Hong Kong insurance titans like AIA, Prudential are on a hiring spree as they bet on Greater Bay Area, coronavirus to boost business

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Some of Hong Kong’s biggest insurers are dramatically upping their headcount of sales agents, betting that the Greater Bay Area will generate new business and that more people will buy policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even against the backdrop of economic turmoil, the likes of AIA and Prudential say they are hiring more aggressively this year.

The number of insurance sales staff had risen 16 per cent to 122,769 by the end of March, after 16,943 newcomers joined the industry in the previous 12 months, according to official data.

The insurers’ hiring spree is in contrast to other industries which are laying people off, leading the jobless rate to hit a 15-year high of 5.9 per cent in the March to May period.

Hong Kong’s economy shrank 8.9 per cent year on year in the first quarter, the worst slump since records began in 1974. It has

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Associated Banc-Corp Closes Deal to Sell Insurance Business

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Associated Banc-Corp ASB has completed the sale of the insurance business, Associated Benefits & Risk Consulting, to USI Insurance Services LLC for $265.8 million in cash. The deal was announced in May.

Being a multi-line insurance agency with 400 employees, Associated Benefits & Risk Consulting provides employee benefits, retirement plans, compliance, business insurance, risk management and individual insurance solutions.

Associated Banc-Corp is likely to record a pre-tax book gain of $165 million related to the sale in second-quarter 2020.

At the time of announcing the transaction, the company had expected that this would strengthen the capital base and lead to an increase in tangible common equity by $210 million. It will lower $99 million of goodwill and other intangible assets. Also, the bank’s pro-forma efficiency ratio is projected to decline 1%.

Headquartered in Valhalla, NY, USI Insurance Services is one of the largest insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the

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Hollywood Unions Lobby Congress for More Funding, Insurance Breaks to Restart Production

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The Motion Picture Association and several of Hollywood’s top guilds sent a letter to congressional leaders on Monday asking for further assistance for the entertainment industry as the rate of infections in Los Angeles and much of the United States increases.

The letter, obtained by TheWrap, was sent by the MPA, Directors Guild of America, Independent Film & Television Alliance, IATSE and SAG-AFTRA and sent to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, as well as the heads of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee. In it, the guilds ask Congress to establish work opportunity tax credits for employers who rehire workers they had to lay off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also Read: LA County Residents Encouraged to Stay Home as Total COVID-19 Cases Surpass 100,000

The guilds also ask for several changes to the tax code for the entertainment industry, including expanding how much of

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Indie Film Ecosystem At Risk With No COVID Insurance, And Solutions Far Off

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A restart for film and television is bearing down but looming uncertainty around COVID-19 insurance has the business on edge.

Pandemic insurance disappeared in March. Three months later there’s still no viable alternative to put many independent producers back on a path to completion bond backed financing. It’s pressing, as interrupted productions restart mostly covered by preexisting insurance, while new projects may remain in limbo.

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“Right now there is no insurance for [COVID] at all, at any price,” said Steven Ransohoff, CEO of Film Finances, at a recent panel hosted by Cinetic Media.

A few insurers are exploring limited policies that are very costly, between 10%-15% of total budget by some accounts. “Ridiculously expensive,” said one film executive. “It’s really not even like having insurance.”

These policies, said another, “will be limited to a couple of million dollars – maybe

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