Chartered Insurance Institute marketing guru Freddie Hospidales told the US's top insurance women this week to learn about European culture and how to run companies – or face extinction.

Speaking by live satellite link to 940 delegates of the National Association of Insurance Women, Hospidales said the US was too insular.

"Americans are not great at understanding cultures outside the US," he said. He told them to think globally and use the expertise that existed outside the US, such as at Lloyd's and in the London market. Don't fear European companies moving into the US as it presented opportunities not threats, he warned.

And he flagged up that many US insurance companies were already being run by lawyers, accountants and marketing people. He said it was vital that insurers learn these skills to please the stock markets as insurance companies should be run by insurance people.