Prudence and other virtues

Across Asia, the Prudence Foundation champions campaigns focused on improving road safety, financial literacy and early childhood education. Prudential Cambodia CEO David Nutman talks about the importance of giving back to the community

Road Safety Awareness in Siem Reap

What is your overall impression of Cambodia’s life insurance market?

My overriding impression is one of strong potential growth. As a market, we’re a more than 15 million population, hugely under-penetrated for insurance purposes. Financial protection is not something that has been served particularly well to this point, and for families moving hopefully in a more affluent direction as the economy grows, they need protection. Because if something goes wrong in their life, they have to start again. So we think it’s an exciting place to be with good opportunity – and what we offer meets the customer’s needs in a growing economy

Which products have proven the most popular since Prudential set up shop in Cambodia?

Our current most popular product, edusaveXtra, is a combined protection and savings product. Through this product, we are providing protection in the case of an unfortunate event occurring to the customer, such as death or permanent disability. If this does not occur, the customer will receive a payout when the policy matures – or a return, which he or she could use to re-invest. A lot of people use it from a long-term educational savings perspective, whether that be university or high school. The product comes with a number of features, so the customer can get some advice to tailor the product to meet their specific needs.

Prudential is known for its corporate social responsibility activities. Could you talk a little about these?

Prudence Foundation, which is the community investment arm of Prudential in Asia, focuses on three core areas to support the community. One’s around early childhood care and development (ECCD), the second’s around financial literacy and the third’s around disaster preparedness and recovery. Here in Cambodia we partner with Save the Children on an ECCD programme called First Read, which focuses on children under six developing stronger literacy skills before they start school. Since inception in 2013, in Cambodia FR has directly reached over 61,000 children and 62,000 adults, and indirectly over 350,000 beneficiaries. We work very closely with the government on this programme which has received great recognition. For financial literacy, we have a regional programme called Cha-Ching. It’s a cartoon that teaches children simple money management concepts – earn, save, spend and donate- the program reaches more than 34 million households per day, and available in 10 languages. Then we have our SAFE STEPS programme, which provides concise ‘what to do’ advice on issues which cause unnecessary loss of life. The first relates to natural disasters with Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer, as its Ambassador. The second relates to road safety which we just launched in April as part of the government’s road safety week. This has Michelle Yeoh, the Malaysian actress, as its Ambassador. The Royal Government has done a lot in these areas and we want to help support their efforts.”

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