Entertaining the Insurance Distribution Channels

Entertaining our business channels (eg. agents and brokers) is part and puzzle of doing business – this has always been a tradition of sort for most industry and globally recognised as such. In this aspect our Malaysia insurance industry is of no difference.

“Building relationship” is the calling of the day in the business of wheeling and dealings but to what extent should we draw the line or rather how insurance companies are handling the entertaining side of our business with such entertainment and other relationship-building expenses being on the uptrend.



I really can’t see the solution – more a case of “just manage them….” sort of situation. Truly this is all about how one manages their spending as well as professional sides of things in the context of channel-relationship building and at the same time not letting such act runs wild and affects the insurance company’s branding and so on…

I have received an email from one of our reader commenting or rather complaining how the entertaining sides of our industry is hurting her family – you read, you decide….. Anyway I have taken out those sensitive parts of her email, like names and so on.

An email from a reader…..

Nov 16, 2010

Dear sirs @Malaysia Insurance Online,

I’d like to highlight increasingly serious trend of insurance companies rewarding insurance agents in highly immoral manner.  Money spent on incentive trips, drinking sessions, visitations to prostitutes entertainment outlets, night clubs, etc… have destroyed many families, resulting in rising divorce rates, ruining the reputation of insurance companies’ sales personnel & branch managers in the following manner :

1) The so called ‘CONVENTIONS'(Used by AXXXX Insurance), ‘FORUMS’, ‘PRESIDENT COUNCIL MEETINGS’ (Used by CXXXX Insurance) are too frequently organised, without real educational activities, these are just a way to spend $$$ for insurance agents to enjoy eg. 4 days 3 nights trips, normally there’s either no speaker at all or that the speaker only comes around for a mere 3-4 hours throughout the whole 4 day trip.  So these are INCENTIVE TRIPS tentamount to ENTERTAINMENTS, although insurance companies call them ‘CONVENTIONS’/’FORUM’/‘PRESIDENT COUNCIL MEETING’, in order to gain income tax deduction.  I’ve written to IRB to conduct field audits to disallow the claims on these ‘CONVENTIONS’/‘PRESIDENT COUNCIL MEETINGS’.  Insurance companies now happily spending huge $$$ to organize trips every now & then for agents & staff to enjoy.  These trips have taken lots of family time away as Sat & Sun have been taken away!!

2) High entertainment budget per insurance personnel results in insurance personnel bringing insurance agents to engage in excessive alcohol drinking at pubs & visitation to high class GROs/prostitutes at high class night clubs.  Imagine they start drinking session right from 4pm till 12am whereby they are supposed to be working, to contribute to our nation.  In order to ensure these are claimable in tax, insurance companies have successfully make employees incur these expenses & reimburse the staff, thereby escaping the eyes of IRB.  I’ve written to IRB to check that these expenses are all incurred at night time.  The drinking bills escape IRB’s eyes as these are reimbursed to employees……..however prostitution bills, they normally don’t park under insurance companies, company pays for beers & liquor & they bear their own prostitution expense…  Sad but true, they even know where to go to avoid the police raid.  IRB cannot help this situation but why Bank Negara chooses to ignore this?  BNM didn’t reply to my concerns.  It’s a negative image of insurance companies in Malaysia!

Example – An insurance agent, named ‘TAN Exxx Gxxx” went for prostitutions with an insurance company’s employee.

– XXXXXX Insurance Company – KL MGMT TEAM

Back in 2007 when my husband was with XXXXXX BUTTERWORTH BRANCH, whenever the mgmt team visits Penang, the big boss & the mgmt team member named ‘JOE’ will go drinking till 2am.  Big boss normally brings them to high class KTVs, with high class GROs…..which can easily cost few thousand dollars per night.  This ‘JOE’ is even worse, he went for prostitution with a prostitute who has 3 nipples!!  Immoral ppl like that is occupying a high post in XXXXXX KL.  Wonder how the wife will feel if she gets to know about it.


‘YEO CXXX CXXX’ is always seen holding 2 china dolls while engaging in drinking sessions, of course drinks are on MXXXX’s a/c.


‘WooX AXX YXXX’ the xxxxxx xxxxx manager also engages in excessive drinking, coz he’s nothing to do after work, wife is in KL.  Everytime after drinks, he speaks foul languages

3) ‘QUARTERLY REVIEW’ (organized by XXXXXX, BM BRANCH) : normally held in the evenings, from 6pm to 2am, held at the pubs eg Slippery Seniorita in Penang & Butterwoth, involving drinking, messing around with waitresses, dancing, etc…  How can you hold such serious matters in pubs????    Insurance companies use these serious wordings to escape the eyes of IRB.  All these things without BNM or other regulatory bodies to intervene, insurance industry will eventually become a dirty industry.  IRB’s power alone cannot deter them, coz they can just hv proper documentation but in substance, it’s so different!!  The insurance personnel actually document down who they entertain, normally these are insurance agents that they entertain at night.

If I’m not mistaken, BNM or PIAM have stepped in to disallow overseas trips, so insurance companies now organize local trips instead, several times a year, stealing away precious family time.  I’m the wife of an insurance company’s salaried staff.  My husband doesn’t earn commission from any insurance contract, but why should he be made compulsory to attend those trips?  Those trips are meant for agents, then let the agents go enjoy, but companies are stingy also, trying to escape IRB’s eyes by using serious words like president council meeting/convention/forum, in order to get tax deduction.

May I appeal to you to let me have some key person’s e-mail contact so that I can bring this dirty industry’s practice to regulatory bodies, eg BNM/PIAM or any other relevant ones??    Thank you in advance



Suffering Wife

Yes, this is some fury disposition of a lady who totally disagrees with how those entertainment stuff are being utilised. She has stressed that this has been affecting her family well-being and relationship with her husband who is also a part of the insurance workforce.

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15 comments for “Entertaining the Insurance Distribution Channels

  1. Chandran
    December 12, 2012 at 00:00

    Nowadays this form of entertainment of drinking, boozing and womanising days are over! Global and international companies do not think this should be the way forward.

  2. May 13, 2011 at 09:02

    Men like to drink and hanging loose, sometimes itchy, lah!

    • May 14, 2011 at 09:16

      It’s great stuff after a hard days’ job… with some nice ladies to chat with… why not!

    • Rachael
      May 16, 2011 at 15:05

      While you guys are hanging loose with the ocassional itchiness, have you ever thought abt wives who’ve been waiting for you for proper family dinner together with kids? Family values have gone down the drain!

  3. ng
    April 14, 2011 at 15:25

    i tell u a story about an insurance acquaintance i know. He is always out drinking. One of his drinking buddy was the chief investment director of his insurance company. He got involved with one of his girls, had an affair n had a child together. One night after drinking they went home, got into a fight n she knock him down, dunno by accident or not, but police didnt press charges. He died…

    • April 16, 2011 at 11:28

      Supposed there are many such cases…. just about a year or two an insurance agent after a heavy session went home and found his wife dead on the bed with head bleeding profusely… that’s what he reported to the police. Police suspect this was murder and was an insider job.. since the agent is the only insider, he was prime suspect! HE was put in the lockup and interogated for days but eventually police cannot linked him to the wife death.

  4. Anonymous
    January 2, 2011 at 11:47

    Don’t think it is fair to say insurance companies are making scrap of their staff when coming to entertaining their agency network. This is part and puzzle of doing business. Business cannot be done just by following what’s on the book.

    • January 4, 2011 at 23:19

      Well… we work for the pay, and if it is necessary to entertain for the sake of business then we must take that path despite it may hurt family relationship. We just need to make our family members understand the position that we are in….

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 2011 at 13:25

        Oh yes, entertaining agency network is part & parcel of the insurance industry, of course some of the tasks are not as simple as following the books, instead lots of communications, discussions are involved here, but can’t one do that during business hours? Why must the industry players be involved in such unhealthy lifestyles, smoking environment, highly intoxicated when back home, practically spending time from 8am morning right till 10pm or even 12am midnight(after smoking, drinking sessions)? Just be considerate & put yourself in the shoes of the spouse or children! If you’re a child or a spouse, would you want your daddy/mommy or husband to be so ‘workaholic’, ‘smokaholic’ & ‘alcoholic’? Where is the quality of family life here? Rising family problems are substantially affected by this, though I’m not saying this is the sole contributor. If you already have a family, why not try putting yourself in your family members’ shoes?

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 2011 at 16:30

        Undoubtedly majority of us work for the pay so this reader actually doesn’t mind hurting family relationship for unreasonable business entertainments! So after office, still working hard in the pubs or KTVs…until midnite? Pity kiddo or spouse who has this sort of father/husband! The responsibilities of housework, coaching kids in homework, fecthing kids have all fallen on the poor wife, to complicate the matter, the wife will be under extreme stress if she’s also working!! He wouldn’t even consider changing jobs or reshuffling work schedule or just refuses to go with the stupid unhealthy entertainment habits! Oh yes, it’s enjoyable to engage in ‘biz’ drinking, with attractive GROs! Doesn’t matter to him at all that he’s no chance to see the kids when they’re still awake!! Imagine coming home when kiddo already slept & leaving home when kiddo haven’t awaken!! Don’t wait till wife & kids leave you only should you repent! You’d lose your family forever!!

        “Well… we work for the pay, and if it is necessary to entertain for the sake of business then we must take that path despite it may hurt family relationship. We just need to make our family members understand the position that we are in….”

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 2011 at 16:39

        Entertain for the sake of biz? Spending precious evenings at pubs entertaining….enjoying alcohol or GROs…leaving behind wife & kids to entertain themselves? This reader doesn’t bother to consider changing to a more professional profession or just refuses to follow with such unhealthy drinking habits…Good luck man, be prepared to lose your wife & kids!! Since you valued your work more than your family!!

  5. December 7, 2010 at 02:11

    [New Post] Entertaining the Insurance Distribution Channels – via #twitoaster http://www.malaysiainsurance.info/grapev

    • XOXOXO
      January 26, 2011 at 16:33

      Sigh……..that’s the sad side of insurance industry, when you don’t drink or do entertaining, you’re isolated & challenged…..sad sad sad……

      • January 29, 2011 at 11:58

        Things are slowly changing – don’t need to drink in order to be recognised as a capable marketing person, moreover the general industry trend shows declining entertainment expenses involving the consumption of alcohol.

        • XOXOXO
          January 31, 2011 at 17:07

          Sadly old birds are still drinking on daily basis…

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