[KS] the culture of death and life insurance markets in Korea

Joshua Margolis josh at joshuamargolis.com
Wed Oct 24 12:18:40 EDT 2007

I checked the English offering circular for the Bichumi MBS transaction that
Samsung Life had done a few years ago (since life insurance companies tend
to generate long-dated liabilities, they hedge the risk by putting on
long-tenored assets such as home mortgages) but the description of the
company's actual history and life insurance business is quite brief. There
is some information available in Korean on the websites of the major life
insurers, including corporate histories and product descriptions. Since the
life insurance industry is regulated by the Financial Supervisory Service,
there should also be financial information available via their online
statistical database (available in both Korean
(http://fisis.fss.or.kr/index.html) and English
(http://efisis.fss.or.kr/index.html)), which can also be downloaded into
Excel. This information may be useful in determining the size and growth
trends of the industry. The annual financial statements of the companies
(http://dart.fss.or.kr or at the individual companies' websites) may also be
useful depending on the specific information your student is looking for --
not just the numbers themselves but also the footnotes and external
auditor's comments). Life Insurers’ IR departments may also be willing to
provide some information and contact information can, again, be obtained
from the major insurers’ websites. Finally, searching “생명보험” on Kyobo’s
website (http://www.kyobobooks.co.kr) also produces a lot of hits, some of
which are directly relevant to the product description below.

On 10/24/07 8:30 AM, "Namhee Lee" <namhee at chwe.net> wrote:

> Dear colleagues:
> I have an undergrad student who is currently involved in a research
> project at UCLA who needs help in locating materials related to the
> culture of death and life insurance market in South Korea.  I have
> pasted below her project description and the more specific area where
> she needs help.
> Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
>> Project Title: Culture, Death, and Life Insurance
>> Project Description: Life insurance is a peculiar commercial
>> commodity that
>> puts a price on priceless human life. When being introduced to a
>> population,
>> it always faces strong cultural resistance. This project compares
>> how life
>> insurance markets emerged in Japan and China, where the topic of
>> death is a
>> cultural taboo. Data collection for the Chinese case is already
>> completed.
>> What is needed is information about the formation of the life
>> insurance
>> market in Korea and Japan.  Also other relevant materials,
>> including the
>> history and the development of the Korean and Japanese life insurance
>> market, the culture of death in Korea and Japan, the welfare
>> institutions in
>> Korea and Japan. Information about other East Asian life insurance
>> markets,
>> such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand may be needed.
> Thank you,
> Namhee Lee
> Assistant Professor
> Asian Languages & Cultures
> 290 Royce Hall
> Box 951540, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
> Mailcode: 154003
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