CEO Unplugged: Raymond Ng Shares his Perspectives and the Path Forward
August 2023   COMPANY NEWS

CEO Unplugged: Raymond Ng Shares his Perspectives and the Path Forward

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Cigna Catchup with: Raymond Ng, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Healthcare Singapore and Australia

Raymond Ng is no stranger to many, having been with Cigna for more than 15 years in various capacities including Business Development Director, Chief Distribution Officer, and Regional Head of Distribution. Through it all, he remains committed to the business of doing good, which we quickly learnt is his favourite phrase (and something he truly believes in!).

Two years following his role as the CEO of Cigna Healthcare Singapore, and almost a year after assuming an expanded role as CEO and Country Manager for Singapore and Australia, we sit down with him to catch up on his role, as well as his five-year plan and vision for the company.

  1. Congratulations on two years (and counting) as CEO of Cigna Healthcare Singapore! Looking back, what do you think are the biggest takeaways?

    The transition from a commercial leader to a CEO comes with various challenges. Being a CEO, my biggest lesson is being able to leverage the strengths of our diverse workforce. In a world full of uncertainty, having various perspectives, backgrounds, and skills among our talents helps a lot with identifying changing needs of our clients. At the same time, working together also helps everyone to be aligned on our common vision.

  2. What have been the most significant challenges you have faced during your time with us?

    One significant challenge has always been talent retention and employee engagement. At Cigna, we have always been committed towards improving the health and vitality of those we serve and that includes our talented employees who work with us. A strategy is only as good as the people who will make it happen and the role of a CEO is to continuously look at ways we can enhance workplace experiences for the employees in areas such as work-life balance and career development.

    We want our employees to have a sense of purpose when they step through the doors every day. This responsibility falls on us as leaders to look at meaningful growth opportunities and ways we can make the workplace more conducive in order to foster a strong connection between the employees and the organisation.

  3. What do you believe sets Cigna apart from others in the industry, and how do you ensure that it continues to stand out?

    Our people! I truly enjoy working with talented individuals who are constantly putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, as we continue to improve the health and vitality of the people we have the privilege to serve.

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  4. What advice would you give to professionals aspiring to become leaders in the insurance industry?

    We are in the business of doing good. I would urge future leaders to think out of the box, innovate and evolve in order to stay relevant in an ever-changing society. The pandemic was unexpected and but really, a catalyst that prompted many to rethink their lives and also their immediate priorities. It is crucial that as insurers, we are attuned to these changes so we know how best to cater to our clients’ needs.

  5. You took on the expanded role of CEO and Country Manager for Singapore and Australia at the end of last year. How have your responsibilities changed from this transition?

    First of all, I’d like to take this chance to thank Cigna for their trust in me with this expanded role. Australia and Singapore are key markets to us and I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the charge in terms of identifying potential intra-market synergies and resource sharing opportunities that can drive more efficiencies across our operations.

    Moreover, by managing both markets, I am able to gain insights into each market’s unique needs and preferences and explore complementary products and services that can be marketed to our clients and broker partners. This not only provides an opportunity for further revenue growth but also promotes efficient resource allocation and fosters a holistic perspective on business operations.

  6. What are your key priorities and goals for the company in the next five years and how do you plan to achieve them?

    Our current strategy focuses on strengthening key capabilities, and using this as a foundation upon which we can improve our service offering and promote whole health and vitality. The best way to do so would be to make healthcare affordable, predictable and simple.

  7. What inspired you to pursue a career in the insurance industry and how has your journey shaped you as a leader?

    Honestly, it was by accident! However, I’m very thankful for all the opportunities that this ‘accidental’ decision has brought me. You’ve heard me mention this a few times already, but I sincerely believe that at Cigna, we are in the business of doing good. During my tenure from an individual contributor, to a management role, then to a regional and local market leaders, my experiences are irreplaceable and have broadened my horizons, allowing me to be who I am today.

  8. How do you manage the balance between leading the company and maintaining a fulfilling personal life?

    I feel that everyone would say the same but it’s all about work life integration. Many of the people I work with have demonstrated how important it is to have a balanced and sustainable approach to work and personal life. By prioritising integration, it shows that success does not come at the cost of well-being. As a leader of the company, I also feel that this fosters a healthier organisational culture – one that promotes a harmonious blend of work and personal pursuits.

    One step I’ve taken to ensure work life integration is to have a “blackout period” of sorts every evening to have dinner with my family. During this time, I will ensure that all my attention is focused on my family, and will not respond to any work emails or text messages. I also try to keep my weekends work-free so that I can spend time with them.

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