Insurance industry must work harder to match skillset with clients’ changing needs

Marsh McLennan prepares for Rising Professionals event to showcase the industry’s diverse career opportunities

The lightning speed at which the global risk landscape is changing means insurers must diversify and deepen their talent pools, according to Vicky Carter, chair of Guy Carpenter’s Global Capital Solutions and deputy chair at Lloyd’s, as the broker prepares for this year’s Marsh McLennan Rising Professionals event.

To keep pace with their buyers’ future needs, Carter told Commercial Risk that talent must be a priority for the insurance industry, starting with attracting the right talent and then identifying and growing necessary skills for the future.

“We need to continue to attract the best and most diverse talent. Skillset requirements will be very different in the future compared to today. For example, we might need more coders, more data analysts. It shouldn’t be something we think about every five years, but something we are continually thinking about and delivering on,” Carter said.

“As an industry, we need to continue to attract the best talent, across all types of diverse capabilities and skills. We also need to be much better at doing more for the talent that we have within our sector,” she added.

This is the driving force behind Marsh McLennan’s Rising Professionals’ Global Forum, a sell-out event taking place in London next week. Over the course of two days, the industry’s talent is invited to hear from experts within and outside the sector, to widen their view on risk and the diverse potential for their own careers.

“This is an industry where you can really innovate,” Carter said. “We are at the centre of everything going on in the world, which is both powerful and inspiring for the next generation of industry leaders to learn more about.”

Under the theme of ‘Transforming chaos into opportunity’, the sessions focus on areas that the next generation are passionate about. Speakers drawn from outside the industry will offer a macro view of the world’s biggest challenges, with Professor Mike Berners-Lee, author of There’s No Planet B, headlining a session on climate change. Other sessions consider the future of medicine and pandemic risk, while a team from cyber insurer Coalition will share views on the future of cyber risk. There will also be a session on insurtechs and disruption.

Geopolitical risk is high on the agenda of global businesses and their insurers, and the event will look at the industry’s role in mitigating risks, with Marsh McLennan involved in setting up Ukraine’s grain corridor and post-war reconstruction initiatives.

“It’s an industry where we have the power to protect, the opportunity to innovate and the responsibility to shape a safer and more successful industry for everyone,” said Carter.

Drawing on her own experience, Carter has recognised the need to foster rising talent in the industry, something that was missing in her early career. “When I started in the sector, there was nothing to bring young people who entered the sector together and give them an insight into what was going on across the entire industry,” she said.

The seed for the Rising Professionals’ event was sown back in 2012, when Guy Carpenter was looking to do more for its younger employees. Carter said the event quickly grew from a gala evening for young people in the industry to socialise and network to a full two-day forum where companies are invited to send their talent to inspire and foster diverse careers within the industry.

It is also an opportunity for senior management and CEOs to get to know their growing talent. Executives will attend to host tables – bringing maximum capacity to 1,000 attendees – and join the evening dinner and entertainment.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) work across the insurance industry over recent years has helped to create the right cultural environment to attract new and younger talent. Carter said companies are now more aware of the link between diversity at board level and corporate success.

“D&I is a critical part of corporate culture and a key component of any organisation’s governance strategy. Making sure the culture is right can be hugely important to the success of the company but also in attracting talent. One of the things young people are really interested in is the culture within your company,” Carter explained.

“If you fish from the same pools, you get the same fish. We need to be open to how the industry will transform over the next few years and what skillsets will be required,” she added. “If you bring in a wider skillset, you bring in greater intellectual capital and more diverse opinions, which can only be positive.”

Future clients will be looking for their insurers and brokers to leverage data and information to become faster and more efficient, and the industry must keep their client’s changing needs front of mind, Carter said. “The client is at the centre of everything we do. Everything we think about should be client focused,” she said.

Back to top button