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Jul 2024

Mr Reynaldo de Dios, insurance pioneer, 1927-2024

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jun 2024

Insurance industry doyen and a founding editor of Asia Insurance Review, Mr Reynaldo de Dios has departed from the insurance stage, after over seven decades of purpose-driven service to the Philippines insurance industry and the region.
Mr de Dios entered the insurance sector when he was 21 and was a pioneer in everything he set his sights on. 
A trailblazer in the Philippines
Mr de Dios helped in the setting up of a life insurance company in the Philippines in 1960, followed by a non-life insurance company six years later.
He then went on to establish his own company providing insurance management consultancy services in 1964. Subsequently, its services expanded to include risk management and safety surveys.
He established the first private insurance training institute in the Philippines in 1968 and also organised the first National Conference on Insurance in Manila in 1972.
He founded Insurance Asia, the first insurance magazine for the region in 1970, which he also edited until 1990 when it was sold to Ins Communications, which was launching Asia Insurance Review.
A guiding light beyond his home country
Mr de Dios was so passionate about insurance that despite his frail condition and poor health, he would travel across the world in a wheelchair with an assistant in tow, to attend major insurance events. 
A man of integrity, wisdom and wit
Mr de Dios taught the rudiments of insurance through his Insurance Philippine publication which will remain a hallmark in the Philippines insurance industry. He was a patient listener and analytical and his prudent counsel was sought by industry leaders from around the world.

Some tributes to Mr de Dios – starting with his son, speaking on behalf of the family.
“In respect of his impressive career in the insurance industry, Pa had achieved so much and had unselfishly shared his expertise and wealth of knowledge such that many have benefitted in their own careers and look up to him to this day. His integrity, loyalty, brilliance and work ethic have inspired many to strive to follow his example. He had set such a high standard for himself and for others that he continues to inspire us to be the best that we can be.
He performed many acts of selfless and quiet service, always willing to provide a helping hand especially to the less fortunate and those that had fallen on hard times regardless of who those individuals were. He never forgot his humble beginnings and was always happy to share with others the many temporal and spiritual blessings he had received in his life.
More importantly, he had always strived to be the best husband and father he could possibly be despite the many family challenges, hectic work schedule and travels. He had set the example in being a loving husband to Ma and father to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was always there for us in both good and difficult times. We were truly blessed to have him as our dad and role model, and for that we will always be grateful.”
Marsh Canada senior vice president Reginald E DeDios

“Rey was my friend and business partner for over 50 years. His life spanned 96 years, during which he witnessed an extraordinary period of global change - from the roaring ‘20s in Shanghai where he was born, to today’s fast-paced digital world. Rey embraced and welcomed change. It was this that enabled him to remain at the forefront of his profession for over 70 years. Rey was a consummate networker and a tireless ambassador for the Philippines and the Philippine insurance market. His professional skills were underpinned with humility, integrity and infectious good humour that put all those he met instantly at their ease. A man for all seasons who will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.”
Asia Affinity CEO Graham Clark

“Ronnie’s wealth of knowledge about the Philippine insurance industry is unmatched even amongst the CEOs of the biggest insurance firms in the country. However, this is not what makes Ronnie a respected figure. Rather, it is his unsurpassed dedication to an industry that has evolved and grown tremendously in the years past. Ronnie had also become, through his publication, Insurance Philippines, the chronicler of momentous insurance events in the Philippines. When I was named insurance commissioner in 2016, he was a regular visitor to my office. Already in his 90s, you could sense his boundless energy and enthusiasm. You could not but notice the aura of positivity in him. I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have of him. Ronnie will be greatly missed.”
Philippines insurance commissioner 2016-2023 Dennis Funa

“I’ve known Rey for roughly 25 years, which isn’t really long in comparison to his almost a century-lasting life span. When I heard the news of his passing away, it filled my heart with great sadness.
Ronnie had a passion for our industry which is matchless. The Philippine General Insurance Summit was unthinkable without Rey’s fervent curation … even when he exceeded normal retirement age by more than 20 years! I last welcomed him as a special guest to our 2019 SIRC. He made this trip despite his obvious fragility. But his puissant mindset gave him the wings to attend our conference one last time. We put him into row one. This is where you belong, dear friend. RIP.”
Singapore Reinsurers’ Association chair Marc Haushofer

“I had the privilege of crossing paths with Reynaldo for the first time at the EAIC 2006 Bandar Seri Begawan Conference. As a junior executive, attending such a grand international event left me feeling out of my element. However, Reynaldo who spotted me, his eyes twinkling with warmth, a genuine smile adorning his face, and a treasure trove of captivating stories from his own remarkable adventures. From that moment forward, our paths continued to intersect at every subsequent EAIC conference I attended. Reynaldo was a beacon of boundless energy and unparalleled passion for the insurance industry. His enthusiasm was infectious, and his wealth of knowledge was a constant source of inspiration for me.”
Hong Kong Federation of Insurers CEO Selina Lau

“Reynaldo A De Dios (RAD) played a significant role in the insurance industry particularly in advancing the life insurance sector through his publication, Insurance Philippines magazine. His notable contributions have left a lasting impact that continues to resonate to this day. Although Philippine Life Insurance Association was not fortunate to work closely with RAD, his memory will be cherished and will forever serve as our guiding principle. We will not forget his remarkable achievements and will always remember and celebrate him. Thank you, and may his legacy continue to inspire and uplift us all.”
Sun Life Grepa and Philippine Life Insurance Association president Richard Lim

“Rey was a genuine, kind and welcoming person with such a passion for the insurance business. No matter where our paths crossed, Rey was always the first person to greet me and engage in a discussion. I am fortunate to have known him across the decades and I was always happy to see his friendly face and warm and welcoming smile whenever we did meet. I know there are many across the APAC region who learned from Rey and benefited from his industry expertise and that legacy will continue to live on.”
AIG Japan Holdings, AIG General Insurance Company president and CEO James Nash

“With profound gratitude, the Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific (IIAP) commemorates the life of a luminary whose unwavering commitment has profoundly shaped the insurance landscape. Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, his indefatigable spirit remained undiminished as he steadfastly attended industry gatherings, a testament to his enduring passion. His legacy, epitomised by the Philippine Insurance Summit, stands as a beacon of his vision and dedication. Entrusting its continuation to the IIAP, he bestowed a profound honour. Moreover, his invaluable gift of 38 years’ worth of Insurance Philippines magazines embodies his lifelong devotion. In return, we pledge to uphold his legacy, ensuring that his contributions endure as we mourn the loss of a remarkable leader whose impact shall forever resonate.”
Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific executive director Francis Papa

“RAD was someone I looked up to for so many years. I emailed him in July 2022 with a proposal. ‘Would you be interested to publish a book called The Insurance Commission: A Decade of History Told Through Speeches’? He replied “Yes, I am interested”, We met only twice for the book planning and thereafter communicated mostly through emails. He was 95 then, but he was clearly and amazingly in control of the whole process. He called the shots. Within a few months, we had our books.”
Insurance Commission Philippines reinsurance division Maria Angelita Rufin

“Mr Ronnie de Dios was the first industry partner to visit me when I became Nat Re’s president and CEO in 2018. He was already in a wheelchair, and I had to hold him up when we took a picture in my office. Though he had physical limitations, his mind was strong and powerful and his dedication and passion for the insurance industry remained utmost. We will be forever grateful for his invaluable and decades-long contributions to the insurance industry. On behalf of Nat Re, we honour the life of Ronnie and commit to upholding his legacy.”
National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines president and CEO Allan Santos

“He was undeniably a true expert of insurance and risk management, an accomplished writer, a charismatic producer of blockbuster conferences, and a dedicated family man. A man of many talents, and equally, a man of virtue. Mr Reynaldo A De Dios. We honour his memory with gratitude for his immense contribution to the insurance industry. You will be missed, Sir!”
Malayan Insurance senior vice president and chief underwriting officer Denden Tesoro
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