Cai moves into the CEO role immediately, and he says his main job is to fulfil 2008 targets mapped out in 2004. ôOur financial targets aim to double the embedded value of the firm in that time,ö he explains.
Under Wilson, the firm launched the first multi-manager product for Hong KongÆs Mandatory Provident Fund scheme and integrated the acquisition of MLC from National Australia Bank.
Cai says he will need to buttress a number of areas, including distribution, client service and employee satisfaction. His most immediate priority next year is likely to be integrating the Winterthur insurance business that is in the process of being acquired. But having just gone through a smaller integration with the MLC business, Cai believes the firm wonÆt suffer a disruption.
The heated market for talent means keeping good people is a big challenge for the organisation. ôHow do we take a company from good to great, and motivate our employees in an environment where itÆs hard to retain talent?ö he says. He also intends to dedicate time to helping distributors work more efficiently and further penetrate new intermediaries, particularly brokers.
Cai has been with Axa since 1991, when he joined the groupÆs US operations and built a career as a financial advisor. He ran the groupÆs Western US business from San Francisco. He moved to Hong Kong in 2003 as general manager for career agency, where he brought his US experience to help professionalise the workforce. He now reports to Mark Pearson, AxaÆs regional CEO in Hong Kong.