Ex-Hong Kong financial secretary to advise Bowtie

April 3 2019 by InsuranceAsia News Staff

Hong Kong’s former financial secretary, John Tsang  has joined the Special Administrative Region’s first virtual insurer Bowtie as a senior adviser.

Tsang (pictured) served as Hong Kong’s financial secretary from July 2007 to January 2017. He helped create the Hong Kong Science Park and launched a technology venture fund. He resigned to run in the 2017 chief executive election race but despite being a popular public candidate, he eventually lost to Carrie Lam.

He commented: “The Bowtie team is full of entrepreneurial spirit and passion needed to transform the insurance industry. As technology continues to rise, I believe the insurance market needs a new force like Bowtie to bring basic medical protection to every Hong Kong citizen.”

Kwun Tong-headquartered Bowtie has started trading its Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme product today; the government backed scheme launched on April 1.

By being digital only, the Sun Life-backed insurer hopes to target a younger audience and gain a march on its competitors by being more agile and competitive. The start-up raised a HK$234 million (US$30 million) Series A funding round last year; another backer is Hong Kong X Technology Fund.

“While digital technology is on the rise, we believe the industry is in need of change,” said Fred Ngan, co-chief executive and co-founder of Bowtie. “Hong Kong welcomes a virtual insurer to design what online insurance can be — truly customer-centric, transparent and commission-free.”