Johor Insurance(JI) has a 127-year history in Singapore, starting as a friendly society (British Colonial Mutual Society) in 1890, which self-insured mutual fund contributors. Insuring mainly factories, exporters and shipping operators, they de-mutualised and became a publicly listed company (as JI) on the Malayan Stock Exchange in 1960. JI’s headquarters are still in the original location in Victoria St. When Singaporean and Malaysian currency interchangeability ended in 1973, JI was one of the first firms to delist on the Stock Exchange of Malaysia and Singapore (SEMS) and re-list on the newStock Exchange of Singapore (SES).
Over the next 100 years, JI’s business drifted into the major insurance markets of the day life insurance, home and contents insurance,and car insurance. Their market share, once close to 50% of the entire insurance market in
Singapore, had drifted slowly but steadily down since the 1955, after a change in Government policy that made the new Central Provident Fund (CPF) compulsory for all Singaporeans.
Moreover, the industry was fundamentally changing. The “rusted-on” customers, who generally didn’t change insurers due the inconvenience involved with comparing quotes, bargaining between providers, and negotiating premiums, were now using free apps and websites to compare premium rates, and insurers were having to bid against each other for consumer-level policies, further driving down cash flow and profits.The management consultant’s recommendations surprised many board members.