Company Secretary, MFSL & Head – Legal, Max Corporate
Chief Financial Officer
Max Financial Services ensures employee learning and development through innovative methods such as multiple talent management interventions, in-house training sessions as well as career development programmes
Max Financial Services Limited
(‘MFSL’ or ‘the Company’) is a part of the $3.2 billion Max Group. It owns and actively manages a majority stake in Max Life Insurance Company Limited (Max Life), India’s largest non-bank owned, private life insurance company. Max Life is a joint venture with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI), a Japan-headquartered global leader in life insurance. After the demerger of the erstwhile Max India Limited in January 2016, MFSL became the first listed company in India focussing exclusively on life insurance, thus providing an opportunity for Indian investors to get access to a unique pure life insurance business. The Company currently holds 71.79% stake in Max Life as on date of this report.
In FY 2018-19, MFSL reported consolidated revenues of ` 19,501 crore, with an encouraging growth of 19% over the previous year. The Company reported consolidated Profit after Tax of ` 416 crore, 6% lower compared to the previous year, largely due to one-time expenses for pursuing an inorganic opportunity for Max Life and fair valuation impact as per the recently introduced accounting methodology, IndAS.
MFSL's sole operating subsidiary, Max Life, demonstrated Individual Adjusted Sales of ` 3,880 crore in FY 2018-19, growing 21% over the previous year. Key growth drivers for Max Life were growth of 29% in proprietary channels, growth of 17% in agency channels, 39% growth in customer advisory team channels and e-commerce growth of 73%. Bancassurance grew by 18%, driven by the growth of Axis Bank at 15% and Yes Bank at 34%. Max Life’s Renewal Premium stood at ` 9,415 crore, increasing 15% over the previous year, while Shareholders’ Profit Before Tax was ` 623 crore, marginally higher than the previous year, mainly due to higher investment income, better mortality experience and reserves realignment due to change in operating assumptions.
Max Life also reported Market-Consistent Embedded Value (MCEV) of ` 8,938 crore, with an Operating Return on Embedded Value (RoEV) of 21.9%. The Value of New Business (VNB) written during FY 2018-19 was ` 856 crore, growing 30% over the previous year, and the New Business Margin stood at 21.7%, 150 bps higher compared to the previous year. This was primarily driven by higher sales of Protection products, an increase in Non-participating (Non-PAR) business.
Max Life achieved a significant milestone this year with its Assets under Management (AUM) crossing the ` 60,000 crore mark for the first time. The AUM as on March 31, 2019 stood at ` 62,798 crore, growing 20% over the previous year.
Another benchmark set by Max Life was in the Claims Paid Ratio category. Already an industry leader with the highest Claims Paid Ratio of 98.26% in FY2017-18, as per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) Annual Report, Max Life further improved the ratio by 48 bps to 98.74% in FY2018-19.
Max Life’s growth in FY2019 was fueled by 29% growth in its proprietary channels, 17% in agency, and an impressive 73% in its e-commerce channels. Bancassurance channel saw an increase of 18% driven by the growth of Axis Bank at 15% and Yes Bank at 34%.
Effective April 1, 2019, Mr. Rahul Khosla, who joined the Max Group in August 2011, transitioned from his role as Max Group President and Chairman of Max Life to a non-executive position. Mr. Analjit Singh, Founder and Chairman of the Max Group, took on the additional role of Non-Executive Chairman of Max Life. Mr. Analjit Singh is the sponsor and principal shareholder of MFSL, Max India Limited and Max Ventures and Industries Limited (MaxVIL). He had already been appointed as Director and Non-executive Chairman of MFSL earlier in FY2018-19, in place of Mrs. Naina Lal Kidwai, who served as Chairman since January 15, 2016. Mrs. Kidwai continues to served on the Board of MFSL as an Independent Director for her full term.
Another key appointment on the Board of the Company was of Mr. Sahil Vachani, Managing Director and CEO of MaxVIL, on May 25, 2018. He was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Max Life, effective May 18, 2018. Mr. Vachani joined the Boards of these companies as a representative of the Owner Sponsor Group led by Mr. Analjit Singh. Further, the Board of MFSL was strengthened by the inclusion of Mr. Jai Arya and Sir Richard Stagg, who were appointed as Independent Directors with effect from November 14, 2018 and February 11, 2019, respectively. Mr. Rajesh Khanna demitted the office of Independent Directors of both MFSL and Max Life with effect from February 11, 2019.
On December 31, 2018 Mr. Rajesh Sud, Managing Director and CEO of Max Life, demitted his office after 18 years at Max Life. As part of the transition in leadership, Max Life’s CFO, Mr. Prashant Tripathy, was appointed as Max Life’s MD and CEO. Mr. Prashant Tripathy is leading Max Life’s vision to be a 25:25:25 company by 2022, i.e., 25% VNB growth, 25% margin and 25% RoEV. In addition, Mr. V. Viswanand, previously Chief Operations Officer for Max Life, was appointed as its Deputy Managing Director.
Max Financial Services’ sole operating subsidiary Max Life will strive to achieve its objective of 25:25:25 growth by 2022 on the parameters of Value of New Business, New Business Margin and Operating Return on Embedded Value.
MFSL remained steadfast in its focus on building effective corporate governance, a diverse work culture and a pipeline of talented and motivated individuals. This was primarily done through innovative methods of employee learning and development. Some of these efforts include multiple talent management interventions, in-house training programmes as well as sponsoring employees to attend external training and career development programmes for improving their functional and managerial effectiveness.
Communication is key to a well-functioning organisation. To ensure transparent communication, a refreshed purpose and the Company values of Sevabhav, Credibility and Excellence were disseminated to the entire management. The Company also maintains a fluid and agile organisational structure that allows for effective communication channels to ensure they all are aligned to the common business goals and strategy.
As its sole operating subsidiary, Max Life largely shapes the outlook for MFSL. Max Life will strive to achieve its clear vision of 25:25:25 growth by 2022 on the parameters of VNB, New Business Margin and RoEV. The management’s focus will also include the launch of initiatives identified as part of the agency excellence programme in collaboration with New York Life consultants.
Max Life will also continue to explore options to further cement its partnership with Axis Bank for the long term, to ensure continued value creation for all its stakeholders.
Further, Max Life remains committed to business development by targeting new customer segments for new products and pursue new corporate agency partnerships to bolster its distribution capabilities.