People Moves APAC: Chubb, Salesforce, AIG, EY
In a week where multiple executives at UBS leave to join investment banking startup Barrenjoey, Julius Baer adds six senior bankers in India, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore undergoes a reshuffle of its top-ranking roles, Business Chief APAC rounds up the key executive moves made in the Asia Pacific region in the last week, March 11-18.
Ramzi Toubassy named CEO of AIG Korea
Formerly the chief executive of AmMetLife Insurance Berhad in Malaysia, Ramzi Toubassy has been appointed CEO of AIG Korea, which he will start on April 1. Having begun his 24-year insurance career with AIG in New York, Toubassy has since had leadership roles at AmMetLife, Swiss Re, and General Reinsurance. Set to drive the strategic direction of the business in Korea, Toubassy brings “deep industry expertise” combined with a “proven track record of developing strong distribution channels and partnerships”, says Steven Barnett, AIG’s Asia-Pacific CEO.
David Larocca announced as CEO for EY Oceania
Sydney-based David Larocca has been appointed as EY Oceania’s new CEO. Currently managing partner of the EY Oceania’s Strategy and Transactions business, Larocca will become CEO at the beginning of July. With more than 20 yeas of experience as a leader advisor in the infrastructure sector, Larocca has been with EY since 2006, serving as a partner in the firm’s infrastructure advisory business, as head of business from 2013, and as head of strategy and transactions business from 2016. His experience spans roles in banking, project finance and corporate development.
Sanket Atal named Senior VP and MD of Salesforce
With India home to the second highest Salesforce workforce outside of the US, the company has demonstrated a commitment to India with the appointment of Sanket Atal as its Senior VP and Managing Director to help drive the next phase of growth in India and make the country a global hub for innovation and talent. A business strategist and tech veteran, with previous roles including Managing Director of Intuit India and Group VP of Oracle, Atal brings a wealth of experience leading and growing global development centres and delivering future-ready solutions. Atal will be based in Bengaluru.
Sanjay Goel appointed President American Tower APAC
With three decades of diverse business leadership experience in Asia and Europe under his belt, Sanjay Goel has been appointed Executive VP and President for Asia-Pacific for American Tower. Joining from Nokia, where he most recently served as President of the Global Services business group and Nokia Operations, responsible for strategy, P&L management and operations across 100 countries, Goel has extensive expertise in telecommunications and IT. With an extensive track record of strong leadership and global business experience, Goel will “lead our Asia-Pacific business into the future as we continue to drive value for our stockholders”, says Tom Bartlett, President and CEO, American Tower Corporation.
Peter Kalaher named Chubb President for Australia/New Zealand
Having been with Chubb since 2008, Peter Kalaher has been promoted to President for Australia and New Zealand. In this new role, Kalaher will have executive operating responsibility for the company’s general insurance business and will oversee all facets of the business including strategy, product and business development, underwriting and service operations, and profit and loss performance. Kalaher has 20 years of insurance experience, most recently as P&C business lead for Australia and New Zealand.
Could HR technology solve Hong Kong’s culture of overworking
It has long been common practice for employees across the world to work beyond their contracted hours, with staff feeling pressured to put the company’s needs before their own. But this can have a consequential impact on employees’ health, as long working hours create a poor work-life balance and demotivational working environment. This is particularly evident in workforces across Hong Kong, where employees are working an additional 24 hours during the week due to the rising issue of presenteeism. As a result, productivity in the region has dropped, and the health and wellbeing of workers have suffered.
Technological advancements have created a culture where staff feel obliged to be ‘always on’, and respond to calls and e-mails when they’re out of the office. The demand for increased working hours means that businesses are losing capacity through burnt-out staff who are struggling to care for their health while meeting the requirements of their work. Companies in Hong Kong that were once able to retain their staff through an attractive salary package must now consider expanding the perks they offer their workforce that can help support them in achieving a better work-life balance.
Although the UK still has progress to make, workplaces in Hong Kong can learn from businesses in the UK which have made considerable efforts to identify causes of stress at work and taken the steps to reduce these. UK employers are prioritising the wellbeing of their employees and through adopting policies such as flexible working, working from home and offering access to health and wellness tools, they are able to provide enhanced support to their team.
By incorporating a health engagement platform into a human resources strategy, HR leaders in Hong Kong can create a positive working environment and improve morale within their team, as well as encourage and incentivise staff to take action and introduce healthy habits into their daily routines. This will also assist in tackling a disengaged workforce, reducing absenteeism and boosting motivation – all factors that have been a problem in Hong Kong’s working culture.
Employees both in the UK and Asia should also take the steps to look after their own health so they don’t fall victim to burnout. Employers should encourage their staff to take regular breaks throughout their day, whether it’s to practise mindfulness techniques or simply take a walk. Stepping away from their desk and spending time outside will help to reduce stress and clear their mind.
Transforming attitudes to work in Asia is not a straightforward task and it will take time for age-old cultural and business practices to change. However, there are steps businesses can take to aid employees in living a happier, healthier lifestyle. Through implementing a wellness plan, businesses can support their employees in pursuing a healthy work-life balance and encourage them to improve their lifestyle both in and out of work. Not only will this create happier employees, but it will also lead to running a more profitable business as staff take control of their health.