2013 Outlook, part 6By Randell Tiongson on January 19th, 2013
It is my pleasure and honor to present the 2013 Outlook of one of the women who moves and shapes the business environment, Ms. Riza Mantaring, CEO of Sun Life Philippines. Riza has successfully lead her company to be the number 1 life insurance company in the Philippines (in total premiums) as of 2011. What I admire most about Ms. Mantaring is not only her dedication to excellence in work and in life but also her zeal in promoting financial education for the Filipinos.
The 2013 Outlook of Riza Mantaring
We expect 2013 to be another strong year for the economy and the industry. While there is some risk from external factors such as the lingering European debt crisis, the continuing US fiscal issues, and a slowdown in China, we feel the Philippines will be relatively insulated as the economy is being driven by strong domestic consumption. Inflation is under control, OFW remittances continue to increase, and the expected increase in government spending, particularly for infrastructure, plus election spending will also help support growth. And we have a long runway ahead as we have a young population with growing purchasing power – we are in the so-called “demographic sweet spot!”
For the insurance sector, with the very low market penetration and increasing affluence, we expect the strong growth of the past three years to continue. The low interest rates, however, will continue to pose a problem as they make traditional protection products difficult to price attractively. Investment-linked products have become the bread and butter of the industry, but it is important to be able to maintain traditional products as if the market turns for the worse, this could severely impact the industry as we saw in 2008-2009.
For asset management, we expect growth to accelerate given the favorable market conditions, the strong liquidity in the system, and investors searching for better returns on their investments.
RizaMantaring is the President & CEO of the Sun Life Financial group of companies in the Philippines, and a member of its various boards.She started out in Information Technology and took on various roles through her 20+ years at Sun Life before becoming CEO.
Riza is a member of the Sun Life Asia Leadership Team. She has also participated in various international special projects and teams such as the task force for worldwide restructuring of the company, the task force for business processes, and special teams for Mergers & Acquisitions.
In 2010, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the University of the Philippines College of Engineering, she was selected one of the 100 Most Outstanding Alumni of the past century. In 2011, she was named by Moneysense Magazine one of the 12 Most Influential in Personal Finance, and became a recipient of the 2011 CEO EXCEL award given by the International Association of Business Communicators. Riza was recognized for bold and innovative programs and harnessing the power of communication to implement these programs, including the multi-awarded and pioneering “It’s Time!” financial literacy advocacy.
Riza graduated with a B.S. Electrical Engineering degree (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, and an M.S. Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany. She has also attended numerous executive development programs conducted by Harvard University, The Wharton School, Duke University, Oxford University, Asian Institute of Management, and The Niagara Institute. She is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (with distinction).
She has been a board director of the Philippine Life Insurance Association since 2011 and is currently its Treasurer, and served as a board director of the Philippine Federation of Pre-need Companies from 2006-2008.