Kevin Steer | Chief Executive Officer and Founder | 121Advisor | Tycoon Success Magazine | Business Magazine

Kevin Steer: Redefining customary Business ways through Digitalization

In an interview with Tycoon Success, Kevin Steer – the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of 121Advisor, emphasizes over the exceptional journey put forth by the company of achieving many milestones in its pathway. Its flagship product which is also to be the all-encompassing solution provider known as ‘Customer First Connected Enterprise Digital Framework’. Driven with a strong motive, thus quoting “we don’t follow trends, we pioneer them” the company has paved a strong stature for itself to march on.

Through this special issue, “The 10 Most Prominent Business Leaders To Watch in 2022,” Tycoon Success shows its gratitude and appreciation towards the contribution made by the 121Advisor in the business world.

Below are the highlights:

Products to Rely On

Kevin states that over the past 10 years the company has implemented many disruptive online solutions including Referral Management with Marketing Automation (for Banks), Mobile Point of Sales, Online Direct Selling, Online Claims, Agency Distribution, Online Customer Service Portals & Corporate Websites. He also emphasizes that with the growth of AI & chatbots; 121Advisor implemented disruptive solutions including multilingual Chatbots & Robo Advisors along with AI based Predictive Analytics / Machine Learning for predicting New Products, Lapsation, Fraudulent Claims & future predictions for Investment Funds.

Into the Shoes of the Leader

Being experienced and having worked in the insurance & takaful sector for years, the Chief Executive Officer states that 121Advisor’s mission was to provide disruptive InsurTech & FinTech solutions for insurers, takaful operators & banks. As a CEO & a ‘techie’, Kevin has always been looking for new disruptive solutions to continue evolving the business. It all started with his working for an Artificial Intelligence Company in 1986, which piqued his interest in AI. Kevin states that when 121Advisor started seeing the evolution of Chatbots, Robo Advisors, Predictive Analytics, Behavioral Intelligence & Robotic Process Automation – the company started researching on AI solutions and the team implemented 24×7 multi-lingual Chatbots, Robo Advisors for lifestyle financial planning, as well as implementing Predictive Analytics solutions for predicting new products to buy, lapsation of policies, fraudulent claims & future grow/decline of investment funds; which are integrated with RPA solutions to trigger workflows to notify the relevant people. Moreover, he highlights in the year 2014 the company became profitable and 121Advisor used the profits for R&D on developing new disruptive solutions. Here is a graph that shows the company’s growth over the past decade.

Overcoming the Challenges

Kevin addresses the fact that as most millennials in Asia Pacific do not understand financial planning, and often max out their credit cards and get into debt; there is a need to help educate them on their lifestyle financial goals and recommend products that they can buy online. With the launch of u12know, he states that one might see that this will become a disruptive knowledge portal offering advice on lifestyle financial & (in future) health goals. Making them understand their needs and create a plan to help them build their lifestyle & business financial plans. “For each country, this will be translated into the local language,” quotes Kevin.

During COVID-19 pandemic, 121Advisor saw the need to offer financial services and health services online with lifestyle financial & health advice. Kevin and his team recently launched a knowledge portal u12know (www.u12know.com) in Malaysia, that provides lifestyle financial advice – for single, married, family, retired & my business. This will continuously be extended to include lifestyle financial goals with recommendations for financial and business products, including company’s multi-lingual chatbot & Robo Advisor – which provides advice on financial goals.

A peek into Key aspects

When asked about the factors of the company which helps business, Kevin Steer emphasizes over some key aspects which are listed below, in his own words:

Referral Management

He states that a bank in Malaysia, wanted his company to deliver a Referral Management solution in 3 months, this included defining KPIs for each product, interfacing with back-end sales, and synchronizing status of agents daily, then auto assigning to the relevant sales agents based on the referral product required. 121Advisor delivered the solution and went live in 3 months, currently used by 6,700+ users referring an average of 170,000 referrals per annum.

Mobile Point of Sales for Insurance

He mentions that one of company’s insurance customers wanted an agent mobile sales solution delivered in 4 months, this includes product setup, quotation, and proposal, auto-underwriting and online submission to the insurer – 121Advisor delivered the solution and went live in 4 months currently used by 700+ Agents across 3 insurers.

Agent Distribution Solution

With its agent distribution solution, Kevin Steer states that a number of Agent Leader Corporations (ALCs) wanted company to compute their commissions, bonus; then based on n-tier hierarchy, manage the performance and track KPIs for agent promotion / demotion—depending on whether they met their targets, including integration with their insurance/takaful companies. Once the ALC managers approve payments, it makes online payment direct to the agents. Then 121Advisor delivered these solutions in 2 – 4 months, based on the integration requirements with the insurance/takaful company, currently utilized to compute 2,000+ agents across 4 insurers.

Customer Service Portal

Kevin addresses that the Customer Self Service Portal is an on-demand access point enabling customer to view their insurance/takaful account, anywhere and anytime. This enables the policyholders to view their policies and certificate details via a simple internet connection. The portal provides a safe avenue for customers to update their personal information, pay premium, switch funds, print documents, update beneficiary details, request policy changes and engage in filing claims and processing, which traditionally would take weeks to be executed due to siloed lines of business. The platform also supports automated workflows that are triggered by certain customer activities which are routed to relevant departments and customers are kept informed via emails or messaging. “Providing a portal for your customers with the convenience of self-servicing, customers can enjoy the freedom of doing what’s convenient for them, when they want anywhere,” says Kevin Steer.

Predictive Analytics Models (PAM)

121Advisor solutions focus on predictive marketing & sales, customer service, new business underwriting, personalization and claims management to build Predictive Analytics Models (PAM) for Banking, Insurance & Takaful.

Multi-lingual Chatbot for Financial Insurance & Takaful (FITbot)

Kevin Steer states Multi-lingual Robo Advisor and chatbot that utilizes hybrid trees and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers to offer a more personalized customer experience and generate more referrals. He also mentions company’s 24×7 multi-lingual FITbot which has benefits such as:

  • It changes the way people think about customer engagement.
  • It reduces customer service costs by up to 40% by implementing 24×7 intelligent bots.
  • It delivers personalized customer experiences by proactively understanding the customer via real-time lead scoring algorithms and providing a personalized interactive user experiences.
  • Its personalized experiences generate more warm leads that can be routed to financial advisors, live chat direct marketing, or direct online purchase.
  • It leads continuous improvement using machine learning algorithms that adapts to changes in topics and conversations over time.
  • When it cannot answer a question, it directs to live chat customer support.
  • Its predictive personalization rules engine enables companies to quickly configure their financial product recommendations based on lifestyle goals and identified needs.
  • It integrates with sales tools and customer databases via secure authenticated APIs.

Choices Online Store (COS)

Kevin Steer states that through Choices Online Store (COS) insurers and takaful operators can provide direct purchase of products online. It also can integrate with Multi-lingual Chatbot for Financial Insurance & Takaful (FITbot) robo-advisor services as well as referrals via Referral Management & Marketing Automation (ReMMA). Also, the Choices Online Store (COS) allows insurer and takaful operators to leverage a mix of technological innovations from the Enterprise Digital Framework and allows carriers to configure their online products through the Enterprise Product Configurator (EPC) and offer directly to consumers via WebPortal Solution (WebPoS). It also allows businesses to setup a product catalogue, via customizable product page templates, for categorized and convenient research on multiple product comparisons to enhance the selection process. Kevin Steer also asserts that online buyers are allowed with benefit and cost comparison, quotations generation, online purchase and e-payment for convenient purchase process. The sales are guided with needs analysis based on client’s financial needs and lifestyle, so clients make informed decisions. If clients need hands-on advice FITbot can help them guide through the process or get connected with e-advisors online. The e-advisor can be registered with the chat service which can help track KPIs and referrals for performance management.

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