The difference between IA Responsible Officer(RO) and technical representative (TR)

June 30, 2021

Regulatory Organisation

 

Before explaining the difference between Responsible Officer and Technical Representative, you must first know that there is only one regulatory agency that regulates companies engaging in insurance business: the Insurance Authority (IA). All the powers concerning licensing matters, supervision tasks, sanctions and investigations of intermediaries of insurance intermediaries, insurance companies and insurance brokers fall on the Insurance Authority. 

 

Responsible Officer 

 

Insurance businesses that require licensing can be divided into three categories: general business, long-term business (excluding investment-linked), and long-term business (including investment-linked). If an insurance company or an insurance broker firm wants to conduct these businesses, they must appoint at least one Responsible Officer (RO) as a senior manager to supervise the operation of such activities as well as monitor whether employees are legally compliant. This position was formerly known as Chief Executive (CE). Each RO can be responsible for more than 1 business. In other words, if an insurance company sells both general insurance and long-term insurance, they need to arrange at least one person who holds or is eligible to apply for general and long-term business licenses to be a responsible officer and supervise the two businesses at the same time.

 

However, before you want to become the responsible officer of an insurance company or a brokerage firm, there are certain conditions that must be met. Assuming a person has no previous experience in being a responsible officer within an insurance or insurance brokerage firm, but now wishes to become a responsible officer; he/she then needs to meet the requirements of certain academic qualifications and work experience. The minimum academic qualification required to become a responsible officer is to hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or higher education institution. As for work experience, prospective applicants must have at least 5 years of relevant insurance business work experience, of which 2 years must have experience in managing subordinates. Such work experience does not necessarily need to be obtained in Hong Kong, and overseas experience can be recognized as long as sufficient proof can be provided.

 

What is a licensed representative/ Technical Representative

 

In licensed corporations and registered institutions, employees who are not responsible or in charge of supervisory roles but need to obtain licenses to conduct regulated activities are called Technical Representatives (Rep).

 

How to find the IA record to verify the identity of Responsible Officers/ Technical Representatives /independent agents?

 

You can visit Insurance Authority’s Register of Licensed Insurance Intermediaries (Individual)

  1. Link: https://iir.ia.org.hk/#/search/individual
  2. Enter their full name in Chinese or English, or license number
  3. Enter verification code (Captcha code)
  4. Search 
  5. The fifth column from left to right displays the license type of the licensee. Click the row to display more information

 

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