17 July 2013 – AIA Group Limited (“AIA”) and Discovery Limited (“Discovery”) today announced a strategic joint venture to introduce Discovery’s successful wellness-based life insurance model to the Asia-Pacific region.
The joint venture, known as "AIA Vitality" was launched today in Singapore, a market that AIA has operated in for more than 80 years. AIA Vitality will combine AIA’s brand, distribution and life insurance product leadership with Discovery’s proprietary wellness-based expertise and experience. The joint venture will offer protection products that are designed to deliver better health and lower premium rates for AIA's customers. It will tailor the dynamic approach to the linking of wellness incentives to life and health insurance, first pioneered by Discovery in South Africa, to the Asia-Pacific region.
In light of the continued rise of non-communicable diseases around the world, including in the Asia-Pacific region, it is now clear that three lifestyle choices – smoking, poor nutrition, and poor physical activity – are responsible for more than 50 per cent of all mortality cases. Discovery’s Vitality wellness programme is the international leader in creating sustained behavioural change to promote healthier ways of living. Integration of this programme into the life insurance market has been shown to not only drive improved rates of mortality and morbidity but also provide a dynamic premium rating system – the combined effect allows customers to improve their personal health while paying reduced premiums for high quality insurance.
The roll-out will commence in Singapore, and will offer participants discounts on their premiums as they achieve their personal health goals over time through maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In line with Vitality’s proprietary model, the programme is underpinned by a comprehensive network of well-known health, wellness and rewards partners. The intended result is a life insurance model which will have immediate financial and health benefits for participating policyholders, while enhancing sustainable value creation for AIA, and providing positive long-term benefits for the people, communities and countries in which AIA operates.
Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery Limited, commented on the partnership with AIA, “We are tremendously excited to be partnering with one of the world’s largest and most highly respected insurance groups to bring Vitality and our integrated approach to wellness and life assurance to the Asia-Pacific region. The new venture provides a significant opportunity for Discovery to expand our footprint in the high-growth Asia-Pacific market. There are great synergies between Discovery and AIA in combining the significant distribution capability, depth of life insurance expertise and strong brand name of AIA in the Asia-Pacific region with Discovery’s innovation and proprietary capabilities in wellness. Like elsewhere in the world, the Asia-Pacific region is fast becoming vulnerable to the impact of chronic diseases of lifestyle; we have a unique opportunity to help arrest this and positively transform the life insurance market in the process.”
Commenting on the launch, Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive Officer and President of AIA said, “We have very deep roots in the Asia-Pacific region, and we pay close attention to issues and trends that are influencing the lives our customers. To this end, we are very pleased to be partnering with Discovery to launch AIA Vitality. This represents a powerful new means by which we can engage with our customers while helping to address the important social issue of the need for better health. The launch of AIA Vitality is aligned fully with AIA’s determination to provide our customers with innovative products and services that meet their substantial and growing protection and savings needs. We aim through AIA Vitality to encourage and enable people to lead healthier lives. AIA Vitality represents a unique opportunity to make a tangible and positive impact on the health of millions of our customers.”
The investment to be made in AIA Vitality by Discovery is expected to fall within Discovery’s strategic framework of less than 5% of pre-tax profits for new business development.
Notes to the editor
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992 by the current Group Chief Executive Officer Adrian Gore, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose was the belief that through innovation Discovery could be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, which has expanded its operations globally, serves over 6.1 million clients in South Africa, the UK, USA and China. Its headquarters is in Johannesburg, South Africa and it is listed among South Africa’s Top 40 companies. Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 3.4 million lives.
About AIA Group
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or “the Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has operations in 17 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka and a 26 per cent joint-venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai over 90 years ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$134,439 million as of 30 November 2012.
AIA meets the savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including retirement savings plans, life insurance and accident and health insurance. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 25 million individual policies and over 13 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).
For more information, please contact the following company representatives:
Mr Duke Malan
Head of Media Relations
+27 11 529 1151
Ms Sonia Tsang
Director – Group Corporate Communications
+852 2832 1868