LumenLab, the first-of-its-kind disruptive innovation centre for MetLife, and the global life insurance industry as a whole, was launched in Singapore. The new 7,800 square feet facility at The Metropolis, Buona Vista houses a working space and business incubator staffed with dedicated innovation experts, many of whom have a background in startups or come from outside the insurance industry. An integral element of MetLife’s investment in Asia, LumenLab has been established to develop disruptive new business models in the areas of wellness, wealth, and retirement. By leveraging tried-and-tested innovation processes, LumenLab aims to build businesses that help Asian consumers achieve richer and more fulfilling lives.
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Expanding the boundaries of the traditional insurance industry
LumenLab CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of MetLife Asia, Mr. Zia Zaman said, “LumenLab’s remit extends beyond the traditional life and health insurance industry. Our innovation strategy focuses on consumers as the source of insights and inspiration; it goes beyond just technology innovation. To respond to the fact that the demand curve is bending towards Asia, a phenomenon we call the Asiafication of Demand, the centre is based right here in Singapore.”
“Our success so far today would not have been possible without the deep support of the Singapore government and partners. In particular, we appreciate the guidance of the Economic Development Board (EDB), the vision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as well as the support from the talented community at the National University of Singapore (NUS),” added Zaman.
Mr. Christopher G. Townsend, President, Asia of MetLife said that Singapore was selected ahead of other countries in the Asia region as the location for LumenLab, chiefly because of its flourishing business ecosystem, strong public-private partnership framework, progressive financial regulatory environment, and its ability to attract creative and innovative talent in the country.
“Lately, innovation in the insurance industry in Asia has been incremental and, too often Western-centric,” Townsend said. “LumenLab is something entirely different. It is a business creation engine, focused on illuminating new business models for the market. At MetLife, we believe technological, customer and socio-economic trends impacting the Asian life insurance market make it ripe for disruption. As LumenLab spawns new and disruptive business models, we anticipate that it will be retrospectively seen as a visionary and shrewd investment.”
LumenLab will enable MetLife to anticipate the needs of Asian consumers,who are expected to account for approximately half of the insurance industry’s growth in the next decade. As the second largest Pan-Asia life insurer, with over 60 years of experience and over 21,000 employees in Asia, MetLife is committed to growing its business and to delivering greater value for customers across the region.
Singapore – a ripe environment for MetLife’s LumenLab
“The opening of LumenLab today bears testimony to MetLife’s confidence in Singapore’s proposition as a leading insurance market and our vision to be an innovation lab for new and emerging insurance risks. LumenLab is an enlightened response to Asia’s healthcare and retirement needs in the next decade, and is well aligned with MAS’ strategy to have innovation-led growth drive our next phase of development as a global insurance market,” said MAS Deputy Managing Director, Ms. Jacqueline Loh.
Orchestrating the development of successful public-private partnerships is the role that EDB continues to play. Ms. Kwee Eng Thien, Assistant Managing Director of the EDB stated “Partnerships are a key enabler for innovation as companies seek out new opportunities in Asia. We are pleased that LumenLab is leveraging Singapore’s ecosystem and capabilities across diverse industries to draw fresh insights and drive the creation of new businesses. We look forward to partnering MetLife in this exciting journey as it seeks to explore new business lines and create new value.”
Collaborating with the strong talent pool in Singapore and across Asia
MetLife’s LumenLab and NUS Business School have forged a mutually beneficial partnership that provides students with resources and data for management practicum field work, as well as jobs. In exchange, LumenLab is granted access to a strong talent pool and differentiated brand, both on the NUS campus and within the university’s research community. LumenLab is also one of the sponsors for NUS Business School’s flagship “Cerebration” – the world’s biggest global business case competition organised by MBA students.
Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor at NUS Business School, said: “Our MBA students have gained immensely from the industry experience and perspectives provided through our partnership with MetLife. With its focus on new business models and capabilities, the partnership augments our School’s efforts in developing future-ready graduates. We are pleased to continue growing Singapore’s and Asia’s talent pool, as we have done over the past 50 years.”
By collaborating with the strong entrepreneurial talent pool in Singapore and across Asia, venture capitalists, and in-country experts from MetLife’s regional operations, LumenLab is well-equipped to explore and deploy new solutions for its customers. Harnessing MetLife’s deep customer empathy and data, LumenLab will light the way in moving MetLife from an insurance company to a life company.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
As MetLife’s pioneers for disruptive innovation, LumenLab is charging ahead to create new businesses in health, wealth and retirement. Lumen, a measure of light, symbolises our commitment to illuminating a new path for solving the problems that the people of Asia face today. Through our focus on building new products and services grounded in technology and data, we aim to help people achieve richer and more fulfilling lives.
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