’To somebody who knows nothing about it, the industry will sound dull,’ says deputy chairman

The insurance industry has a reputation problem that comes from how the sector sells itself to young talent – but the solution is simple. 

That was according to Vicky Carter, deputy chairman at Lloyd’s and chairman for international capital solutions at Marsh-owned reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter. 

She told Insurance Times: ”To somebody who knows nothing about it, the [insurance] industry will sound dull.

“But, if you think about everything going on in the world, our industry is right at the heart of it – you can’t get on a boat, a plane or a train without insurance, so if you start to explain it like that to people, then suddenly that interest factor goes way up.” 

Carter added that she was concerned that the sector was not “selling itself” in the right way to prospective candidates. 

”Anybody who says the industry is boring has their eyes closed,” she said. 

”Anyone coming into the sector will quickly see that this is a highly sociable business where personal interaction is so critical, despite all of the digitalisation.” 

Ensuring that the sector’s image and reputation with younger generations is also absolutely vital because it is this generation of workers who will “transition the industry to where it needs to be for the future” added Carter. 

Speed of change

Despite the ease with which the sector could improve its pitch to potential recruits, Carter said she believed there was much more to do. 

She explained: ”We’re not doing nearly enough – we’re much too slow and, if you look at the industry as a whole, we haven’t been the fastest in adopting new technologies or new ways of processing business.

“We have got to drag this industry into the modern day world in many respects just to keep pace – and that’s difficult because everything is changing and moving so fast.” 

Carter also noted that simply bringing talented young people into the industry wasn’t enough if there was not then the push to ensure they felt supported to develop their careers inside it, rather than jumping ship. 

She explained: ”One of the things that we do really badly in this industry is that we don’t have that continual dialogue with the young people we bring in to help them navigate their careers.

“As a younger person, it’s vital that there’s continued dialogue with management rather than simply being pushed along.”

This particular concern led Carter to found the biennial Marsh’s Rising Professionals’ Global Forum and Gala Evening, which invites firms from across the market to select eight of their best performing youngsters to a conference designed to give them a broad overview of the challenges the sector is facing across two days, before providing network opportunities for the sector’s young talent during an evening gala dinner. 

This year’s conference takes place on 26-27 June at the Mermaid Theatre in London’s Puddle Dock. 

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