Leading insurance industry CEOs on both sides of the Atlantic, led by Hamilton Insurance Group Chairman and CEO Brian Duperreault, hosted an international Town Hall webinar that attracted over one thousand participants in the US, Canada, Bermuda and the United Kingdom.
The Town Hall was designed to encourage young insurance professionals already working in the industry to lend their support to the Insurance Careers Movement, a cross-industry, multi-phased initiative that kicked off with Insurance Careers Month in February 2016.
A spokesperson said, “The Insurance Careers Movement aims to raise awareness of career opportunities in the risk management and insurance profession, as well as support efforts to recruit the next generation of industry leaders.
“The initiative was developed in response to data that indicate a looming talent crisis in the US insurance industry, with 400,000 positions becoming vacant in four years. In addition, the sector in general suffers from a lack of diversity and little interest among high school and university students as a potential career.
“Following an introduction by Kirstin Marr, Chief Marketing Officer of Valen Analytics, one of the Insurance Careers Movement’s founding organizations, Mr. Duperreault told young professionals participating in the Town Hall that it’s ironic that the industry has recruiting challenges just when it’s at its most exciting.”
“With the sharing economy, technological advances and associated emerging risks, this is a brave new world of insurance,” said Mr. Duperreault. “But without a full court, industry-wide press, events will overtake action. We’ll be facing gaps in management and new talent that make it difficult, if not impossible, to meet the needs of the digital world we’re living in.
“So we need you. You’ve already chosen a career in insurance. Yours is the best voice for your peers to hear. ”
Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale noted that social purpose had kept her in the industry for nearly 35 years.
“This continues to drive me today,” said Ms. Beale. “I have found it to be an incredibly rewarding career and I have seen first-hand the huge impact it has on business, communities and economies when the worst happens. “
XL Catlin CEO Mike McGavick stressed his company’s commitment to diversity, saying, “The notion is pretty simple.
“The more minds, representing the greatest possible set of viewpoints, the more likely the chance for the next great innovation, and the better we will all serve our clients and partners.”
President of Marsh, John Doyle, described the effects that big data and distribution disruption were having in creating significant career opportunities.
“It’s a race between innovation for established companies and distribution for start-ups,” said Mr. Doyle. “Young professionals looking for a start-up environment are finding true innovation and entrepreneurial drive within traditional insurance firms as well as with start-ups that are pushing the industry forward.”
President and CEO of Argo Group, Mark E. Watson III, reminded webinar participants that there’s something for everyone in the insurance industry.
“Whether you’re interested in being a data scientist, an IT developer, a lawyer, or you’re really good at sales and marketing, basically we’ve got cool opportunities for you,” said Mr. Watson. “There are hundreds and thousands of job opportunities, and you couldn’t pick a better time right now.
“If you’re kind of person that’s really thoughtful, creative, innovative, likes to different things every day, and is up for a challenge, you couldn’t pick a better place to be than the insurance business around the world right now.”
“The heads of a number of key industry associations, who are supporting the Insurance Careers Movement, also participated in today’s webinar, including Bob Rusbuldt, President and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, who cited some of the demographic statistics associated with the US insurance industry, saying, “25% of insurance industry personnel will be within 5-10 years of retirement by 2018; 60% of current insurance professionals are over the age of 45 and looking to retire over the next 15 years,” said Mr. Rusbuldt.
June Holmes, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, who acknowledged the industry’s need to change its image:
“Our industry has a rich history of helping families rebuild after a tragedy. Insurers provide peace of mind to homeowners and motorists, and helping injured workers in their time of need. There’s no question we need to tell our story better, and highlight all the good we do to help policyholders and the economy. We hope you’ll join us in this effort by being a champion of this movement” said Holmes.
Peter Miller, President and CEO of The Institutes, who called on young insurance professionals to accept the mantle of leadership in helping to sustain the industry’s growth and development:
“It has only been through the dedicated efforts of young leaders that insurance and risk management became a profession at all. They helped create college risk management departments, they conducted research to improve the science behind our field, and many organizations are looking to break out of the perception of insurance careers solely being sales and claims positions. These ideas have transformed our industry.
“We’re looking for all of you to be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Mr. Miller.
Greg Jacobson, Co-CEO of The Jacobson Group, who noted the global career opportunities represented by insurance:
“Due to demographic shifts, there are few industries that can offer the pace of career growth that insurance can. All of this in an industry that offers jobs in virtually every corner of the real and virtual world; from the rural Midwest, to financial centers like London, New York and Munich; and reinsurance capitals like Bermuda.
“And if working from home is your thing, the industry is rapidly becoming a virtual network of workers from around the world,” said Mr. Jacobson.
Three young professionals currently working in the industry were chosen from thousands of employees to participate in the webinar. They were:
Tijana Richards, Vice President, Marsh Global Analytics, who described the path she’s taken and told her peers: “What’s valued the most is eagerness, courage and capability to learn and adapt. Anybody with these skills can find their career in insurance, in any field, anywhere on the globe.”
Ben Thomas, Audit Executive, Delegated Authorities Division, Lloyd’s, said, “The opportunities to continue educating and developing yourself personally are endless, and with hard work and commitment to the industry, climbing the corporate ladder is certainly achievable within a variety of roles and departments.”
Lissette Delgado, Agent and Office Manager, JVS Insurance Agency, who advised, “When I was growing up, I had an impression that insurance professionals were old people who knock on doors with their briefcases in their hand and I was completely wrong.
“We have a stigma and it’s one of the reasons why I like working directly with young professionals like me. There’s so much more to it than carrying around a briefcase.”
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