As we reported in previous briefings, Hong Kong will shortly have a new insurance regulator – the iIA. The current regulatory regime is hybrid in nature, with insurance companies regulated by the government whilst intermediaries (i.e. brokers and agents) self-regulate. iIA, a statutory body, will replace this outdated structure in three stages. Last year there was much speculation on who would head iIA. Now the veil of secrecy has been lifted.
On 28 December 2015, a press release was issued1 advising that Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi had been appointed as the Chairman of the iIA, and that seven people had been appointed as Non-Executive Directors for a term of three years to 27 December 2018.
Dr Cheng is the former senior partner of a local law firm (PC Woo & Co) and is described in the press release as having areas of practice covering capital markets, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. He has served in various positions including Chairman of the Education Commission, government-appointed Director on the Board of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, and founding Vice-Chairman of the Estate Agents Authority. He was also a very active and well-respected member of the Law Society where, between 1991 and 1998, he was a member of the PI Claims Committee, a position which will have involved interactions with insurance.
The seven Non-Executive Directors announced by the iIA are:
- Mr Samuel Chan Ka-yan, a barrister and an incumbent member of the Consumer Council who chairs the Management Committee of the Consumer Legal Action Fund. Mr Chan sat as a Deputy District Judge in 2006 and has considerable experience as an adjudicator or member in various statutory tribunal and appeals boards.
- Professor Chan Wai-sum, an actuary and a Professor of Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with expertise covering life insurance products, retirement income arrangements and health care financing in Hong Kong.
- Ms Chitty Cheung Fung-ting who has held a number of key management positions at Cathay Pacific and is a former member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Planning and Development Committee of the Travel Industry Council.
- Mr Kenneth Kwok Tsun-wa, a veteran insurance practitioner who served in senior positions in international insurance brokerage firms and general insurance companies and was a member of the General Committee of the Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau.
- Mr Ma Ho-fai, a senior partner of a local law firm (Woo, Kwan, Lee & Lo) who has having extensive experience in conveyancing-related work in Hong Kong. He is an Independent Director of the Travel Industry Council and a former Chairman of the Estate Agents Authority’s Disciplinary Committee.
- Mr James Wong Chien-kuo, a former Chief Executive Officer of major life insurance companies (including Dah Sing Life Assurance) and a former Chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers. He has also been a member of the Banking Advisory Committee since 2005.
- Mr Stephen Yiu Kin-wah, the former Chairman of the Mainland China and Hong Kong operations of an international accounting firm has extensive experience in auditing listed and large corporations, particularly in the banking and finance sectors.