Post–World War II Rejuvenation and Transformation

Feng Bangyan and Nyaw Mee Kau

in Enriching Lives

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028702
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206946 | DOI:
Post–World War II Rejuvenation and Transformation

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The war nearly destroyed a century of painstaking effort among British firms in Hong Kong and China. The colony's insurance sector was not spared the havoc. In face of imminent invasion, foreign insurers made plans to suspend business and retreat from Hong Kong. In January 1941, Union Insurance moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Sydney, as well as Canton Insurance. The relocation decision had been approved by the board of directors only a year before. In hindsight, the board's chairman, J. Dickson Leach, affirmed that this decision helped save the company. Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Company, once Union's primary source of re-insurance business from Japan, stepped up as agent for the company in Hong Kong. The insurance sector ground to a halt. In August 1945, the Japanese surrendered and the war ended. Hong Kong's postwar economy recovered, and businesses flourished. This ushered in a new phase in the development of the insurance industry.

Keywords: Hong Kong; China; foreign insurers; Union Insurance; Sydney; Canton Insurance; J. Dickson Leach; Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance; insurance industry; Japan

Chapter.  9287 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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