Remarks by HKFI Chairman Thomas Lee at HKFI 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner


The Honourable Tsang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen


Good evening!  A warmest welcome to all of you to this gala dinner.  It's delightful to see so many of you here and we deeply appreciate your presence.  In particular, we're greatly honoured to have the Financial Secretary, the Honourable John Tsang, joining us tonight.


The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers came into being on August the eighth 1988.  What we have today can be attributed largely to the extraordinary foresight and determination of our founding members to embark on this remarkable journey 25 years ago.  Their primary vision then was to make our industry more professional and committed to promoting the interests of consumers.  And the Federation has stayed true to this from day one.

The path we have traveled has been bumpy at times but always rewarding at the end of the day.  Working closely with the Government and particularly the Insurance Authority, we have helped develop and administer an effective system of regulating our business conduct.  Some have even described the Federation as the embodiment of the success of self-regulation. 
That said, it is time to move on.  In supporting the establishment of an Independent Insurance Authority we're guided by the fact that this would be good for the industry, consumers and the long-term economic development of Hong Kong.  The new IIA, if launched successfully, should help build and maintain our position as an indisputably world-class insurance centre in Asia.
As a trade association, the Federation will continue to foster and widen connections with our stakeholders in the community.  Where there is misconception, we will try and reach out to bridge the gap so that people may have a better understanding of what insurance can do for them when they're in distress.  But we are more than an ordinary trade association.  On all and any industry issues of importance, the Federation always acts as the voice of its members and the industry.  We will continue to be outspoken but we will never speak out of the bounds of decency, common sense and what's good for consumers.
The Honourable Tsang, ladies and gentlemen: as we gather tonight to celebrate our 25 years of service to our members and the community of Hong Kong, we must pay a special tribute to our Founding Chairman, Mr Michael Somerville, and the succession of chairmen over the years for their exemplary vision, dedication and hard work.  Our hats also are off to all councillors, past and present, and those of you who have volunteered your time and efforts to support the work of the Federation all these years.  To the serving and past Commissioners of Insurance, we owe each of you our special thanks for your support and guidance. 
The success of self-regulation would not be possible without the full support of our Member Companies and the sterling work performed by the Insurance Agents Registration Board, the Appeals Tribunal and the Insurance Claims Complaints Panel.  For your outstanding contribution, we are profoundly grateful.  Taking this opportunity I want to place on record my sincere appreciation of the excellent service provided by our secretariat staff.  You are a truly amazing team!
Whatever challenges may lie ahead, one thing is certain - we at the Federation are determined to help shape a better future for the insurance industry of Hong Kong.  We are doing it not only for the sake of our industry but, more importantly, for the benefit of our clients who place their trust in the industry and the well-being and prosperity of this great city. 
Ladies and gentlemen, before closing, I believe you will agree that both the insurance industry and the Financial Secretary's Office have one thing in common: in managing other people's money, we firmly believe in the importance of staying prudent at all times.
On this note, I would like to invite the Financial Secretary, Mr John Tsang, to come onto the stage and address us.  Mr Tsang, please.

Please click here for more photos of the HKFI 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner.