Ping An conducts insurance business through four subsidiary entities, with its treasury department responsible for the overall treasury management functions including cash settlement management, cash flow management, funding management, and capital management. To carry out the company’s ‘finance + ecosystem’ initiative, treasury faced the challenge of coordinating and collaborating every subsidiary to align its operations with the overall strategy. Treasury therefore initiated a series of projects and initiatives to tackle operational centralisation, liquidity management, capital market advisory and other efficiency enhancements.
Operations centralisation – Ping An continues to transform its payment platforms to streamline internal processing for the handling of insurance claims payments. Through consistent optimisation of the single connectivity channel, the platform now supports all types of transaction, including domestic payments, cross-border foreign currency payments and cross-border RMB payments. The team achieved this through coordinating with every subsidiary to review payment methods, system upgrade, service support and evaluating its banking partner capabilities.
Liquidity management – treasury is increasingly hyper-connected and needs to be capable of making quick and efficient decisions on finance-related projects throughout the day. Asset-liability management remains a top priority and the treasury team has established guidelines to help it perform investment and risk management activities. The team has also created a semi-automated process to check receipt of significant incoming payments and estimated amount of outgoing payments, allowing the company to make better decisions on cash management. The ultimate goal is to enhance real-time balance information for the bank accounts of the group’s subsidiaries everywhere.
Capital market advisory – to better support the growth of the group’s many subsidiaries, treasury has taken responsibility to provide advice to help subsidiaries’ fund-raising efforts in the capital markets. The company has put in place subject-matter experts to handle the unique challenges across different markets.
“In the past two years, we have worked with our various subsidiaries on a couple of deals including a US$1.1bn IPO and a first-ever syndicated loan and raised US$1.29bn. Citi was the lead arranger. We are dedicated to finding the best solutions in each transaction by leveraging our group’s brand power,” explains Yuxuan Xiao, Treasury Management Specialist.
Efficiency enhancement – being customer-centric, Ping An pursues technological innovations to develop insurance products and improve the customer experience. The treasury team is looking into efficiencies at operational level to reduce transaction flows from end-to-end and pursue sustainable, high-quality business development.
Best practice and innovation
The treasury team plays a key role in helping internal parties to build a comprehensive health care ecosystem of ‘patients-providers-payers.’
Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, Ping An quickly resumed production with its own technologies and solutions. The company arranged for nearly 400,000 employees to work from home and attend online meetings remotely on its technology platforms, allowing over 300 employees to attend the same meeting. Furthermore, the ‘Zhi Niao’ app facilitated concurrent live broadcasts by over one million life insurance sales agents, supporting nearly three million participants per day.
- STP rates increased.
- Single secure banking channel.
- Improved automation.
- Streamlined digital processes using Citi Direct BER.
- Cost savings.
- Improved risk appetite management.
The company also established processes for smart agent team management from recruitment, team building and sales support. With its agent recruitment, 100% of interviews were AI-based and at the end of 2019, Ping An had conducted over six million AI-based interviews, reducing the in-person interviews by over 680,000 hours.
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