CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The annual Insurance Careers Movement (ICM) Town Hall took place February 1st, 2018. Co-hosted by A.M. Best and ICM, the virtual event assembled industry luminaries from companies around the world such as AIG, Lloyds, Marsh and McLennan, Hamilton, Argo, Jacobson Group, Valen Analytics, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, the Insurance Information Institute and Gamma Iota Sigma.
The event kicked off the 3rd Annual Insurance Careers Month organized in collaboration with A.M. Best. Since 2016, February has been recognized as Insurance Careers Month by a variety of carriers, agents/brokers, trade associations and industry partners, who turned a once-a-year event into a substantial ongoing campaign: the Insurance Careers Movement. What started as a grassroots initiative to tackle the industry’s talent gap now includes more than 850 companies. More than 1,100 global professionals registered for this year’s event.
Brian Duperreault, president and CEO of American International Group (AIG), commenced the town hall, highlighting how he and many of his colleagues were initially surprised at the immense value they found by following insurance career paths. In an often overlooked and underrated field, Brian emphasized the importance of ICM in today’s employment environment:
“…I think we all find ourselves surprisingly in the insurance business. That’s just the nature of the beast. It’s a wonderful revelation. When you find out what this is really like, you had no idea. [Many of us] were lucky enough frankly to find this business… I think it’s incumbent upon us, and that’s part of this whole careers movement, to get the word out, to explain to others how good this really is. We have such great material, such a great story to tell. We’ve got to tell it.”
Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London, added to the discussion with a focus on the importance of diversity in the industry:
“Diversity to me is all about tapping into the best and brightest talent, whoever they are, wherever they come from. We want a whole sort of melting pot of different types of people… In order for us to be competitive and to be very successful going forward, we've got to have our employees more and more reflecting our customer base. Therefore, you understand their needs. You can communicate in the same language as they communicate with you. Importantly, you have a much better understanding and rapport.”
Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh and McLennan, offered that the purpose of the industry should not be lost when recruiting younger generations:
“When we talk about the purpose of the industry, it’s very powerful. When I think about insurance, there are really two major functions. There’s a protection function to be sure, but there’s also an enabling function. Insurance offers freedom from the emotional and financial burden of loss but it also offers freedom for investment, innovation and the creation of value… It’s a very noble purpose.”
Pina Albo, CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group, highlighted the role that diversity will play in attracting a younger workforce to the field:
“When we are looking at adding to the mix and shaping the future, we are looking at this broader diverse pool. At the end of the day, you have to understand this industry is aging. We have a number of jobs that are going to become open in this industry in the next 10 years. Apart from that, you have a base of people, half the world is under 30-years-old. They’ve grown up in a diverse culture… Therefore, when they are looking to join an industry, they’re looking at an industry that’s going to embrace that as well.”
A variety of insurance leaders working to address the talent challenges also highlighted innovation in the industry and offered career advice for millennials starting out in insurance.
A.M. Best executive VP and chief operating officer Matt Mosher shared:
“Insurance is driven by… an enormous amount of information that’s available to power the analytics… But also the need that's out there, the changing coverages we heard about, all the different risks associated with cyber and driverless cars, and the need to lower the expense and how they deliver and service their customers… [these are] all things that will drive the innovation that the industry needs to stay relevant as they combat other areas that are taking risks as well.”
Argo senior vice president Andy Breen said:
“There's been a movement to have people learn coding skills… While universities are producing people with that skill set… it's not always the best path for an underwriter. A key skill set is analytic skills… because we deal with volumes of data and new types of data that people need to feel empowered by, not intimidated by.”
Jacobson Group co-chief executive officer Greg Jacobson explained:
“There are characteristics that are going to be important for the next generation of insurance professionals. Some of those are going to be creativity, problem solving, ability to develop people, ability to think critically, and to lead. All of these things are going to be required and none of them can be replaced by machines.”
Valen Analytics CMO Kirstin Marr added:
“Insurance is one of the hottest tech spaces around. Over 5 billion dollars have been invested in venture capital money or reinsurer money into insuretech or insurance technology startups in the last few years. You compare that to just 2010, it was only 85 million dollars… This is the place to be in terms of technology talent. It’s about telling a story and it’s about moving the culture forward in organizations, to make this an exciting place that people are going to flock to.”
IICF CEO Bill Ross stated:
“Millennials can help drive… cultural change to bring about a new way of thinking about insurance both in the working environment and the products themselves. As a new individual considering employment I would stop for a moment and say, what is going to excite you? Learn about the industry, understand its complexities but also look at its opportunities… If you just take that moment to look at insurance, you’ll find there are many opportunities and many exciting experiences that you can follow.”
III President and CEO Sean Kevelighan said of millennials:
“Get engaged, engage us directly on our websites… and explore the opportunities. Be open minded because chances are regardless of what you want to do in your career, insurance has an answer [and] a path.”
Gamma Iota Sigma executive director Noelle Codispoti explained:
“The negative stereotypes are usually what resonates with the students we are trying to attract. I think the positive qualities of millennials and the insurance industry line up so well, such as being team oriented, collaborative, technology-focused.”
Full videos of this year’s event can be found at http://www.ambest.tv/icm2018. The Insurance Careers Movement appreciates the strong partnership with A.M. Best on the Town Hall.
About Insurance Careers Month and Insurance Careers Movement
A collaborative of more than 850 insurance carriers, agents/brokers, trade associations and industry partners launched the Insurance Career Movement, beginning with the first-ever Insurance Careers Month in February 2016. Insurance Careers Movement is a cross-industry, multi-phased initiative designed to raise awareness of the dynamic career opportunities in the risk management and insurance profession and to recruit the next generation of industry leaders.
Hamilton Insurance Group; MyPath, powered by The Institutes; Valen Analytics; The Jacobson Group; InVEST; and PCI have designated each February for a month-long focus on careers in insurance. The campaign promotes insurance as "the career trifecta," a phrase chosen because it encapsulates the three key attributes of a job in insurance: it's stable, it's rewarding, and it's limitless. To learn more and get involved, visit: http://insurancecareertrifecta.org/
For ideas and resources to participate in Insurance Careers Month, go to InsuranceCareersTrifecta.org, and follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #InsuranceCareersMonth and #CareerTrifecta.