In 1930, equipped with a vision and determination to serve the nation and render insurance protection to the Filipino people, Enrique T. Yuchengco founded China Insurance and Surety Company, Inc. Little did he know that the company he established in Binondo, Manila, would evolve to be the country’s premiere non-life insurance organization in the years to come.
Don Enrique T. Yuchengco was a dynamic leader who gained a reputation as a hard driving executive who made marks in business ventures. Don Enrique noted that there were more than 80 non-life insurance companies in the market. He believed that there was a need for an insurance company that the people could depend on to serve and protect them through fair dealings and speedy settlement of just and valid claims.
Investing Php 147,500 to start his company’s operations in 1930, he and his eight agents slowly moved into the competitive world of insurance amidst resistance from already established firms.
China Insurance grew into one of the major insurance companies of the country that by 1940, its gross premium income rose to more than Php 700 thousand and its total assets reached more than Php 400 thousand while generating a total business of Php 1,116,248.34. Unfortunately, the tide of the times abruptly changed as World War II broke out. Business collapsed and the company’s operations were suspended.
After recovering from the ravages of the war, it resumed operations and buckled down to work. War claims, which were not within the scope of the conditions of the policy, were nevertheless paid ex-gratia.
On February 16, 1949, the same stockholders of China Insurance, headed by Don Enrique, infused fresh capital and formed Malayan Insurance Company, Inc. The new name was conceived in response to the new social atmosphere of building a brown race identity - the Malay race.
Since then, Philippine luminaries in business and public service, at one time or another, served as the company’s Chairman of the Board: Mariano Cuenco - the President of the Philippine Senate; Alfonso Sycip - renown banker and business tycoon; Carlos P. Romulo - President of the United Nations General Assembly; and Alfonso T. Yuchengco - Philippine Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1985 to 1987), Japan (1995 to 1998), and the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2001 to 2002). In 1953, after Don Enrique passed away, Alfonso T. Yuchengco, an accomplished Certified Public Accountant and a rising figure in the local business sector, assumed full responsibility over Malayan.
Determined to expand the organization, Alfonso T. Yuchengco established a new company, Bankers and Manufacturers Assurance Corporation (BMAC), which was incorporated in September 6, 1955. This formed the nucleus of the Malayan Group of Insurance Companies (MGIC). BMAC maintained the corporate name for 25 years and was eventually changed to Malayan Zurich Insurance Co., Inc. in 1980 resulting from a tie-up with Zurich Insurance Co. of Switzerland. Today Malayan Zurich is known as Bankers Assurance Corporation (BAC) as a result of Zurich Insurance’s exit from the Philippine market. However, Malayan Insurance and BAC remain to be cooperative partners of Zurich Financial Services. As member of the Malayan Group, the BAC is focused on the microinsurance sector as well as the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) market.
On May 12, 1964, another non-life firm, Pan-Malayan Insurance Corporation, was incorporated into the joint venture of Malayan Insurance Company, Inc. (MICO), Continental Insurance Group, and Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. However, in February 1997, the joint venture was re-established between MICO and Tokio Marine, under the name Tokio Marine Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. The merger of MICO and Tokio Marine, which took place in September 2008, made Malayan the unbeatable insurance company in the Philippines. The third domestic non-life insurance company that joined the Malayan Group was the First Nationwide Assurance Corporation (FNAC) on June 11, 1965. In 2011, FNAC obtained certification from the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as bankassurance partner of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. The Malayan Reinsurance Corporation (formerly called Eastern General Reinsurance Corporation) was established on October 17, 1975 and completed the five member companies of the MGIC. This professional reinsurance company, known as Malayan Re, merged with the Universal Reinsurance Company of the Ayala Group on January 30, 2004, and was called Universal Malayan Re (UMRe). In early 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the merger of UMRe and the National Reinsurance Corp. of the Philippines, utilizing the latter as its official company name.
The machinery for local and global expansion was set. Foreign branches, subsidiaries, affiliates, and agencies were organized. In the home front, regional offices, branches and service offices were opened in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
When Helen Y. Dee was elected president of MICO in 1983, she spearheaded the firm’s domestic expansion and modernization programs through innovative developments in manpower training and insurance products. She also improved the employees’ technical skills, computerized the underwriting operations and improved customer support services. The company further strengthened its industry leadership through Mrs. Dee’s and Mr. Yuchengco’s efforts.
In 1995, Fidel M. Alfonso, a luminary in the local insurance industry and Yvonne S. Yuchengco, a well-known banker and civic leader, were elected Chairman of the Board and President of MICO, respectively. Through their continued efforts in pursuing MICO’s corporate mission and in strongly supporting programs to fully realize the Company’s vision, Malayan reached new heights in performance and achievements. In early 2001, former Insurance Commissioner Atty. Adelita A. Vergel De Dios, was elected chairman of MICO. Equipped with her experience and expertise in the industry, Atty. Vergel De Dios guided MICO towards maintaining its position as the country’s leading non-life insurance company. In 2008, MICO further consolidated its resources and capabilities for a bigger, stronger company through its merger with Tokio Marine Malayan Insurance Corporation. It was also in this year that Mrs. Helen Y. Dee rejoined MICO as Chairman.
In 2009, Malayan Insurance received an ISO 9001:2000 certification from Certification International U.K. Ltd. This attests to the company’s commitment to adhere to globally accepted quality management standards. Likewise, A.M. Best Co. and Standard & Poor’s, two of the world’s most credible ratings agencies, gave MICO a “generally stable financial strength rating.” A.M. Best affirmed the company’s financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb,” while S&P gave a rating of BB- Stable, citing Malayan’s strong market position that offsets the volatility of its operating environment. Both agencies recognize MICO’s strong business position as the largest non-life insurance company in the Philippines.
When MICO celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2010, it achieved another milestone in posting Php 5.97 billion in Gross Premium Written, 44% higher than its next-ranked competitor. It also posted a 36% growth in Net Underwriting Profit or Php 527 million. In the same year, MICO Chairperson Helen Y. Dee represented the Philippines in the 6th International Microinsurance Conference held in Manila, and was a panelist during the discussion on the profitability of microinsurance. Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco was likewise honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asia Insurance Review and the Review Worldwide Reinsurance Magazine during the 14th Asia Insurance Industry Awards. MICO also successfully transitioned to the ISO 9001-2008 standard in the same year.
The year 2011 proved to be another auspicious year for MICO as it joined the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) in celebrating its Centennial Anniversary. Malayan’s largest branch, MICO Davao rejoiced in reaching its golden jubilee. These highlights were made even sweeter as MICO gained honors and accolades from its industry peers.
In its inauguration in 2011, the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers (PIRA) Awards cited MICO with the Best in Corporate Governance in recognition of its adherence to sound ethical practices, and the Best in CSR for its unique, sustainable and high-impact CSR. These feats will be repeated in 2012 as the MICO Group hauled four major awards at the 2nd PIRA awards, winning the Best in Corporate Governance and Best in Corporate Social Responsibility awards. Subsidiaries FNAC and BAC also bagged the Best in Corporate Governance awards.
Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco was also honored during this event, receiving PIRA’s very first Icon of the Industry Award, complementing the Ambassador’s Outstanding Leadership Award given by the Philippine Constitution Association during the group’s 50th anniversary in 2011. In the same year, the Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers (FAIR) installed the Ambassador as its first FAIR Hall of Fame Awardee in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the industry.
Malayan stands at the forefront of the non-life insurance industry - THE COUNTRY’S NUMBER ONE NON-LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY. It is proud of its achievements as much as it is proud of its contributions to the development of the Philippine non-life insurance industry and to the progress of the Filipino nation. Guided by its tradition of excellence and its vision of becoming synonymous to non-life insurance, it has become a towering symbol of Filipino entrepreneurship and dynamism.