Solvency II has long-provided a large volume of lucrative roles for specialists in the insurance industry. News that its implementation could be delayed should, in theory, keep the gravy train running. But is this really likely?
Exactly when the Solvency II deadline will be formally decided is still open. Last week, trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Council and European Commission stalled in Brussels and Paul Clarke, Solvency II leader at PwC, tells us that it could be January before a decision is reached and that it’s “quite likely implementation could be delayed by an extra year”.
Recruiters who have enjoyed a healthy supply of Solvency II-related roles over the past two years and actuaries who have managed to secure day rates of up to £1,700 on projects related to the regulation may welcome any delays. However, new opportunities are starting to slow.
Steve Sangha, consultant in Morgan McKinley’s insurance practice, says the trend of actuaries becoming ‘career contractors’ is likely to “tail off in November-December 2012”.
Most insurance companies are well into developing their business models and technology to meet the demands of Solvency II, adds Clarke, and recruitment is changing as a result.
“The emergency hiring because of Solvency II is largely over, but we’re moving to a situation where insurance firms have to bring in new specialist skills for the business-as-usual elements created by the regulation,” he says. “This means people to deal with the increased quality and quantity of reporting, more modelling capability and risk management roles. In the medium-term recruitment will remain healthy.”
The days of where knowledge of Solvency II was a niche, hard-to-find skill-set, are over, suggests Lloyd Rosenthal, director, Hays Insurance. However, for actuaries at least, the day rates have remained high.
“The capital adequacy requirements of Solvency II have implications across the whole business, from treasury to finance and corporate through to front office,” he says. “While there’s been a slowdown in specific Solvency II-related roles, actuaries are still very much in demand as an indirect consequence of the regulation.”
Specifically, as Solvency II enters its third stage, Sangha says that the current focus is on “reserve modelling specialists and capital modelling” expertise.