The Chartered Insurance Institute has reached out into Asia to provide specialist financial services training and education to professionals in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, which is part of the CII, said the institute has a "strong partner relationship" with the insurance and financial services market in Bangladesh, which he said was "expanding fast".
Earlier this year he visited the country, speaking with heads of the regulators and the minister of finance, to discuss a "raising of standards" on advice as the country, along with many others, moves away from insurance-based savings products and address some of the challenges in bringing higher professional standards to bear on advisers.
He said the meeting was carried out to continue building the CII's presence in the region after the launch of a CII training institute called Professional Advancement Bangladesh Limited a few years ago.
He said: "Insurance and financial services is set to grow across the region and the visit was also aimed at creating a better relationship with government, regulators and educational organisations."
During the visit Mr Richards had one-on-one meetings with Bangladesh's minister of state, minister of finance and the chief executive of the financial services regulator, as well as addressing hundreds of students at two of the country’s top universities, and leaders from across the market.
He said: "The three-day visit culminated in a ‘think tank’ roundtable attended by the chief executives of the main insurance companies, minister of state and chairman of the regulatory authority, which was held at the main national newspaper's head office.
"The CII/PFS was subsequently requested to submit a proposal to support government reform and help to raise professional standards to address public trust perceptions, as well as changing young people’s perceptions to attract new talent and meet growing demand, otherwise stifled by a skills shortage."
The Bangladesh government secured funding from the World Bank and visited the CII’s office in London at the end of October to progress plans. While in the UK additional meetings were arranged by the CII/PFS with the FCA, Lloyds of London and other key organisations.
Mr Richards added: "The impact of the initial visit and speed of follow up was unexpected but at the same time we are honoured that our brand and the reputation of the UK market is so positive internationally."
Meanwhile, Mr Richards - who is also director of engagement for the CII - and colleague Sainesh Dar, regional corporate development director for the CII, met organisations in India to establish the CII's position as a "leading influencer in the Indian insurance profession".
In Indonesia, the CII signed a collaboration agreement with the Association of Indonesian Qualified Insurance and Reinsurance brokers, which is the first ever contract between the CII and an institute in Indonesia.
An agreement has also been made between the CII and the Ahliasuransi Learning Centre (AALC) which is a training company in Indonesia. The latest newsletter from the PFS said: "AALC will develop young professionals from insurance practitioners in Indonesia with specialist insurance training, technical knowledge and professional standards."