What 11 Top Executives Think About Insurance Careers

February 20, 2018

The third annual Insurance Careers Month kicked off with the annual Insurance Careers Movement (ICM) Town Hall on Feb. 1 in Chicago. Co-hosted by A.M. Best and ICM, the virtual event assembled executives from companies around the world.

Since 2016, February has been recognized as Insurance Careers Month by a variety of carriers, agents/brokers, trade associations and industry partners. They have helped turn a once-a-year event into an 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 including Wells Media Group. More than 1,100 professionals registered for this year’s event.

Among those at the event were CEOs and other top executives of leading insurance organizations and partners of the ICM. Here is what some of them said about their insurance careers, the value of diversity, advice for millennials, skills for the future and more:

Brian Duperreault, president and CEO, American International Group:

“…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, Lloyd’s of London:

“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, Marsh and McLennan:

“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, Hamilton Insurance Group:

“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.”

Matt Mosher, executive vice president/chief operating officer, A.M. Best:

“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.”

Andy Breen, senior vice president, Argo:

“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.

Greg Jacobson, co-chief executive officer, Jacobson Group:

“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.”

Kirstin Marr, chief marketing officer, Valen Analytics:

“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.”

Bill Ross, CEO, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation:

“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.”

Sean Kevelighan, president and CEO, Insurance Information Institute:

“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.”

Noelle Codispoti, executive director, Gamma Iota Sigma (the collegiate organization dedicated to students interested in pursuing careers in the industry):

“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.”

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.

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