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  • June 2023
  • 5 minutes

Opportunities Across Asia | Carmony Wong

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In Brief

Carmony Wong was recently promoted to Senior Vice President, Southeast Asia Markets and Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong. In this Inside RGA Q&A, Carmony discusses how RGA and her role within the company have changed during her tenure of more than two decades. She also highlights the importance of innovation and collaboration in achieving success.  

You joined RGA as an underwriter in 2001. How did you get to where you are today? 

A lot of the decisions I have made throughout my career have involved leaving something I’m comfortable with for something new and unknown. If I’d been doing the same thing all this time, I would feel as if I wasn’t growing. That is why I emphasize the value of continuous professional learning, growth, and expansion to my teams. 

I recently came across a quote that perfectly summarizes my approach: 

The way you become brave is one terrifying step at a time.

- Bryant McGill

RGA is an exceptionally caring company with a culture that allows employees to step out of their comfort zones and achieve their career goals.  

Another factor I always highlight is timing: Once you know what you want to achieve and where you want to go, you have to be ready to get there. In my case, I alone did not earn this expanded role; it came to me as the result of my whole team’s achievement. I’m very thankful for this opportunity. 

How has RGA changed during your tenure? 

When I joined RGA, it was still very much a U.S. company with international operations. Today, I can proudly say that RGA has evolved into a truly international company with strong local and global brands. It’s been very rewarding to be part of this transformation.  

Despite celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2023, I still see RGA as a very young company, rather than a mature one. We focus on continuous growth, expansion, and innovation. We’re determined to be relevant to the (re)insurance industry, always. That means becoming our clients’ trusted partner and developing solutions that not only drive strategic value for them and for RGA, but also make a meaningful impact on our communities and the future. 

At RGA, we are eager to engage with clients to better understand and tackle the industry’s most pressing challenges together. Contact us to discuss and to learn more about RGA's capabilities, resources, and solutions.

Tell us about product development in the region. 

Innovation and creation historically have been embedded into the DNA of RGA’s worldwide operations. Product development is now also one of the four core pillars (“Create”) of our five-year enterprise strategy, with defined metrics attached to it. At the heart of the strategy is RGA’s purpose: to make financial protection accessible to all. Everything we do takes us one step closer to fulfilling this purpose. 

Our unique approach to product development helped us become market leaders in the region. Let’s take Hong Kong as an example. When we started here, we combined actuarial/pricing science with medical science in the product development process. As we (and the industry) evolved, we added financial solutions and started to create ”hybrid” solutions that helped our clients reduce product costs. Recently, we added technology solutions to help onboard clients, streamline the underwriting process, and make insurance products and policies more accessible to customers. 

How do you apply this in other markets? 

While we’re in the same region, every market faces different medical, socioeconomic, and regulatory challenges, and the wider insurance market is also going through different phases. Leveraging our expertise, we’re able to identify opportunities, transfer concepts or solutions from one country to another, and customize those solutions to local needs. A great example is China’s first simplified issue critical illness product, which we developed with a key client. It was originally based on a concept RGA introduced to the South Korean market. It is a very dynamic region, and we need to be closely connected to ensure we can identify and maximize opportunities. 

What are you most excited about in your new role? 

I’m very excited to be leading our efforts in the Southeast Asia region. I’m getting to know new clients and colleagues, and also reconnecting with those I used to work with before the Hong Kong and Southeast Asia units split eight years ago. I am looking forward to connecting with people at a deeper level so I can understand their passion for their work and provide them with the right opportunities to achieve their career aspirations.  

A strong commitment to the industry and an innovative spirit distinguishes RGA from the competition in the region. When business challenges and opportunities arise, we want to be the first call our clients make in every market. 

I also want to make sure that we have the discipline to focus on the bigger opportunities and the ability to combine solutions that ultimately help us balance the need for growth with our purpose of making financial protection accessible to all. 


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Carmony Wong
Carmony Wong

Senior Vice President, Southeast Asia Markets & Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong