David Carr, managing director general insurance senior appointments at recruitment specialists IDEX Consulting, looks at current trends in insurance recruitment

David carr idex

At IDEX Consulting we have recently noticed some significant changes in the UK and European insurance market. New businesses are being launched by individuals moving on from bigger businesses and creating new enterprises. For example, we have placed a team from one of the major brokers into a new venture that is private equity backed. The volume of available roles has also dramatically increased across the board, resulting in a marked rise in average salary deals.

New MGAs/brokers are being launched on what seems like a weekly basis, which is resulting in new opportunities for individuals that are connected to revenue. We advise our candidates to stay close to their customer and to keep in touch with their clients to add value to their business. Long gone are the ‘account manager’ roles or demand for such a skill-set: the key is business development and client control from both sides of the industry.

If you are attached to revenue there is significant demand for your skill-set. The London market has seen a number of individuals bought out of their covenants and joining smaller/independent businesses where they have further control and autonomy. On the other side, we advise our clients to recognise this change and simplify internal structures and red tape to allow their employees to get on with their job.

In our recent Account Executive report, 67% of the UK’s account executives said they believe that they will move on within the next five years – a pretty staggering statistic for a broker market that may lose half of its income generators. So a question for the industry is surely: What is being done to keep these individuals inside the tent? Another pertinent statistic from our Account Executive report is that 73% of UK account executives have no structured career plan. Therefore, as an employee that gets little to no direction or assistance in developing their career, the increase in opportunities and ‘new money’ out there makes the decision to move role so much easier.

The more nimble the business the more attractive they are to candidates. I often see the hiring process with some firms drag on so long that the individuals concerned lose interest. Some of our most acquisitive clients put pen to paper within days after 1st or 2nd stage interviews – showing real commitment to the candidate.

In summary, the vast number of new businesses being launched by new money means there are significant opportunities out there. Employees want freedom as opposed to red-tape, to be empowered in their decision-making and to be supported. Ultimately, client differentiation is key for employers to attract and retain top talent. Using the same old practices will result in the same old results: innovation is key.

David Carr has worked in insurance recruitment since 2001 within the UK and European insurance markets. His experience ranges from recruiting within UK regional markets to delivering on retained solutions for some of the industry’s largest global businesses.