Kuala Lumpur, 13 May 2015 – AIA Bhd. has announced the appointment of Anusha Thavarajah as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), subject to Bank Negara’s approval. Anusha will take over the helm from current CEO Bill Lisle, who has been appointed Regional Chief Executive of AIA Group overseeing AIA’s operations in Malaysia, Korea, Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka.
The CEO appointment, which will take effect on 1 June 2015, subject to Bank Negara’s approval, comes just two months after AIA Bhd. announced a strong set of business results for the 2014 financial year. Anusha will report directly to Bill Lisle, who will in turn report to AIA Group Chief Executive and President Mark Tucker.
Anusha is the first woman to join AIA’s rank of CEOs in the life insurer’s six largest markets in the Asia Pacific region. She will be responsible for steering AIA Bhd. on its continuing journey of strong growth and transformation.
Ng Keng Hooi, Regional Chief Executive of AIA Group said, “I am delighted to announce these two key appointments as they exemplify the depth of talent we have within AIA and our commitment to promote from within our Company. Both Anusha and Bill have played a pivotal role in the integration and transformation of AIA in Malaysia over the past two and a half years and will continue to work closely to steer the company to its next phase of growth.”
“I have full confidence that Anusha will provide great leadership to AIA’s operations in Malaysia as she builds on the transformational initiatives spearheaded by Bill Lisle, who successfully led AIA Bhd. through the largest merger and acquisition exercise in Malaysia’s life insurance industry in 2013,” he said at the press conference held today.
Anusha’s focus will be on strengthening the company’s multi-distribution channels to narrow the protection gap; enhancing the AIA customer experience by focusing on ease and simplification and leveraging technology to boost choice and convenience for its customers.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to build on the foundation and strategy laid together with Bill to take AIA Malaysia on its next phase of accelerated growth,” Anusha said.
In her current role as Regional Business Development Director of AIA Group, Anusha has provided strategic leadership to AIA’s businesses in Southeast Asia, working closely with the country management teams to achieve their business goals.
Anusha joined AIA Bhd. in October 2011 as Deputy General Manager of Finance & Actuarial. During that time, she played a key role in the successful integration of AIA and ING’s businesses in Malaysia, reshaping the financial plans and strategies of the “new AIA Malaysia”.
Bill joined AIA Bhd. as Chief Executive Officer in December 2012, when he was tapped to lead the complex and large scale integration of AIA’s businesses in Malaysia following its acquisition of ING’s insurance businesses in Malaysia. Under his leadership, AIA Bhd. continued to showcase strong business performance as evidenced by positive financial results for two consecutive years, despite the challenges of integration.