Andy Yang explains move into insurtech, advisory

The insurance investment veteran has joined Hong Kong start-up Coherent Capital Advisors, which runs databases for insurers related to asset allocation and regulations, among other things.
Andy Yang explains move into insurtech, advisory

After spending most of his career in insurance asset management, Andy Yang is now looking to apply his expertise to the nascent sector of insurance technology.

Formerly an investment head at FWD Insurance and ING, and most recently head of insurance relationships at fund manager Eastspring, Yang joined Coherent Capital Advisors last week.

The Hong Kong-based analytics and advisory firm, set up just two years ago, focuses on asset-liability management, risk and capital management, and advanced analytics. It set up an insurtech business, Seasonalife, a year ago, to which Yang will act as a special adviser.

Seasonalife provides an insurance product database for comparing prices, an insurance robo-adviser and online ‘games’ to help people understand their financial and insurance needs.

New areas

“Coherent was set up about two years ago, so it’s effectively a start-up, which is part of the reason I wanted to join,” said Yang.

The firm’s actuaries and quants have covered areas such as ​fintech, insurtech and big data,​ using machine learning ​and new analytical methods on non-traditional data sources, he noted. “These are all new an​d​ interesting areas​​,” he added.

Andy Yang

Yang pointed out that Hong Kong’s main financial regulators all have a fintech desk these days. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is also ramping up its focus in this area, such as by encouraging firms to experiment using a regulatory ‘sandbox’ it launched late last year.

Indeed, fintech that moves into new areas and offers new services – “that stretches the world a bit from where it is” – probably has the highest chance of success, argued Yang. Launches face a lot more competition now if they are simply going to cover areas that are already well serviced, he added.

Insurance databases

Coherent has built what it calls an insurance asset database for the industry across Asia. It allows the comparison of asset allocations of companies within and across 10 countries, Yang told AsianInvestor.

It also has a regulatory database that provides a snapshot of the risk and capital rules for six markets, including China’s C-Ross. This might, for instance, give details of the maximum permitted allocation to various asset classes in particular countries.​

​​Meanwhile, Yang said he had been looking at ways of helping asset managers approach life companies with their products; providing advice on what characteristics insurers would be looking for.​

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