“Exemplifying Industry Expertise and a Caring Culture“
Alex Yip leads by example in an organisation that prides itself as a people business with a solid reputation that sustains a highly ethical, moral and caring culture.
Lockton Companies is the world’s largest privately-held global insurance broker firm. Lockton Companies (Hong Kong) Limited, where Alex Yip is CEO, enjoys a unique independency where they are free from internal financial reporting. This means that they can invest attention and effort into providing the best advice and services for their clients who range from multinational corporates to local companies to the professional sectors. They also provide risk management, insurance, employee benefits consulting, retirement and marine services.
Since expanding to the Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), the business has experienced significant growth where turnover increased by 300% from 2015 to 2020. Growth in the China market in the same period was almost 400%. The Greater China business currently has offices in seven major cities ─ Beijing, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Macau, Shanghai and Taipei and the number of associates has grown from 70 to over 230.
Breaking Barriers and Leading by Example
With almost 40 years of experience in building insurance brokering operations in both Hong Kong and in mainland China, Alex has been able to “break barriers” by bringing teams across different places to work together and share expertise, providing seamless services to their clients while balancing resources across borders. In addition to his role as the CEO overseeing the Greater China region, he is also a member of the Asia Management Board driving regional strategies and key business decisions in Asia.
Alex says that as important as business growth, creating a culture where employees feel proud of their company and take accountability and ownership for the business as if it were their own was one of the goals he set for himself as CEO.
“I have successfully nurtured an entrepreneurial culture where employees are self-motivated to strive for increased business success,” he says. That is why he believes his employees view Lockton as a rewarding and satisfying place to come to work each day.
Alex is a leader who “leads by example”. By personally investing his time, energy and commitment into promoting community involvement, he has succeeded in influencing his associates to join him.
“We effectively established the foundation of our CSR framework, multiplied our efforts in volunteering hours three-fold and raised over HKD1,500,000 for charities since 2016.”
Sustaining an Ethical, Moral and Caring Culture
In fact, one of the first things that Alex did when he joined Lockton Hong Kong eight years ago, was making sure he set up a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and recreation (CSRR) committee.
“Business is about reputation,” he says, and being a “people business” that places great emphasis on looking after the well-being of the entire community, including employees, his committee set up breastfeeding facilities in the office, offers paternity leave and provides flexible working hours.
To continually promote and support talent and development in the insurance industry, Lockton Hong Kong regularly participates in various learning programmes and employment schemes such as the Government Work and Learn Programme, Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme and Overseas Immersion Programme with Lloyds in the UK.
Because Lockton Hong Kong sees the community as one of its major stakeholders, and its duty to serve society in every way possible, the company spearheaded a programme last year to raise awareness for inclusion of the marginalised and disabled to raise funds for the Hong Kong Network for the Promotion of Inclusive Society (HKNPIS).
These programmes incorporate sporting events, and, “being a sports enthusiast myself,” says Alex, “I try to be involved in all kinds of events despite a packed schedule. This ‘lead by example’ attitude has motivated my fellow employees to also take part in various CSR activities organised by CSRR.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he further explains, when planning their gift sourcing, Lockton Hong Kong made purchases from among the worst-hit industries such as travel and restaurants. Other supported causes of the company range from healthcare and education to social inclusion and animal welfare.
For all of these reasons and more, Lockton Hong Kong was the recipient of the Industry Cares Award and the Caring Company Award in Hong Kong in 2020 and 2021.
He further elucidates: “The ‘Practice the Golden Rule and sustain a highly ethical, moral and caring culture’ has been one of the Lockton Principles since the 1980s. It’s a part of Lockton’s DNA and an important cornerstone of our client-focused and caring culture. Giving back to the community is therefore a value that is deeply embedded in the culture of Lockton Hong Kong/Greater China.”
A Highly Recognised Leader of the Industry
Within the industry, Alex is a sought-after leader and winner of numerous awards.
In recognition of excellence in good corporate governance and professionalism as a business leader, he was awarded “Directors of the Year 2021” by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors (HKIoD).
He was elected Chairman of the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Broker (HKCIB) for the 2021-22 term for being the key industry player who drove the set-up of the application for license and the disciplinary process, safeguarding the integrity and professional standards amongst insurance intermediaries, and shaping the future development of the industry.
He is a member of the Expert Advisor Panel of the Insurance Authority which provides advice and input to the Authority during investigations and disciplinary proceedings and Chair of the Industry Promotion/Talent Development Working Group of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and a Council Member of The Better Hong Kong Foundation fostering the development of future leaders for the insurance industry.
“Alex Yip never pushes his team towards excellence; instead he exemplifies that excellence and inspires them to follow. In the industry, his leadership is demonstrated by the many initiatives he has spearheaded for change and improvement. Internally, he leads with a growth mindset to shape an entrepreneurial yet compassionate culture for the organisation. In the community, he nurtures thoughtfulness towards all by establishing a CSR framework to do charity and makes time to personally participate in its events.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group