Sangye Quek's Story
"Focus on your purpose, and any challenges won't be hard to deal with."
As an AIA Consultant, my journey is defined by empowering individuals to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Meeting people from all walks of life, I've seen the sparkle in their eyes when they celebrate life's milestone and it's a profound job to guide them on this path.
For me, my goal is to make a lasting impact. I am here because I want to continue growing and empowering people to enjoy a better life, better financial protection and achieve their financial goals.
And of course, this journey is no doubt without its challenges. The demands of work and trying to balance it with having time for myself and loved ones can become overwhelming. To combat this, I've created exercise groups with my team to stay active and de-stress. This includes going to the gym or joining spin classes together. We also attend meditation courses for better mental wellness and additional stress relief.
Inspired by my parents, who always encouraged me to volunteer and help those in need, I now involve my team in community initiatives. My team provides daily lunch to the elderly under Shan You, a social service agency which focuses on improving the mental and social well-being of their beneficiaries. We have also participated in a food distribution drive for needy families. This exposure broadens our perspective and strengthens our resolve to provide excellent financial advisory services.
Giving to others has been an impactful experience because I can see that our contributions have positively impacted their lives and relieved these families from some of their burdens. I want them to know that the community cares about them, and I hope this gives them the drive to continue living their lives to the fullest despite their tough circumstances.
Being a volunteer has transformed my outlook and inspired me to perform my job better. It's a reminder of the importance of savings and financial protection for all. My goal is to reach even more people, leveraging my skills and knowledge to help them live healthier, longer, and better lives.
I'm Damien Tan, Chief Executive Officer at AIA Financial Advisers, and my journey in the financial and insurance industry spans over 26 years. It's been a profound and rewarding experience, seeing how this industry have played a pivotal role in safeguarding individuals and businesses during their most challenging times, and I'm truly honoured to be part of this meaningful endeavour of helping others to live healthier, longer, and better lives.
For me, it's not just a job; it's a journey of continuous growth and service. Leading a vibrant and youthful team and driving the new generation of financial consultants requires fresh perspective and a commitment to guiding them toward success. It's about empowering them with the right opportunities to excel in their careers and conquer challenges. That's why I consistently encourage them to refine their skills and push past their limitations, drawing inspiration from the profound impact we make on people's lives.
Beyond the confines of the boardroom, I wear another hat—one that's even more important to me. I'm a father to three incredible children, and my heart finds joy in the art of cooking. Our kitchen is not just a place to prepare meals; it's where we come together as a family to create unforgettable experiences.
Weekends are our culinary adventures. We explore new recipes, from exotic international dishes to cherished family classics. Cooking is more than just nourishing our bodies; it's about nourishing our souls and building cherished family traditions. It's an opportunity to teach my children valuable life skills and express my love for them through the language of food.
In both my roles, whether as a leader steering a company toward success or as a father fostering love and togetherness, I've come to realise that balance is the secret ingredient to a fulfilling life. It's the foundation upon which we build healthier, longer, and better lives for ourselves and our loved ones. My hope is to inspire everyone around me especially the next-gen leaders to dream bigger, push harder, and lead a more fulfilling life. Together, let's harmonise life's demands and create a symphony of fulfilment for all.
In August 2020, my AIA Vitality health screening results was undesirable with a high cholesterol reading and BMI of above 25, putting me in the "overweight" category. The doctor suggested putting me on statins given I have a family history of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Reluctant to go on medication, I changed my lifestyle by getting active and changing my diet.
I started breaking away from a sedentary lifestyle by running 5km 4 times a week and adding more exercises along the way. It was tough at the beginning as I couldn't even finish 2km without stopping! But I persevered!
I also don't control my diet in the past and love hawker food - carrot cake being my favourite! To become healthier, I turned to healthy eating comprising vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grain and oats during the weekdays, with Friday nights and weekends being my "cheat days".
The outcome: I lost 9 kg in just 9 weeks, which kept me motivated. Since then, I've lost a total of 12kg after a year with my BMI at 21.8 which is within the healthy range, and my cholesterol level has also improved.
I've started bringing my son who is also a foodie, along on my runs to inspire him on the importance of being in good health and how small steps can make a big difference in staying fit.
I am glad to have also inspired my friends and colleagues to embark on their own transformation journeys.
I am Lisa Xiang Ying and I have been an AIA Financial Services Consultant for 10 years.
My motto has always been to be better today than I was yesterday, and I like to make progress together with people. I am passionate about helping people build and secure their financials while also be able to influence the community to live healthier, longer, better lives.
When I joined this industry a decade ago, I recalled the challenges as a rookie where I had to work very hard to learn the ropes and establish myself as a professional financial services consultant. It was tough putting in 16 hours daily in my work and I simply had no time for myself, my family nor my friends. But what kept me going was this noble career, where I was able to help people achieve their aspirations in life.
After 7 years of hard efforts and perseverance, I succeeded and was promoted from a financial novice to a high-net-worth financial services consultant. I want to pass on the meaningful working experiences I have accumulated in this industry to help the younger generation or rookies, embark on a successful career like mine. I believe that one person can go very fast but a group of people can go very far.
I hope to inspire people to become a "whole person" and live a colorful, balanced and a harmonious life. And, continually provide professional financial advice to help others attain their life goals so that they can live healthier, longer, and better lives.
As the Chief Customer and Digital Officer of AIA Singapore, I lead the division in charge of strengthening the Customer, Brand, Health and Wellness propositions, advancing the enterprise-wide Analytics capabilities and usage, and accelerating the delivery of an integrated Digital experience across Customers and Distribution.
I like to exercise as a form of stress relief and to clear the mind. I try to make time to jog at least twice, cycle and swim once a week. As part of my exercising adventure of testing new limits, I have done a few marathons and the Oxfam Trail walker, which I am grateful to be able to complete the 100km terrain as a team of 4 within the time limit. It was intensive and the most difficult walk I ever did but an extraordinary adventure that pushed my limits, mentally and physically. I thought I was mad to be doing it while at the event but felt some fulfilment for a few weeks thereafter.
When Singapore entered the "circuit breaker" period, like many others, I needed to find ways of dealing with the social isolation, both physically and mentally. Together with some girlfriends via the Houseparty app, I started to do 45-60 minutes of Tabata or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It started with 2 persons as a fun activity that became an everyday affair for nearly 9 months. At the peak, we had over 10 of us doing the session together which was great followship. The first few days were tough, as different set of muscles building were involved. When my overall wellness improved, I was more alert and focused. I also gained the confidence to continue this pace no matter how busy my schedule is. I never knew I could have the will and stamina to exercise every day, but I could, and so can you if we start small, persist, and enjoy the process.
Recently, I started to find some satisfaction doing long hikes and walks to explore the nature trails around. My longest local hike was 7 hours, covering 33KM from the northeast Singapore to the central area.
I am thankful to have colleagues who are also game for walking meetings as part of my everyday fitness journey. I am glad to have this small positive impact on them, inspiring them to live healthier, longer, better lives.
Several years ago, Jacqueline Wee suffered a bad fall. The painful sprain to her ankle took her by surprise – but not as much as the knock at her door that followed.
Standing on her doorstep was the young son of one of her long-term clients, there to fetch Jacqueline to his mum's place so she could be bandaged and looked after. "The visitor was unexpected," Jacqueline says. "But his kindness wasn't."
After 25 years of caring deeply for the health and wellness of her clients, Jacqueline has seen first-hand how care gets passed on. It journeys through communities, across generations, and even occasionally, back to her.
"We often think one little positive action doesn't count for much," she says. "But the ripple effect of lots of little actions has a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of countless lives."
I started my career in the life insurance industry as a Financial Services Consultant . In the early days of my career, I didn't really think much about the role, as I saw it as just another job. But my first claim experience completely changed the way I viewed the role I play and the importance of being adequately protected.
It started with a protection plan that I recommended to a young couple. I was their FSC throughout several life stages, from getting married to buying a house. I'd typically receive regular calls from the couple, sharing updates about how excited they are to build a family together. One day, one of these calls took a somber turn. The husband's usual cheery voice had an unfamiliar tone of anguish, as he informed me about losing his wife due to a pregnancy complication and needed help with the relevant insurance claims.
I took care of the claims as fast as I could. While I couldn't do much else to ease his pain, I was glad that I was able to provide him with some relief in the form of payouts to cover expenses incurred when his wife was ill.
This experience left me profoundly rooted in this meaningful industry ever since, which I stayed on for close to 30 years (and counting). We're not in the business of simply selling insurance, we play an important part in supporting people to get through the good and bad times, while also enabling them to live healthier, longer, better lives.
I am a firm believer in enabling positive work-life choices, as this gives me a reason to wake up and get excited about what lies ahead, for life and my career. Having an extremely busy schedule at work doesn't stop me from making me-time, as it is crucial to keep myself physically and mentally fit so that I can do more for others.
Deeply passionate about fitness, I start most of my mornings with an exercise routine to keep fit as it helps me to stay focus and refreshed throughout the day. I go to the gym about three times a week, and I try to squeeze in at least one quick run a week. I put a hard stop at work on most evenings to ensure I spend quality time with my family over dinner. While weekends are focused on myself and bonding with my loved ones such as going to the supermarket to buy groceries with my daughters, playing golf with my husband or simply going on a walk together.
I champion this balance to ensure that I am better placed to inspire others, in fulfilling AIA's brand promise of enabling healthier, longer, better lives.
At AIA, it's always people first. For a company that's all about enabling healthier, longer, better lives, we have to first make sure this lifestyle is exemplified by our people. When we have happy staff, they'll be inspired to do their best everyday as one AIA family. I'm very grateful to have an amazing team of colleagues who never fail to inspire me to do better every day.
On top of this, I love my job because we are in the position to help and inspire many people lead healthier, longer, and better lives, and there's a genuine spirit of shared goals amongst our AIA teams that feed our collective hunger to improve people's lives. I am definite that our participation across the AIA markets will inspire One Billion people by 2030 to embrace healthier lifestyles and drive positive health outcomes.
As an AIA financial services director, I lead a team of more than 70 people and, I am also a member of the Agency Leaders Management Association product committee that works together with the AIA team to co-create compelling solutions to meet the evolving needs of customers.
Back in 2017 to 2019, I recalled neglecting my health because I was busy with work. I was promoted to an agency management position and was juggling sales, recruitment and managing a team which cause me to pay less attention to my health. I was constantly indulging in unhealthy food and exercising was not part of my daily routine. Because of this, I gained so much weight and my health was impacted. I was obese, felt breathless easily, had high cholesterol as well as high blood pressure and, often felt tired throughout the day. I was also unhappy with how I looked like late 40 years old when I was only 35 and had low self-esteem.
The birth of my twin boys was the turning point. I wanted to be a healthy father who could be there and grow with them. After the boys turned 1 month old, I took up high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training at a studio. Tough at the beginning, I was determined. I feel healthy and am more confident of myself now. My comrades have been inspired by my 'makeover' and have also joined me on HIIT workouts. This has brought us closer as a team and, also helped us become more self-discipline.
It is about making the right choices, finding the right reason and motivation, and you will instantly carry through your action to achieve your goal no matter how difficult it may be.
I am a father of two beautiful children and have been a Personal Wealth Manager with AIA Singapore for more than 5 years. Being in this profession since 2016, I am passionate about protecting lives - providing people with quality financial advice, so that they can remain adequately covered through their lives.
In May 2021, I injured my knee while I was playing futsal with my colleague. Unfortunately, I tore my meniscus and had to undergo a knee operation to fix the tear. Thereafter, I was unable to hit the gym or jog daily which I used to do before this unfortunate event happened. My mobility was impacted during the 6 months of recovery and as a result, I had put on a considerable amount of weight during the period which affected my physical health and mental wellbeing.
During the first 4 to 5 months of my recovery, I underwent physiotherapy to rebuild the strength in my knees. After that, I started to swim casually. Subsequently, I was able to do 10 laps, 3 times weekly to regain my stamina and build on my fitness momentum. Now, I am able to get back to the gym and do light weight-lifting and brisk walk on a treadmill. My health is still a 'work in progress'. Slowly but surely, I am confident that I will be able to re-gain my pre-surgery self and get my fitness back to where it was, if not better.
Recovering from a knee surgery amidst the endemic COVID-19 was not easy. Since resuming my exercises, I feel more relaxed, my mental wellness and ability to focus has also improved.
My experience has reinforced that we should be adequately covered so that when an unfortunate event occurs, you can focus on your recovery without having to worry about the medical bills, living expenses or financially burdening your loved ones. In my case, even though I injured my knees I was able to focus on recovery without worrying about the medical bills that resulted from my operation and physiotherapy sessions. I also learnt that no matter what is happening around us; it could be Covid or other future variants, or generally just other unforeseen issues, it is important to be in good health and make it a priority take good care of ourselves - physically and mentally. Exercising really helps, especially doing an exercise you enjoy such as cycling, swimming, jogging etc. and inspiring your family and friends alike, positively influencing each other to live healthier, longer, better lives!
In 2017, I experienced a series of unexplained dramatic weight loss, frequent hunger, and insatiable thirst, amongst other symptoms. I thought it was merely a case of food poisoning. However, my health took a bad turn when I almost fainted and was rushed to the emergency room. It was then, that I was told I had Diabetic Ketoacidosis and later diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening, This happens when your body does not have enough insulin to use sugar for energy and your body would break down fat for energy, which causes your body to release high amounts of ketones. This causes your blood to turn acidic, damaging nerve endings. This causes extreme stress to your heart and kidneys and damages your eyesight.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease, which can only be managed through regular injections of insulin through your life. Since then, I require 2 to 5 insulin injections per day, depending on my eating habits and my energy output or activity level. This would make me extra worried because if the injection was wrongly administered, it would have been another life-threatening thing.
When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I felt that I could no longer be in my best-self. This angered me, as drastic lifestyle changes had to be to ensure that my condition did not worsen. I was in denial, because I was not ready to handle this unfortunate event, and spiralled into a period of depression. It was after almost 2 years that I accepted this lifelong disease and picked myself up by nursing back my health, while also channelling my focus to helping others in need.
For the past 5 years, I've been working hard on my fitness to build up my physical resilience to overcome diabetes fatigue or burnout. Also, being stronger and healthier, it would cushion any impact that comes my way. CrossFit has been an integral part of my health journey for the past 1.5 years and I am part of the community that binds and encourages each other to do better through this high-intensity fitness programme. This year, I will be competing in my first CrossFit Open as a Diabetic Athlete against more than 300,000 athletes from around the world. I feel I am at the fittest point in my life now. Through this, I have also built on my mental resilience, which has fortified my will power and determination in everyday situations, be it work, personal or in seeking treatments. I've learnt to not give up and to keep trying.
Being the only diabetic amongst all my friends and family, they are often curious about my condition and how I cope with this life-long chronic illness because I always look fit. Through these conversations, I am delighted to be able to inspire others to understand the importance of being in good health and how they should always prioritise their health and wellness. And, what motivates me further is the positive influence I have on them as they too have taken actions to lead more active lifestyles after my sharing.
Being a Financial Consultant who has Type 1 Diabetes, my experience has allowed me to do my job even better. As a beneficiary of insurance and I am no longer eligible for it; this has made me realise how crucial it is for people to be adequately protected than before. I feel the intense need to reach out to more people to enable them to live healthier, longer, better lives, by helping them better plan and manage their risk portfolio, ensuring they are well covered for any expected events.