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AM BEST'S MONTHLY INSURANCE MAGAZINE


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A Global Conversation
Talent Talk

Insurance industry professionals talk to AMBestTV about how they are meeting the challenge of attracting new talent to their companies.
  • February 2019
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Sabine Vanderlinden

Sabine VanderLinden

“The goal is for Hartford [Connecticut] to become the next insurtech capital in the U.S. We have a lot of work to do. We have to bring a lot of talent from the outside world, meaning from Europe, from Asia, but also bringing and building talent, and new culture as well in the city of Hartford. Training new entrepreneurs, we have a new insurtech course being launched as well this month. It’s about bringing all the different ingredients to attract talent, build innovators and get Hartford to become an insurtech destination in the next few years.”

Sabine VanderLinden
CEO
Startupbootcamp InsurTech


Brad Melvin

Brad Melvin

“Aon’s Ward Group recently released a study, the survey of the mutual companies, [and it] mentions talent management, technology, and managing expenses. Those three are at the top of the list for most companies. It varies by company. Companies are getting very creative in actually managing all three of those things. They’re getting creative in how they’re looking at talent, how they’re bringing in young talent to the industry, training that talent. They’re also doing a great job in growing their businesses so they can invest in technologies and innovation to drive those outcomes and help with those business challenges.”

Brad Melvin
Executive Managing Director
Aon


James Evan-Cook

James Evan-Cook

“We hear a lot about the executives that are going to be retiring. The industry, particularly WSIA, is doing a great job with their internship program that’s very alive and well. I’ve met many of them [at a] conference. Many of the carriers too are recruiting talent now. I think there are more than 80 universities here in the U.S. that are providing insurance and risk management courses. That’s increased from about 30 core schools years ago. I think we’re doing a great job. We’re getting the message across. I’m not sure it’s going to solve the 400,000 that are retiring, but we’re doing a good job so far to attract folks into the industry. We can always do better though by captivating interest. Kids can have an interest even at a younger age.Our executive pool in the insurance industry could go out to high schools and talk about the exciting careers. Here in the U.S., undergrads don’t always know exactly what they want to do when they’re at university. In other parts of the world, kids have a good idea. Even when they’re entering university, they might have an idea what they want to do. We look at it from a U.S. standpoint, obviously that’s one major market where we are here. Globally, I think the insurance industry can maybe think differently and possibly get that message across to kids in the high school years. That would really serve to create some interest that would really serve us well.”

James Evan-Cook
President
IPS Search


Jeff Rieder

Jeffrey Rieder

“Our latest labor outlook study showed that nearly 68% of companies are expecting to increase their staff over the next 12-month period. We’re still finding that companies are aggressively recruiting new talent into the organizations. One of the other things that companies are trying to find is bringing diversity of skills and backgrounds into the organization as well so that they have the right type of employee makeup that can think about e-commerce or digital marketing or the changing needs of consumers. It’s finding the right type of talent that have those backgrounds as well. Certainly for any insurance company but for mutuals [having an advantage or a disadvantage when attracting and retaining talent], in particular, that we’re there in the time of need. It creates a better opportunity for somebody that has more of a, perhaps, social bent that they want to bring back to the community or to their consumers. We provide that opportunity.”

Jeffrey Rieder
Head of Insurance
Ward Group


Elisabeth Sandersfield

Elisabeth Sandersfeld

“I think mutuals have a great opportunity to continue to grow and expand to hire in millennials and take advantage of their understanding of technology, their connection to our growing customer base. We’ve been using something called reverse mentoring at GuideOne which is all about bringing in younger generations with new ways of doing things and using them to teach some of our more tenured employees how to do things differently and how to think differently.”

Elisabeth Sandersfeld
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
GuideOne


Eric Andersen

Eric Andersen

“The talent that we’re looking to develop is more along the lines of, how do we actually understand the customer? How do we know their risks? How do we know where they’re trying to go with their business, and then be able to bring in all the capabilities that exist in the firm? As we develop our own teams, we’re looking for that kind of capability in people.”

Eric Andersen
CEO
Aon Benfield


Visit www.ambest.tv to watch the video interviews with these executives.


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