23 December 2016News

Shortage of talent will be a problem in 2017, say reinsurance execs in year-in-review

A potentially chronic shortage of talent could become increasingly apparent in the re/insurance industry in 2017 and the industry must find ways of recruiting from a broader talent pool, according to Bermuda executives asked to describe what will be the pertinent topics of 2017.

As 2016 drew to a close, Bermuda:Re+ILS asked a number of re/insurance executives for their opinions on the most important developments in the re/insurance industry in 2016 and what they expect to see in 2017. The full range of comments from these executives can be  read here.

A number identified the lack of incoming talent as an issue and argued this may start to have an impact on Bermuda in 2017.

Arthur Wightman, insurance leader of PwC Bermuda, and Matthew Britten, insurance partner at the firm, noted that PwC research has shown that 70 percent of global insurance CEOs see limited availability of key skills as a real threat to their growth prospects.

‘Expanding the pool of people from which insurers can recruit talent by promoting diversity is crucial. Executives are clear that they want greater diversity. Clients and employees expect it,’ they said. ‘But while progress is being made, there’s still a big gulf between management’s intentions and the reality for many people working within insurance.’

They said that while the industry is doing reasonably well in attracting high-quality female talent, PwC research points to insurance as being one of the least popular industries for female millennials looking for work, with 13 percent saying they wouldn’t work in insurance because of its image.

‘The primary challenge appears to be that while many talented women enter the industry, the industry is not compelling them to stay,’ they said.

However, Kathleen Reardon, CEO of Hamilton Re, said that the talent gap could also be regarded as an opportunity.

‘With a looming talent gap in the US, and the increasing dominance of the millennial demographic, global markets have an exciting opportunity to truly diversify their workforces,’ she said.

‘The Insurance Careers Movement, led by Hamilton Insurance Group chairman and CEO Brian Duperreault, and supported by XL Catlin CEO Mike McGavick and Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale, among other industry leaders, has raised awareness of the pressing need to improve the industry’s image and promote the industry’s many career opportunities.

‘I believe this initiative will hit a tipping point in 2017, creating a momentum that will transform recruiting, hiring and talent development policies.’

Senior executives from companies including PwC, Brit, the ABIR, Hamilton Re, Hiscox Re and the Bermuda Monetary Authority participated in the examination of 2016 and look forward to 2017. To read the full transcript of their thoughts and comments, please  click here.