Insurance companies representing the Korean community are increasingly striking up partnership deals with mainstream firms for further growth and specialties.
Most recently, Korean-run Chunha Insurance Services signed a business partnership with Willis Towers Watson. While Chunha intends to leverage the relationship as an opportunity for growth, Willis Towers Watson saw it as a chance to target the Korean-American market. Through the deal, Chunha expects to provide an upgrade to its current services, as Willis Towers Watson is an insurance firm which boasts a revenue of $8.2 billion with a staff of approximately 39,000.
Amerits Insurance also signed a partnership with Global Atlantic to develop additional programs. The partnership with Global Atlantic was Amerits’ second deal following its earlier agreement with AIG, which was designed to assist Korean adoptees and youth scholarships.
Industry experts predict that partnerships between Korean and U.S. firms will continue to rise, especially after L.A. Koreatown-based City Insurance Services is set to be acquired by Gallagher by the end of this year.
The partnerships between insurance companies in Korean-American and mainstream American markets are a win-win strategy for both sides. While smaller scale Korean firms are likely to implement the more sophisticated and knowledgeable management skills of the larger mainstream companies, the American insurance services get an opportunity to expand their reach to the Korean market.
“We expect an upgrade of quality in our services by sharing various systems through the partnership,” said Chunha president Ki-hong Park.
Amerits Insurance president Brian Lee added, “The Korean-American insurance industry in Southern California as a whole is estimated to be worth about $120 million. That makes this industry a subject to interest from bigger markets.”
It is expected that increasing number of partnerships will eventually lead to a reformation of the insurance business among Korean-Americans.
“Many Korean insurance companies are owned by first generation immigrants,” said an anonymous insurance agent. “So there’s obviously a hierarchy in these organizations, whereas in bigger markets, many employees work without even knowing who the president of their companies are since the focus of their work is based on creating results. If these traditions are adopted by the Korean companies, it could be hugely helpful in their growth.”
By Brian Choi