Asian insurance giant FWD acquires stake in BRI Life Indonesia

Surabaya, Indonesia. Photo by Hobi industri on Unsplash

BRI Life, the life insurance arm of state-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia, has secured an undisclosed investment from Asian insurance giant FWD Group in lieu of a significant minority stake.

This investment and strategic partnership will allow FWD to work closely with BRI Life to deliver its products to more local customers in Indonesia’s highly underpenetrated, yet rapidly growing market.

BRI Life, in turn, will be able to leverage FWD’s digital infrastructure to offer its products to customers, helping to boost wider financial inclusion in Indonesia.

“This strategic investment is a clear signal of our confidence in, and commitment to, the Indonesian market where we see huge growth potential as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies,” said FWD CEO Huynh Thanh Phong.

The Jakarta-based insurer assured that its existing customers’ policies will not be affected by the transaction and customers will continue to receive their protection, benefits, and services in accordance with the existing terms of their policies. BRI Life’s brand and name will also remain unchanged.

Established in 1895, BRI is the largest bank in Indonesia by total assets, loans, deposits and net profit. It focuses on providing micro and consumer loans leveraging an extensive distribution network in the country. It claims to have over 120 million customers so far.

Meanwhile, FWD Group, backed by billionaire Richard Li, spans 10 markets in Asia including Hong Kong SAR & Macau SAR, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance, among others.

The firm has been in the midst of preparing an initial public offering in which it could be raising a sum of up to $3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report last year.

FWD made headlines in Southeast Asia mid-last year when it acquired Vietcombank-Cardif Life Insurance (VCLI), a 45:55 joint venture between Vietcombank and BNP Paribas Cardif, for an undisclosed sum.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.