regulations and use of technology to drive efficiency in trading and portfolio management.
− Challenges in recruiting and retaining highly skilled investment staff in some of AIA’s 18 markets.

Custom approach

Together AIA, ALC and IMD decided that to really make Investments resilient for the future, they needed to simultaneously address structural, portfolio, and mindset and skills issues. And all of this needed to happen based on a solid understanding not only of the trends in the insurance business, the global economic environment and the regulatory environment but also on an honest external perspective of how Investments was seen and appreciated within AIA.

“I wanted to maintain the capabilities that were based on deep experience across the region. I didn’t want to come in and destroy anything that was already working well but rather to open a conversation and get my senior team to start thinking about some of these challenges. I wanted the team across the region to see things a little bit differently.” Mark Konyn

The approach included a series of three workshops over 18 months, interspersed by application work by participants and the extended team. It included a deep needs-assessment, sessions with senior leaders, the exploration of new models, fast prototyping, dynamic activities, multiple customized cases, individual assessments and one-on-one coaching, communication and role plays. It was tightly connected to the ongoing transformation throughout.


The impact of this series of workshops has been significant. Investments is far better placed to deliver on AIA’s strategy, more future-ready and able to cope with the continued growth foreseen in Asian markets. It is much more tightly connected to the rest of the business and adds more value. Resources are being used more efficiently and new asset classes are being added to benefit its policy holders and further differentiate AIA.