|Lina Korea CEO Benjamin Hong, left, poses with Korea Marketing Association (KMA) Chairman Han Sang-man, after receiving the KMA's CEO of the Year Award at Kyungpook University, June 27. / Courtesy of Lina Korea|
By Kim Bo-eun
Benjamin Hong, CEO of the U.S. insurer Cigna's subsidiary Lina Korea, is drawing attention for his achievements as he nears the end of his 10-year term.
Hong has kept a low profile, rejecting media interviews, but has proved his competence through Lina's performance.
Lina ranks 20th out of 24 life insurers here in terms of total assets, but is the third in terms of net profit which stood at 350 billion won last year from 97 billion won in 2010, the year when Hong took the top company seat.
Hong took a differentiated marketing strategy by only setting up a telemarketing channel. Lina does not operate a person-to-person sales channel. Lina said because it focused on telemarketing, its insurance policies were developed to be simple and easy to understand. In addition, based on limited engagement compared to physical and face-to-face channels, Lina developed what it claims are more innovative policies to captivate customers, the insurer said.
Under Hong's leadership, Lina carved a niche market, by reaching out to customers aged 50 and above, a market that remained relatively untapped as the segment is generally unpopular with insurance companies.
Hong recently received the "CEO of the Year Award" by the Korea Marketing Association (KMA). The KMA explained Hong was selected for his contribution to Lina's unparalleled growth over the past decade, with differentiated sales and marketing strategies. Hong was also recognized for Lina's CSR activities.
As part of the company's CSR efforts, the Lina Foundation was launched for senior citizens and the insurer contributed a total of 52.2 billion won to the foundation, under its principle of donating 3 percent of the company's net income.
Upon receiving the award Hong said, "This award is a recognition of my hard work and efforts for the past 10 years. I would like to thank Cigna Enterprise for its unwavering support and trust in me."