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Editor's Desk
Leadership Transition

From the Editor’s Desk: Insurers seek leadership talent in Generation X, ready or not. The February issue also includes a look at the opioid epidemic and its impact on the life insurance industry.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • February 2019
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As the next generation of insurance leaders steps into the top roles in their organizations, they face a variety of challenges, including the need to understand and implement new technology and meet changing customer expectations.

Finding people ready to meet these challenges is a concern for the industry.

The insurance industry has done little over the past decade to cultivate young executives, retain them and pave the way for them to move into top leadership roles. Many executives today have specialized expertise, but lack a broad, well-rounded perspective, headhunters say.

Part of the problem is one of numbers. Generation X is a much smaller demographic than the baby boomers. A hot job market, meanwhile, means competition for the best candidates can be fierce.

The February issue of Best's Review looks at the leadership transition and what the industry is doing to develop the next generation. While it's not news that senior leaders are retiring, the challenges facing the industry are now front and center.

In “Generation Next,” Best's Review examines these leadership issues in depth, while “Retention Program” looks at new ways insurers are seeking to retain and develop talent.

In “Words of Wisdom,” Best's Review reached out to insurance CEOs for their advice to the next generation of leaders. Featured executives include: Hamilton Insurance Group's Pina Albo, Lincoln Financial's Dennis Glass, Philadelphia Insurance Cos.' Robert D. (Bob) O'Leary, MassMutual's Roger Crandall, Pacific Life's Jim Morris, Acuity's Ben Salzmann and Nationwide's Steve Rasmussen.

Other features include a look at board succession issues in “On Board” and how internships can help insurers to attract new talent in “A Talent Advantage.”

College risk management programs are another key part of the industry effort to attract and develop new talent. New Mexico State University, tucked away in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is home to a thriving college risk management program. “In the Middle of Nowhere” tells the story behind that program and offers advice to others seeking to launch a program.

February is Insurance Careers Month. AMBestTV will cover the Emerging Leaders Conference later this month. The conference will feature panel discussions with leading company CEOs, provide insights on major industry trends and share knowledge of some of the most pressing issues facing insurance. It is sponsored by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, The Insurance Careers Movement and AM Best. For more information about insurance careers visit http://insurancecareerstrifecta.org.

The February issue of Best's Review also examines the impact of the opioid epidemic on the life insurance industry. “The Bitter Pill” focuses on the problem, which has turned into a full-blown public health crisis and is one factor in the decline in 2017 of U.S. life expectancy, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Every February, Best's Review publishes its list of the largest insurers in the world based on non-banking assets and on net premiums written. Find out who tops the list in “The World's Largest Insurers.”

All of these features can be found online in a new reader-friendly version of Best's Review. Go to www.bestreview.com to read and share these articles and other Best's Review content.

 

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor, patricia.vowinkel@ambest.com


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