BPI AIA names new chief executive

The BANCASSURANCE firm of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has appointed a new chief executive officer (CEO), it said in a statement on Monday.

BPI AIA Life Assurance Corp. appointed Karen Custodia as its new CEO effective Jan. 9, it said.

She took over the post of previous BPI AIA CEO Surendra Menon, who served the BPI unit for six years and was recently appointed as director of Partnership Distribution of AIA Indonesia.

Ms. Custodia will work with and will directly report to AIA Philippines CEO Kelvin Ang, BPI AIA said.

She will oversee the firm’s partnership distribution channels, manage its strategic relationships with BPI and support BPI AIA’s future initiatives.

“I am both proud and humbled to take on this new role at BPI AIA as we continue to provide Filipinos with the financial protection they need and encourage them to live longer, healthier, and better lives,” Ms. Custodia was quoted as saying in the statement.   

“We understand our consumers’ changing needs and we will continue to invest in innovations to fulfill our strong commitment to making insurance accessible, affordable, and personalized for every Filipino,” she said.

Before her appointment as CEO, she was head of Partnership Distribution Sales Channels at BPI AIA since 2014. In her previous role, she led over 1,500 employees from the company’s In-Branch Corporate Sales, Direct Sales, Private Banking, and Telesales teams.

BPI AIA also implemented a new distribution model aligned with BPI’s customer and channel strategy under her leadership. This has strengthened partner engagement, leading to increased productivity in sales force, the bancassurance company said.

“Our partnership with BPI has grown stronger every year, we push on every day to protect our customers letting them love the lives they live. We look forward to working alongside them towards our common goal of building a better Philippines, one family, one community at a time,” Ms. Custodia added.

She also led the distribution channels’ shift to hybrid interactions during the coronavirus pandemic. BPI AIA said the shift helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the company and achieve faster recovery.

For his part, Surendra Menon, former CEO of BPI AIA, said he expects his successor to “drive the company toward new heights of success.”

“I am honored to pass on the chief executive role to Karen. Through the course of her career, she has demonstrated her expertise and knowledge, which have been key parts of many of the organization’s innovations and developments,” Mr. Menon said.

BPI AIA is a joint venture between AIA Philippines, formerly AIA Philam Life, and BPI.

BPI posted a net income of P10.1 billion in the third quarter of 2022, surging by 77.1% year on year amid higher revenues.

This brought the listed lender’s bottom line for the first nine months of 2022 to P30.5 billion, 73.2% higher than the P17.5 billion in the same period in 2021, backed by higher revenues and lower provisions for loan losses.

This translated to a return on equity of 13.73%, while return on assets was at 1.66%.

The Ayala-led bank’s shares climbed by 10 centavos or 0.09% to close at P110 apiece on Monday. — Keisha B. Ta-asan

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