A standard of excellence

Izah Azahari

Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) is the premier association of financial professionals; a global, independent association of more than 65,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 70 nations and territories.

MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service, while the MDRT membership is recognised internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.

The MDRT’s mission is “to be a valued, member-driven, international network of leading insurance and investment financial services professionals/advisors who serve their clients by exemplary performance and the highest standards of ethics, knowledge, service and productivity.”

With that said, 26 of AIA Singapore Ptd Ltd’s Brunei professionals have become MDRT registered qualifiers for 2021, with a record-breaking three Top of the Table (TOT) qualifiers, namely Patrick Pang, Ang Kian Guan and Nancy Kwang. The TOT is the highest level of recognition and membership for MDRT’s top performers who have achieved at least six times the qualifying requirements of a MDRT, which is the epitome of success and achievement in the industry.

Meanwhile, out of the 26, there are five Court of the Table (COT) qualifiers, where Chong Wan Ching and Goh Mei Ling are first time qualifiers, and among the remaining 18 MDRT, 10 of them are first time MDRT qualifiers, including new agents Jonathan Bong and Eric Tan. Eric qualified for the MDRT within his first five months of joining AIA.

Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) members in a group photo. PHOTO: AIA

In an interview, General Manager of AIA Singapore Pte Ltd (Brunei) Kenneth Ling explained that every year there is a production figure that associations put up for professionals to qualify, which can be by first year of premium, by commission and by income.

These measures are set by MDRT for the financial professionals to qualify within the three tiers – the lowest being MDRT, the second COT which is three times the MDRT target, and the highest is TOT which is six times the normal MDRT target.

In 2020, AIA Singapore Pte Ltd (Brunei) saw 12 agents become qualified members, which was the highest over the years.

However, the numbers more than doubled in 2021 for AIA Singapore Pte Ltd (Brunei) with 26 agents, making up about 13.6 per cent of AIA Singapore Pte Ltd’s Brunei existing enforced agents.

“This is substantial, as only one per cent of the world’s practitioners are represented in MDRT and we have achieved 13.6 per cent of that, which is very commendable,” said Kenneth.

According to the general manager, because of the COVID-19 situation last year, MDRT as an association also reduced the qualification criteria by a certain percentage because of how real the pandemic became and how it affected many people, where in their line of profession, they are required to sell face-to-face.

“We are very blessed in Brunei where the Ministry of Health has taken care of the situation very well and maybe created certain awareness which enabled us to perform better than usual,” added Kenneth.

“We are very proud that our agents have qualified to become esteemed members of MDRT. We are also very proud at AIA that we have three TOT members. They have great knowledge, that’s the reason why they are able to reach what they have achieved. Their customers are very fortunate to have them as their financial advisors.”

AIA Singapore Pte Ltd (Brunei) Senior District Director Kelvin Pong, in his capacity as a committee member on the Business Development Task Force under the MDRT Member Resources Division explaining MDRT, said MDRT is a benchmark for all insurance agents and advisors to strive to achieve, as with a MDRT qualification, qualified agents or advisors will be exposed to the international pool of successful practitioners in their industry.

“Through this network or platform, agents or advisors will benefit and gain knowledge in order to better serve their customers,” said Kelvin.

“Also through MDRT, qualified agents and advisors will be recognised among all their peers in their respective company, in the industry and globally for their hard work performance.”

In the first year of commission, Kelvin said the first qualifier must be qualified by either First Year Commission or First Year Premium.

“As a committee member in the MDRT Business Development Task Force, I am extremely happy to confirm that we have record high MDRT qualifiers from Brunei Darussalam this year with a total of 34 MDRT qualifiers,” said Kelvin.

“AIA Singapore Pte Ltd (Brunei) boasts of its dedication and committed performance for MDRT 2021 with three TOTs and five COTs, as said by Kenneth earlier, and this tremendous performance will put Brunei Darussalam on the international map.”