Welcome to Singapore: 8 Things To Do During Your Stay

1. Chinatown Street Market

Immerse yourself into Singapore’s Chinese culture and history. Here you will enjoy a mix of museums, heritage sites, shopping and food stalls. Recently renovated in 2013, the market now has a new roof and cooling system, making it a perfect all day destination, whatever the weather. Be sure to stop by Food Street for cheap, tasty, authentic local food.

Market
Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm daily
Address: Pagoda Street and surrounding roads

Food Street
Hours: 11.00am – 11.00pm daily
Address: 335 Smith Street

Website: www.chinatown.sg

2. National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery Singapore is a brand new visual arts museum which exhibits the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Housed within two iconic national monuments, former Supreme Court and City Hall, they have been restored and transformed into an exciting venue in the heart of the Civic District. Explore the historic buildings and galleries with a guided tour led by curators and specialists offering insights into specific areas of interest, from art history to architecture.  Visit the gallery website to see all upcoming events.

Free entry
Hours:
10.00am – 7pm Sunday – Thursday and Public Holidays
10.00am – 10.00pm Friday – Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays
Address: 1 St. Andrew Road

Website www.nationalgallery.sg

  1. 3. City in a Garden

Singapore has earned its ‘garden city’ moniker for good reason, it is a city filled with parks and greenery. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find a plethora of flora and foliage lining the streets. Singapore’s journey to become a Garden City began in 1963, when founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew launched a tree-planting campaign. It was his vision to cultivate greenery and soften the harshness of the metropolis. As the country continues to urbanise, it is moving towards becoming a City in a Garden. At the top of your must visits, be sure to include Singapore Botanic Gardens, a tropical garden that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. For a super-sized garden experience, head to Gardens by the Bay to view the gigantic ‘supertree’ vertical gardens and the cool conservatories.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Free entry
Hours: 5.00am – 12.00am daily
Address: 1 Cluny Road

Gardens by the bay
Tickets from $15.00
Hours: Ourdoor gardens 5.00am – 2.00am, Conservatories 9.00am – 9.00pm
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive

  1. 4. Food and Nightlife

Whether you would like to chill out or dance the night away, Singapore transforms itself at dusk, from a business hub to a buzzing network of bars and nightclubs. Favourable areas for nightlife in the city include Clarkequay, Marina Bay and Dempsey Hill.

Clarkequay is the place to be for evening drinks, it is the party hub Singapore is really famous for. Set amongst a picturesque body of water and the CBD skyline, you will find a vast selection of bars, restaurants, retails stores, river cruises and recreation outlets. Hot spots include Bar Cocoon or Bamboo Bar at The Forbidden City, Lunar Fusion Bar, Bar Opiume, Attica and Canvas.

Marina Bay has something for everyone. Explore a mixture of restaurants, events, activities, high-speed racing, blockbuster concerts, star-studded parties, pop-up stores and more. Hot spots include Marina Bay Sands Sky Park, the Casino, Merlion (iconic statue), Singapore flyer (worlds largest observation wheel), Marina Bay Golf Course, Esplanade (theatre) and Wonder Full at Marina Bay Sands (award winning light show).

Dempsey Hill is a hidden gem, the dining enclave is always buzzing and full of great food options. Whether you’re in the mood for some evening cocktails or a degustation dinner, there are so many options.  Hot spots include Chopsuey Café, The Disgruntled Chef, Jones the Grocer, La Ventana, Long Beach Seafood, Samy’s Curry, The Green Door, Open Farm Community, Portico Prime, PS Café, Red Dot Brewhouse, Roadhouse and The White Rabbit.

Image:  https://au.fotolia.com/id/103305335
Caption: Marina Bay skyline

  1. 5. Activities

Whether you are into riding roller coasters, skydiving indoors or looking for something exciting for the kids to do, there is no shortage of fun activities to experience in Singapore. Exciting must see activities to do include Universal Studios (world-class theme park), Adventure Cove Waterpark and S.E.A Aquarium, Science Centre Singapore, Singapore Zoo and the night safari.

  1. 6. Shopping

From luxury boutiques to the street side flea markets, whatever your budget is, shopping doesn’t get much better than this. Brace yourself for a premier shopping experience like no other with a variety of shopping districts all around Singapore.

Orchard Road is well known as the best place to shop. It spans 2.2km of international luxury brands and home-grown labels.

Robinsons and Tangs are the go to department stores for local designers.

Marina Bay Sands combines luxury retail with absolutely breathtaking views. If you are an avid shopper, be sure to book an appointment with the Personal Shopper service for a customised shopping experience and have first-hand access to the newest designer collections launching in Southeast Asia.

  1. 7. Peranakan Museum

Get to know Singapore’s vibrant Peranakan community and history at this top notch museum, filled with fine artefacts and fun exhibits. Various aspects of this hybrid Southeast Asian culture are made up of Chinese, Malay and Indian elements and are bought to life here through the interactive and multimedia exhibits. Upcoming exhibitions and the event calendar can be found on the website.

Tickets: From $6.00
Hours: 10.00am – 7.00pm daily, 10.00am – 9.00am Friday
Address: 39 Armenian Street
Website: www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg    

  1. 8. Singapore Sports Hub

The Singapore Sports Hub is a state-of-the-art, fully integrated sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub that host sporting and entertainment events. The new 55,000 capacity National Stadium is Singapore’s largest all-weather sports and events venue. The hub features world class facilities like an Olympic-sized aquatic centre, arena, water-sports centre, sports museum, sports library and the Kallang wave mall. Past events include the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, One Direction, WWE, WTA and the International Tennis League. Visit the website for all upcoming events.

Website: www.sportshub.com.sg

Leader’s Insight: Health & Wellbeing Within the Workplace

Employee Benefits

By Jaime Asher, VP Global Honan Insurance Group.

Organisations are only as good as their people.  This is why wellness is now such a hot topic globally.  It is becoming more apparent than ever that this is an extremely important driver of organisation workforce strategy to enable employers to provide a unique employment offering.  When we consider approximately one-third of adult life is spent at work, it becomes an even more important factor.  When we talk about wellness, we are encompassing physical, mental and social wellness.

 

“Approximately one-third of adult life is spent at work.”

 

Wellness programs are common practice in the US and Europe and have been for a number of years, but this concept is now growing in popularity in the Asia Pacific region.  We are noticing a cultural shift gradually occurring in Australia with employers, health system payers and individuals now recognising the benefit of the workplace as a setting for optimising physical, psychological and social health.

 

The Price of Chronic Disease in the Australian Workforce

 

Approximately 33 per cent of working Australians between 25 and 64 years old (around 3.4 million people) reported having at least one of eight selected chronic diseases – arthritis, asthma, coronary heart disease (CHD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression, diabetes, osteoporosis or cerebrovascular disease.

 

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Additionally, the IHW 2010 Risk Factors and Participation in Work report found that 96 per cent of working age Australians had at least one chronic disease risk factor and 72 per cent of working-age Australians had multiple risk factors.

Australian employers bear many of the indirect costs associated with chronic disease and ill health. For example, the estimated cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy is $7 billion each year, with the cost of presenteeism (not fully functioning at work because of medical conditions) being nearly four times more at almost $26 billion.

 

Offerings:

 

It is now recognised that effective employee wellness can be linked to effective business performance including the promotion of innovation, employee engagement, talent attraction and retention.

Wellness programs can fall within a large spectrum, with employers offering anything from healthy snacks supplied in the workplace to a Full Population Health Management program. It can sometimes be a little difficult to quantify the benefits of having a Wellness Program in place, therefore Honan will work closely with the client to tailor a program that will ensure the wellness strategy, associated deliverables and employee engagement are measureable, meaningful and deliver to specific strategic business aims.

The different types of Wellness plans can come from a number of different offerings from Employer owned to a fully-integrated model.

 

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Further examples:
  • Offering healthy snacks and drinks including fruit delivery
  • Discount to local gyms
  • Subsidised local gyms membership
  • Walking programs (employees receive a pedometers and track their daily steps)
  • Bike programs
  • Biometric and Health checkups, this can also include dental and vision screening
  • Onsite fitness classes
  • Onsite cooking classes
  • Nutritional advice
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Stress management
  • Standing desks
  • Incentive based health premium schedule
  • Flu Shots
  • Massage services

One of the newest concepts we’ve recently seen as an offering in China is an “iBenefits” type function offering employees a “virtual credit point” granting and redemption platform to recognise and reward employees on their individual performance.  This is not a common offering to date and never been see in Australia, but this is an example of how tailored programs can really be.

 

The Role of the Broker:

 

Except for the most basic of Wellness programs, clients will rely and expect their Employee Benefit Broker to administer their programs including setting up related training to their staff.  The Broker is responsible for implementing a suitable program tailored to the clients needs, ensuring the employees receive knowledge and a clear understanding of the program.  The Broker will work with employees to maximise their own benefit from the program.

As a unique offering, some Insurance Brokers may partner with a Global Wellness vendor who can manage an employer’s Wellness program at multiple locations around the globe.  This can include wellness “coaching” where wellness plans can be designed for each individual in each region/country.

 

jabiocard

 

Sources:

www.usc.edu.au
www.themuse.com

New Zealand’s Health & Safety at Work Act 2015

Employee Benefits

In 2013 the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety reported that New Zealand’s work health and safety system was failing.

As a result, New Zealand’s work health and safety system underwent its most significant reforms for 20 years resulting in the establishment of WorkSafe New Zealand and the  Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) – New Zealand’s workplace health and safety law which came into effect on 4 April 2016.

 

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NZ’s New Stance on Health & Safety

  • Increased funding for health and safety by the Government
  • Increased number of Worksafe inspector
  • Goal to reduce workplace fatalities by 25% by 2020

The new legislation requires all Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)* to ensure the health and safety of workers and others so far as reasonably practicable. This places a duty on directors and officers to ensure their organisation is taking all the proper steps to comply with their duties.  When the duties of two or more businesses overlap, they must consult, co-operate, and co-ordinate activities to meet their health and safety responsibilities to workers and others and to fulfil their duties of care.

PCBU’s include persons who do not directly engage workers, including management in control of a workplace – such as building owners and building managers. Additionally, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, installers and constructors are held accountable.

 

What does this mean?

  • Under the new Act, obligations are placed on persons/entities who would not normally be considered “employers”.
  • Expected increased fines being imposed in the high risk industries that have had a history of workplace accidents.
  • Likely to see higher reparations (money awarded to victims) under the Act.

 

PCBUs and individuals who breach the provisions of the HSWA will be liable for fines of up to the following limits:

 

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Next Steps:

Now is the time to advise your clients to review their Health and Safety practices and ensuring they have the right behaviours, systems, processes and capabilities in place to manage the Health and Safety risks in their own unique workplace

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Opportunity to Sell

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Insurance Protection Available:

Under The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, Statutory Liability cover does not indemnify the Insured for the actual fine (it would be illegal for an insurer to do so), but most Statutory Liability policies do provide indemnity for any reparations ordered as the result of a prosecution including Defence Costs up to the Sum Insured.

 

For More Information,

Contact Jaime Asher or visit www.worksafe.govt.nz/hswa

 

The Role of the Local Broker in Global Programs

When a multinational client implements a global insurance program, the outcomes they seek are a balance of several factors including:

  • to maximise global insurance capacity ensuring all subsidiaries have the same coverage structure globally;
  • to minimise the cost of premiums globally;
  • to maintain centralised control over the programme; and
  • to manage the total cost of risk

Sophisticated multinational buyers take advantage of their expertise within their business, by monitoring loss developments and the predictable nature of their loss profile. They structure their multinational insurance programs that keep much of the risk within the corporate umbrella structure. To do so, they leverage their company’s central control of insurance terms, limits and retentions.

 

Designing Multinational Insurance Programs

 

The multinational buyer relies heavily on their Insurance broker in the design of a suitable global insurance programme for cross boarder regulations, compliance and program administration

 

When designing multinational insurance programs it is important to address countries who impose restrictions of how insurance can be purchased. Some countries impose blanket prohibitions on local entities from purchasing insurance from anyone except an insurer which is locally established, locally authorised and locally licensed. These are referred to as ‘Admitted Insurers’. As well as these local country restrictions, the multinational buyer also relies heavily on their Insurance broker in the design of a suitable global insurance programme for cross boarder regulations, compliance and program administration. The role of the Producing Broker does not stop when designing a suitable Global Insurance program – they must ensure they focus on the multinational buyers interests of ALL of its worldwide operations and not just of the head office.

 

The Relationship Between the Producing Broker and the Local Broker

 

To do this well, the Producing Broker relies heavily of their collaboration with the Local Broker. This is true whether or not the Insurance Broker is one of the Global Brand names or an Independent Network name. Many global buyers value the quality of Insurance Broking service via the way in which brokers Collaborate in the provision of fast, friendly, efficient, accurate and effective insurance outcomes. Indeed, the true worth of a multinational insurance program is often measured when local service is delivered for:

  • Contract certainty – the buyer receives local policies in the local language that complies with local insurance regulations and tax laws.
  • Responsiveness —the buyer can appreciate how all Insurance Broker service levels respond to their needs efficiently and effectively.
  • Superior claims handling — the local buyer have their claims administered with a dedicated single point of contact yet working in cooperation with their parent, global Insurers, adjusters and investigators from around the world.

Often the most challenges to a multinational insurance program comes from the Local Client to the Local Broker which might well be the smallest office within the client group, or from their most remote location, or from the most surprising situations (not expected or intended to occur but has just occurred) or even from the day to day dealings in local regions.

 

Challenges in the Asia Pacific

 

The Asia Pacific region is no different to any other parts of the globe and faces the same challenges. In administering global insurance programs or in providing local service our days are often filled with questions from clients about a big contract they are entering into and how the local policies within a global program responds to Indemnity and Insurance clauses within those contracts.

The more frequent questions our offices in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam receive from local clients include:

  • Can we note the Principal under our insurance as a Named Insured or Additional Insured?
  • Does our insurance policy include a Waiver of Subrogation?
  • Can we extend our policy to include Cross Liability?
  • We only have $1ml Public Liability local limit but the contract requires us to carry $10ml or $20ml – how do we comply with this request?
  • What effect will the signing of a contract with a Hold Harmless Agreement have on our Insurance coverage?
  • Does our Public Liability policy cover us for Consequential loss or damage?
  • We are not really providing advice but the contract requires us to carry Professional Indemnity to $5ml – where is that covered?

Our depth of experience in providing insurance advice to multinational buyers for more than 25 years makes us a vital partner in the Asia Pacific region. Our membership of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) and International Benefits Network (IBN) provides us with the global relationships to correctly provide global service in the Property Casualty and Employee Benefits space in the region. But it is more than this that sets us apart. Our commitment in sending our staff to regional Property Casualty and Employee Benefit Conferences across the globe every six months and meeting clients face to face, collaborating with global brokers and strengthening relationships with Insurers / Carriers. By size of firm globally, few insurance brokers commit more time, more money and more effort to servicing the needs of multinational insurance buyers, than what Honan Insurance Group commits.

 

Sources:

https://www.acegroup.com/assets/attachments/current-challenges-in-asia-pac.pdf

Honan Insurance Group Appoints New Group Director — Broking Operations

Honan Insurance Group announced today that Brad Tymmons has joined the business to help execute their global strategy. Brad comes with a wealth of industry experience, having spent the last four years at Energy Australia as the Head of Enterprise Risk & Assurance, and prior to this, holding senior corporate risk servicing roles with both Aon and Willis, as well as management roles with Aon Retail.

Joining at a pivotal time for the business, Brad’s newly created role as Group Director – Broking Operations will see him working closely with the Senior Leadership Team consisting of Damien Honan (CEO), Amanda Honan (COO), Andrew Fluitsma (Director Global & Corporate), Nat Barrs (Director Property & Affinity) and Louise Baker (Group Legal Counsel) to drive a number of initiatives around business strategy, carrier management, ancillary revenue, client services and best practice.

Continuing his success in servicing world renowned global organisations, Brad will play an instrumental role in further developing Honan’s global capabilities, working closely with Jaime Asher (VP Global), Honan’s dedicated US resource based in San Francisco. Brad comments “After seeing the tremendous growth Honan has experienced, I am excited to be a part of it and looking to working closely with the team and welcoming this new challenge.”   

Damien Honan, CEO of Honan Insurance Group, said “Brad’s wealth of experience, track record and clear dedication will make him a valuable asset to Honan.”

“We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to taking Honan to the next level. With how quickly our business has evolved, as we expand into Asia and service more clients around the world, we were fortunate to find someone of Brad’s calibre to fulfil this much needed role. I am confident Brad will fit in with the team and complement Honan’s culture and ethos.”

 

 

Related Honan news stories:

 

Related Honan News Richard Colless

 

 

Honan Insurance Group Appoints Richard Colless As Group Chairman

In addition to being a member of Honan’s Advisory Board for the past two years, Richard has over thirty years’ experience as Chairman, and as a Director, of a large range of public and private companies in Australia and Asia.

 

 

 

Related Honan News Article

 

 

Honan Group Leader Backs Aussie Asian Expansion

Damien speaks to Insurance Business regarding Honan’s expansion into Asia, offering his advice for businesses looking to expand overseas and discussing Honan’s holistic approach to growth.

 

Honan Insurance Group Appoints Richard Colless As Group Chairman

Honan Insurance Group announced today the appointment of Richard Colless as Chairman.

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In addition to being a member of Honan’s Advisory Board for the past two years, Richard has over thirty years’ experience as Chairman, and as a Director, of a large range of public and private companies in Australia and Asia.

Over his many years of service, Richard has been able to develop a broad array of contacts through his role as a high profile sports administrator. He currently sits on the SCG Trust.

Group CEO, Damien Honan, said “We are delighted he has accepted our offer to become more involved with our Group.”

“Our Board is a good representation of the facets of our industry. The Board understands the challenges faced by the insurance and financial services industry and each member has demonstrated experience and their own expertise that they bring to the table. With Richard at the helm I am confident Honan’s true potential will be realised,” said Damien.

Honan in tech tie-up

Industry

Honan Insurance Group will partner with ASX-listed technology firm BPS to offer insurance products and services to 24,000 SMEs.

BPS are a leading provider of technology platforms and management systems in digital payments for small to medium sized businesses and the deal will see Honan given access to a large customer base.

The partnership will see Honan and an unnamed “select group of global insurers,” offer “competitively priced and tailored business insurance packages,” to the vast SME merchant base of BPS.

Insurance products available will include business and travel insurance and are designed specifically for various categories of businesses, BPS revealed in a statement to the ASX.

“The front end ‘online offering’ will be built and branded by BPS with the back end fulfilment and binding of cover supported by Honan Insurance Group,” the statement said.

“SMEs will simply enter a web portal via the BPS website or the websites of its subsidiaries and select their industry classification and type of insurance cover required.

“The site will then provide them with complete details of the cover provided and premium amounts.”

Andrew Fluitsma, director of Global & Corporate at Honan Insurance Group, told Insurance Business the partnership came together as a result of obvious synergies between the two organisations.

“Thanks to our strong affiliation with the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), we have some of the best tech capabilities in the region, seeing us service a wide range of emerging and established tech firms. With our expertise in this space, and a shared passion for innovation and high quality service, it was only natural a partnership was formed.

“We are excited to be involved in what is likely to be a significant value add for BPS and its 24,000 clients,” Fluitsma said.

The statement notes that the partnership will also feature “one of the world’s largest global insurers,” who “will provide specific cover for travel insurance which will be offered with all bookings made with BPS’s Travel and Tourism marketing vertical.

“Honan, in conjunction with selected insurers, will handle all the relevant insurance documentation and enquiries.”

Trevor Dietz, CEO of BPS, said that the expansion into insurance makes sense for the tech firm.

“This is an obvious extension of our business model. Every business and every business owner needs insurance at an affordable price. We are delivering on that,” Dietz said.

“It will allow BPS to market an insurance solution needed by every business and their owners, whilst creating for BPS an automated revenue stream with low touch and high margins.”

 

 

Related Honan news stories:

 

 

Related Honan News Article

 

 

Honan Group Leader Backs Aussie Asian Expansion

Damien speaks to Insurance Business regarding Honan’s expansion into Asia, offering his advice for businesses looking to expand overseas and discussing Honan’s holistic approach to growth.

 

 

 

 

Related Honan News Articles Image copy 2

 

 

Honan Expands into Malaysia

Australia, 4 April, 2016 – we are excited to announce our most recent expansion into Malaysia, via a strategic relationship with the Hayat Group (Hayat).

 

 

 

 

Related Honan News Articles Image

 

 

 Honan Sets Sights on Singapore

Honan Insurance Group, an Australian based insurance and financial services broker with a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region, has acquired MACS Insurance Brokers, a Singaporean broker specialising in General Insurance and Employee Benefits in South East Asia.

 

 

 

Related Honan News Articles Image copy

 

 

Welcome to Singapore! (Video)

Having celebrated her 50th birthday last year, Singapore is as young as it is old. It is also known as the financial hub of South East Asia, home to multinational corporations, international financial institutions and reputed business organisations.

 

 

 

Have questions? Get in touch today

I would like to speak to someone for more information

 

Brexit: the shocks, what it means for us and what happens next?

Britain has voted to ‘Leave’ the European Union (EU) 52 – 48 per cent. But the debate about the implications for economies and financial markets is just beginning.

The magnitude of the impact on markets and economies is open to debate. The likely rolling series of “shocks” are expected to be financial, political and economic. The UK will be most affected. But Europe (and the rest of the world) will not emerge unscathed.

 

This information has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at 24 June 2016 and BT Financial Group which is the wealth management arm of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714 (Westpac), and is current as at 26 June 2016.

 

UK Ref Result

A FINANCIAL SHOCK

Volatility has risen in the wake of the Brexit decision. Currency volatility can be seen in the Pound, US dollar and Australian dollar. We anticipate it will take up to another week before currency volatility settles down.

Standard & Poor’s indicated that a Brexit vote will see the UK lose its AAA rating. We expect the UK Gilt curve to steepen as investors leave the AAA (now AA). We don’t see the banking system as being as exposed to risk as it was during the GFC or various crises since then. Regulators and central banks are now well practised in providing liquidity during market disruptions.

The financial impacts will flow beyond the pure market reaction. Brexit will mean, for example, that the UK will lose its seat at the table when it comes to negotiations on European regulation and supervision (even as they still have to comply with many of those rules to do business in the EU). The risk of less market-friendly outcomes lifts as a result.

A POLITICAL SHOCK

With a Brexit, political casualties were inevitable. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned after the ‘Leave’ vote. Former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson responded by thanking Mr Cameron and saying, “There is no need for haste, nothing will change in the short term”.

The rest of Europe won’t escape unscathed. An Ipsos MORI poll published in early May surveyed voters across Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Some 45% thought their own countries should hold a referendum on EU membership. And 33% indicated that they would vote to leave.

A CONFIDENCE SHOCK

UK household and business confidence was under some downward pressure as uncertainty increased and polling day neared. Further declines are likely as the complexity and difficulties associated with Brexit become clearer. European sentiment would be affected as well. The long timeframe for an exit means that confidence headwinds could persist for an extended period.

AN ECONOMIC SHOCK

The main argument against Brexit was the potential economic costs. These costs are difficult to estimate. But all the serious modelling work suggests the impact will be large and long lasting.

In the short term, there is a significant risk that the UK economy slides into recession later in 2016 and 2017. The negative impact on activity from the confidence shock would be accentuated by a tightening in UK financial conditions. A UK recession would dent the already fragile growth prospects in Europe as well.

The longer-term cost to the UK economy comes from higher trade costs and less favourable trade access. A smaller-than-otherwise capital stock and labour force, and an erosion of skills, means the UK’s potential growth rate will step down.

BREXIT & AUSTRALIA

The general consensus is that the direct impact of Brexit on Australia will be fairly limited. Research shows Australia is less exposed than other countries to UK/European problems, partly because of our Asian orientation. While the real economy may escape relatively unscathed, the main danger may be to the income side of the growth equation.

Brexit will add to general market volatility and would see the AUD and interest rates move lower. These moves, especially the lower Aussie dollar, would provide some protection to the Australian economy.

Australian banks direct exposure to UK and Europe is significant. According to the RBA, the exposure of Australian-owned banks to the UK and Europe amounts to 25% of international exposures and 7% of global consolidated assets (as at the end of 2015).

RBA commentary on Brexit has been very limited. It is not mentioned in the March Financial Stability Review and gets only one mention in the May Statement on Monetary Policy and one mention in the Minutes of the July Board meeting. Nevertheless, the potential Brexit economic fallout would add to the RBA’s easing bias.

THE UK, EUROPE & OPPORTUNITIES FOR AUSTRALIA

There are some more medium-term opportunities for Australia from the Brexit vote. These opportunities lie with any re-orientation in UK trade and investment flows.

A shift in UK trade focus towards Asia, for example, could see a reversal of business platform flows. Instead of Australian companies using the UK as a springboard into Europe, UK companies may view Australia as a platform for launching into Asia.

The UK has always been a significant investor in the Australian economy. They remain the second largest foreign investor. Again, Australia could benefit from any redirection of UK foreign investment flows away from Europe.

A BANKING SHOCK?

The Brexit win has negative consequences for UK banks and to some degree EU and US banks that base themselves out of London. But we regard the situation as quite manageable.

The lengthy exit process means lending volumes are likely to suffer as uncertainty around trade relationships and growth limit confidence. The lower interest rate environment will see margins pressured.

Lower GDP growth and rising unemployment typically points to higher credit costs. However, this is unlikely to be dramatic as UK banks are coming from a position of relative strength.

Operational challenges will present themselves in relation to London’s standing as a financial hub, which may see firms relocate to the Continent, presenting sizeable one off costs.

The rating agencies have indicated a double notch downgrade is coming to the UK sovereign rating (from AAA to AA). But we do not see an imminent threat to UK bank ratings, ie the sovereign downgrade is not a trigger for immediate downgrades to UK banks. None of the UK bank’s ratings include any uplift on account of implied government support.

 

SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT….?

 

The UK government is expected to ratify the referendum decision and invoke article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to inform the EU it would like to leave. Then it has a two year timeframe to negotiate its terms for exit including, importantly, trade arrangements and immigration. It will also need to negotiate with countries like the US and China which currently have trade agreements with the EU (but not the UK).

There will also be political uncertainty in the UK, as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced his resignation.

THE BOTTOM-LINE FOR THE UK

Brexit will cause financial and political disruption for the UK and some of this is outlined below.

  • Trade with the UK is likely to be negatively affected while the UK renegotiates terms.
  • Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain with the EU – will they now vote to leave the UK?
  • International and domestic investment will be impacted by uncertainty and many international investors may move elsewhere to access a gateway to Europe.

WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE EU?

There are fears other countries, like Spain or France, might also try to leave the EU. There’s also uncertainty over how the EU will react – will they try to punish the UK in the negotiation? And will they implement more stimulus into Europe to help support it through the transition?

There’s a lot we don’t know yet – so it’s hard to work out the whole picture in terms of consequences.

MARKETS DON’T LIKE UNCERTAINTY

Sharemarkets tend to be volatile when there’s uncertainty – and this time is no exception. Even though UK and European shares have suffered an immediate impact, there has been volatility globally. This is likely to continue until there is more clarity on Brexit and the next steps. Countries like the US are considering how this might impact their economies.

This may feel worlds away from Australia but we are still affected by this. Banking, tourism and resources in Australia may all see a negative impact and there is likely to be market volatility.

It doesn’t all have to be negative though. There is likely to be increased interest in asset classes like bonds due to the volatility in sharemarkets because they are typically seen as safer.

MANAGING YOUR INVESTMENTS DURING BREXIT VOLATILITY

The key is to remain calm and stick to your investment strategy when sharemarkets are volatile.

There are a few things to keep in mind when markets are volatile.

Hold the course

If you react to short-term conditions like Brexit volatility by selling your investments, any losses become permanent and you may miss the potential for recovery down the track.

Diversification

That is, spreading your investment across a range of assets like shares, bonds, property and cash can help protect your money when there is volatility in one asset class.

Know your risk appetite and your financial plan

You need to understand what your objectives for your investments are and what your appetite for risk is (your willingness and ability to accept losses or gains). This can change over time so you need to regularly review this.

THE NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE

The impact regarding the Brexit referendum is still in its early days – and the UK government has not ratified it yet. So we can expect market volatility to continue – at least in the short term. The key is to make sure your investments are right for you and be prepared for some movement in the meantime.

 

Have Questions? Speak to a Qualified Financial Advisor

 

DISCLAIMER

This information has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at 24 June 2016 and BT Financial Group which is the wealth management arm of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714 (Westpac), and is current as at 26 June 2016.

Material contained in this publication is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.

Please contact your Honan financial adviser if you wish to make an appointment to discuss your personal circumstances.

Any projections are predictive. Whilst we have used every effort to ensure that the assumptions on which the projections are based are reasonable, the projections may be based on incorrect assumptions or may not take into account known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The actual results may differ materially from these projections. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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Damien Discusses Honan’s Expansion into Asia

Damien speaks to Insurance Business regarding Honan’s expansion into Asia, offering his advice for businesses looking to expand overseas and discussing Honan’s holistic approach to growth.

 

Honan Group leader backs Aussie Asian expansion

Article written by Jordan Lynn

 

The leader of ever-growing insurance business Honan Insurance Group has backed further development of businesses throughout the Asia Pacific region as markets continue to grow.

Damien Honan, CEO of Honan Insurance Group, told Insurance Business that the burgeoning markets north of Australia offer a great opportunity to grow business for those willing to take it.
“As the region is getting smaller, and if we take China and India out, the population of Asia is 650 million to 660 million and it is growing,” Honan said.

“That, if you like, is two America’s and those countries are developing quickly.

“The middle class is developing rapidly, and there is still poverty and basic living but it is changing quickly, and I think that many companies whatever industry they are in, in five, ten twenty years’ time they are going to say we should have gone there now how do we get there?”

“It is a slow build but as this region, not by actual land mass moving but in the sense of communication and obviously business, is getting smaller daily and I think if you want to be a player in the region you’ve got to start to have operations and ability to transact business in countries around South East Asia or else your clients are going to find someone who can.”

Honan stressed that the move into Asia may not be for all brokers.

“I think that if you are not really consciously growing your business in Australia, say you want to keep it a nice solid business and not looking to grow it, expanding into those regions is probably pointless,” Honan continued.

“ If your business is as we are, continually looking at avenues of growth and new streams of revenue and your clients are looking to expand to those regions, I think you’d be able to keep clients that are doing that and then attract clients.

“I think you need to be looking at doing something.”

Honan backed following existing clients, as more Australian businesses expand overseas, as a safer way of growing an international business.

“To go into any foreign country and start from scratch and try and build a new business, recruit the right local people and start to develop local relationships to get business, particularly with the pricing there which is very cheap, I won’t say impossible but it takes a lot of capital and a lot of time,” Honan said.

“Doing that on the back of existing business that is opening up there is a better way to go.

“We are not looking to build massive profit revenues but certainly as a holistic approach to our business, it really provides a solution for our clients as they expand that we can deliver on a solution that they are looking for.

“We have a huge number of clients that operate in the region, certainly more than 200 Australian accounts that operate up in Asia and that gives us a competitive edge to be able to service and attract accounts.”

 

 

Related Honan news stories:

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Honan Expands into Malaysia

Australia, 4 April, 2016 – we are excited to announce our most recent expansion into Malaysia, via a strategic relationship with the Hayat Group (Hayat).

 

 

 

 

Related Honan News Articles Image

 

 

Honan Sets Sights on Singapore

Honan Insurance Group, an Australian based insurance and financial services broker with a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region, has acquired MACS Insurance Brokers, a Singaporean broker specialising in General Insurance and Employee Benefits in South East Asia.

 

 

 

Related Honan News Articles Image copy

 

 

Welcome to Singapore! (Video)

Having celebrated her 50th birthday last year, Singapore is as young as it is old. It is also known as the financial hub of South East Asia, home to multinational corporations, international financial institutions and reputed business organisations.

 

 

 

Have questions? Get in touch today

I would like to speak to someone for more information

 

Leader’s Insight: Fair Bump Chubb…Play On

Opinion piece by Andrew Fluitsma.

 

We are excited to announce that each edition of Global Insights will now include an opinion piece from a senior staff member at Honan. Kicking off this new initiative is Andrew Fluitsma, Director Global Corporate Commercial. Andrew comments on the legal battle between Chubb Insurance and former Essendon coach James Hird, shining light on the importance of D&O Insurance.   

 

Footy brings us all together, and fair to say, insurance…not so much!

The world of Directors and Officers (or depending on where you are from ‘Executive Protection Insurance’) is acute, complex and tough. These are parallels we can draw with modern footy, but to think the two could be in a one-on-one contest — one out in the square didn’t seem likely to me.

In recent history the Essendon Football Club has been the subject of investigation by various sports doping authorities. Leaders of both the Essendon Football Club and the AFL have been investigated. The AFL is big business, and like all big business, both clubs and the league alike are prudent buyers of Directors and Officers Insurance.

Let’s look at it like this.

A business decision maker unwittingly stuffs up. He makes a mistake. He’s a good operator, but he just misses the mark on a decision and the shareholders, the stakeholders and the community suffer…yep, he’s responsible and he’s liable. It’s not his intention, but he’s done it…it’s just a brain fade. It’s your gun full forward shanking a set shot from 10 meters out, it’s your marquee midfielder turning the ball over in a tight contest on the death knock, it’s your key position defender giving away a 50 meter penalty to hand the opposition a certain goal. It’s rare, but it happens.

In the business world, it can be catastrophic. You can’t plan for it, you can’t predict it will happen, it’s literally the last thing you think your first round draft pick or rock star executive will ever do…BUT IT DOES happen. In sport, like in business, the true elite make mistakes. In business, unlike sport, we can DEFEND these mistakes by buying D&O Insurance!

James Hird in this instance was the executive, not the footballer, he was the business decision maker and he was investigated by authorities for his alleged misconduct, ASADA found against him and others.

In a case like this D&O Insurance is designed to defend if the Insurer is happy no exclusions apply. D&O insurance will settle to the third party to reach an equitable / indemnifiable position, to be fair, to defend and protect the policy buyer if they unwittingly stuffed up!

It is not the case that the policy is in place to fund one’s own litigation, the umpire (in this case ASADA) had made their call. If the policy holder is to appeal, this is a decision made off their own bat, the pure intent of the D&O policy is opposed to this. Funding one’s own litigation was never in the minds of the pioneers of D&O Insurance, or insurance for that matter. Insurance is in place for unforeseeable events, unplanned occurrences we buy it to protect against the unknown. The judge saw it that way and awarded the points to Chubb.

Our Advice

Quite simply: managers can make mistakes. They constantly walk a fine line, making tough and complex decisions. No matter how prudently the managers act and how strong their business acumen is, any manager’s decision can result in losses for the company or a third party, and the directors and officers who made those decisions can be held personally liable for those losses and can be involved in costly litigation.

The company needs to ensure that its directors and officers have the room to make decisions. D&O insurance supports good corporate governance by making the risks of these decisions manageable and transparent. When a claim is made, D&O cover gives the Insured a certain degree of financial security.

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Honan Insurance Group Ptd Ltd (“Honan”) ABN 67 005 372 396, AFSL 246749. Honan is not the underwriter for any insurance product that you may decide upon and insurance is issued subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions as set by the particular underwriter.

Please note this information provided is for general advice only and does not factor in the objectives, needs or financial situation of the client. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and policy before deciding if this product is right for you. You can get a copy of the PDS by calling +61 3 9947 4333

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