We are living in an unpredictable world and, illustrated by the once in a lifetime pandemic, there are many reasons to prepare yourself emotionally and financially for those curveballs life can throw at you. Having life insurance can be a defence mechanism that can be used against unforeseen events, providing peace of mind to you and your family.
Justin Helferich, the new CEO and general manager of Manulife Cambodia, is on a mission to provide that peace of mind. With 15 years’ experience within the financial services sector in both the US and Asia, coupled with previous experiences working as Chief Financial Officer in Cambodia from 2014 to 2016, Helferich returned to the Kingdom amid a global pandemic.
Making the 600-mile trip from Malaysia to Cambodia earlier this year, Helferich returned to lead a team of more than 600 staff and 6,000 insurance advisors and help build a better financial future for Cambodia, with a practical vision for the Kingdom.
“Getting an opportunity to become CEO here, in a market that I’m familiar with, is a great privilege. I know the market, the players, the strategy – so I feel well equipped to lead our team in helping Cambodian families,” said Helferich. “With the company’s vision to build a healthier and better financial future for Cambodia, knowing that what you do makes lives better for millions of people is very meaningful.”
But it was not just business that drew Helferich back, but also the energy and buzz surrounding one of the fastest growing economy in the world, and the kindness of the local people. Moreover, he is a big fan of Cambodia’s famed cuisine. “Cambodia has a great cuisine, I love Khmer food like Prahok. I love going out to eat the local dishes.” The Kingdom’s beaches and iconic three-wheeled taxis were another pull. “My sons love Tuk Tuks” said Helferich. “It’s also wonderful to see the beaches and many temples in Siem Reap. Cambodia has so much to offer.”
Helferich has returned to lead a company firing on all cylinders, with Manulife Cambodia recently awarded the title of Top Workplace in Asia at the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards 2020.
The company is looking to remain on top as it moves forward. Expanding its distribution, embracing technology and building on the company’s high performance culture are the goals for Helferich and the team at Manulife Cambodia. “In the first six months of this year, we became the number one life insurance company in the market, by sales – the first time in the company’s history here,” explained Helferich. “So remaining in that position is a priority for us.”
The historic 130-year old company, the first international life insurance provider in the Kingdom, continues to provide for its customers during pandemic and beyond, making its customers’ decisions easier and lives better.
Helferich believes that the team’s commitment to working hard is one of the keys to understanding the company’s success and longevity. “Success to me means that we are operating as a team to put forward our best effort to help make every day better for each other and our customers,” he said.