Being a leader means you can no longer measure success on individual performance. Leaders look to make lesser decisions in terms of quantum and volume but instead, look towards making valued proprietary decisions for the betterment of the organization. Creating a clear path and value chain are first steps towards the path to success; along with having the right complementary teammates – which is any leader’s best asset. These revolutionary thoughts crafted a leader out from (once) a common man- known as Robert Ross. He is the Chief Technology Officer of Singapore Life, a prominent life insurance company in Singapore.
He believes, “A leader should lead by example, not by preaching. As a leader, it is vital to not only communicate organizational core values to employees, but also nurture them through your own approach to business. Otherwise, things won’t last,” stated Robert. “In my team, I have 40 personalities and 40 distinctive characters that go along with that. The approach and style used when communicating and working with them should be in line with the overall organizational values.” He further added, employing active listening skills, patience, and a fair dose of humor is also needed to build cohesion in a team that consist of diverse set of people on its board.
Inspiring Professional Journey
Robert was born and raised in rural Illinois, USA. After earning his graduation in computer science from Northern Illinois University in 2002, he started his professional journey at the tender age of 19. He was involved in work related to insurance technology and business strategy as part of a Kemper Insurance scholarship that he had earned. In the subsequent years, Robert’s smart work habits, and diligent efforts helped him achieve various tech leadership positions in Axis Capital and Allied World Assurance Company.
On recalling his early struggle, Roberts says, “My first gig out of university ended up being an experience that would shape my career. It was a startup insurance company where I was asked to build the entire tech platform wherein the entire company would operate on.” In nine months, he was promoted to global AVP and head of software development. He built a technology team that powered the growth of the company for years, long after his departure. “Without that career stint, I would never have learned nor experienced the amount of information and discovery of knowledge that would eventually place me on a path I am on today,” said Robert.
Skills that makes him Unique among Equals
Whether it is about – product management, enterprise architecture, development of large-scale multi-national applications, building global IT teams or increasing the capacity and capabilities of IT and operations – Robert always led from the front, as these have been his core expertise. He has vital experience in managing sizeable global teams across continents including the United States, Europe, Bermuda, and Asia. Mostly, he has worked in commercial, personal property, casualty insurance and fintech industries.
Vision for Singapore Life
Robert is a tech geek who enjoys working with one of the most digitally enabled wealthtech companies in the city-state – Singapore Life. He is committed to ensuring Singapore Life remains in the forefront of cutting-edge wealth and insurance solutions, to cater to its valued customers in a hassle-free manner.
“To enable my vision for Singapore’s most well-funded insuretech, I have a fairly large team of developers and techtrained staff to help me audit, and find better solutions,” asserts Robert. “In short, I am constantly finding ways to modify and better our tech capabilities; and my team is put to the test each and every day to find me efficiency and effectiveness in the Singapore Life digital space.”
Talks on Challenges, Mentor and Colleagues
On recounting his early days at Singapore life – Robert revealed many interesting things. He said that when Singapore Life started, selling life insurance directly to consumers by incumbent organizations did not exist. In addition to that, collecting e-signatures to complete the sales journey was equally unheard of. He thanked Singapore Life for providing a level of professionalism and comfort necessary to get these two concepts on one unified, simplified platform to all consumers and would-be customers.
He gives special credit for his success to Walter de Oude (the founder and CEO of Singapore Life) and his fellow colleagues. “The drive, passion and love they have for wanting to bring the easiest, simplified solutions to consumers so that they live their best lives is simply one of the best working cultures I have ever come across,” stated Robert.
About the Company
Singapore Life is the first local independent life insurance company that is fully licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is the next generation life insurance company that offers a myriad of wealth-tech products and solutions that include term and life insurance, and other high-networth products.
As a testament to the strength of Singapore Life’s strong capital base, governance and capability, Singapore Life successfully acquired Zurich Life Singapore’s business portfolio and achieved more than SGD 6.6 billion in life insurance coverage to date. The company delivers on digital-first journeys by offering life insurance and savings products made exceedingly efficient through the use of cutting-edge technology.
As Singapore’s fastest growing life insurer, Singapore Life empowers consumers through simplified purchase experiences by harnessing convenience, transparency and accessibility. “Singapore Life continues to build its digital footprint with a view to ensuring all customers are able to leave behind a financially sound legacy for their loved ones,” concludes the vibrant CTO of Singapore Life- Robert Ross.