Robert Elliott

Chief Executive Officer and General Manager

Manulife (Cambodia) PLC

2019

OUTSTANDING LEADERS IN ASIA

Robert Elliott

OUTSTANDING LEADERS IN ASIA

2019

Chief Executive Officer and General Manager

Manulife (Cambodia) PLC

WORDS FROM THE JURY PANEL

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Hard work is one of the major engines of that translation. Robert Elliott embodies that ethic admirably. As CEO of the first life insurance company in Cambodia, he is both innovator and leader.

Words from the winner

Robert Elliot

Full of moJo

Manulife (Cambodia) PLC prioritizes value and engagement in its business.

There is a comfortable solidity about Manulife (Cambodia) PLC’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Robert Elliott, which makes him the perfect representative of the first international life insurance company to enter Cambodia. With no competitors in 2012, Manulife (Cambodia) is now leading a pack of eight players. The company still boasts the most highly engaged team, with a 78 percent engagement score, and over 4,000 insurance advisors, which gives the company the largest agency force in Cambodia.

“Manulife is committed to building a healthier and better financial future for Cambodians, especially the emerging middle class in the age group of 25 to 50. We have insured nearly 90,000 lives, with the total sum assured of nearly US$2 billion. Our initial challenges were the setting up of a new industry, winning the trust of Cambodian customers, and building a passionate team. Through these challenges, I’ve learnt to empower, trust and put customers at the center of everything we do,” reflects the UK-born Elliott, who believes in in the power of his empowered team to change lives.

“The engagement rate of our employees is one of the highest in the region. The result shows that they have clear direction, are empowered to take action, able to contribute to our success, are encouraged to collaborate with other teams, and so are more innovative and responsive in meeting the needs of the customers. I’m a visionary leader and I lead with collaboration. 

This style has developed through the understanding that I can’t be successful when my team is not successful. My job is to help them solve problems and therefore become successful. Decades ago, people stayed with one company for their entire career. Nowadays, with globalization, jobs are easier to find and skills are also transferrable. It demands leadership to build and retain a great team. Successful leaders are those that have high engagement with the staff. That, in return, generates high engagement with the customers,” shares the Methodist College Belfast-educated CEO, who admires Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher for their clear vision and focus on execution.

Manulife’s performance management and compensation programs are designed to link performance and benefits to ensure that those who contribute the most to the organization earn higher rewards. The company has also developed a specialized program for high-performing leaders. The Ignite program allows the high performers to share customer pain points, physical and digital communication challenges, and any possible solutions to help improve the customer experience. The company is also investing in inclusive leadership and unconscious bias training to spearhead behavioral change within the organization that will help it take steps forward to advance diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. Through all this, effective Human Resources also come into play. “Good HR always have fingers on the pulse of staff. This allows the staff to think independently and tell the bosses things they don’t want to hear,” Elliott laughs.

“Good HR always have fingers on the pulse of staff. This allows the staff to think independently and tell the bosses things they don’t want to hear,”

Manulife has also invested over US$2 million in the Cambodian community since 2012, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Sponsorship activities include road safety (helmets for families, road safety training, support of the National Road Safety Conference), heart health, children’s hospitals and education seminars on health and financial tips.

Share This Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related STORIES

Be Recognised As One Of Asia’s Top Leadership and Sustainability Players