Five hot jobs in insurance

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Insurance recruitment isn’t booming, but after a challenging 2012 an increasing number of firms are expected to add headcount again. However, the hot jobs are not where you might think.

Here’s where specialist insurance recruiters are seeing the action currently.

1. Pricing actuaries

Actuaries remain generally in demand across the insurance sector, but it’s a positive sign that there’s been an uptick for pricing actuaries this year, who are responsible for new product development.

“There’s been a big uptick in demand for pricing actuaries in January,” said Steve Stubbings, managing director of insurance-focused recruiters The Emerald Group in London. “It means more insurers are developing new products, which is a good indication of the health of the industry, but the talent pool remains strained.”

2. Life insurance underwriting

Life insurance recruitment is really picking up. Firms like Guardian Life and Northwestern Mutual are hiring hundreds in the US, Manulife and Zurich Life are hiring in Asia and 76% of UK firms intend to increase headcount in the next three months, according to PwC.

While much of the hiring has focused on sales and transformation related to regulation, there are technical roles as well, said Mark Dainty, director of insurance focused recruiters High Finance Group.

“The biggest increase in demand is within life underwriting,” he says. “Some roles are crossing over to travel, medical and annuities areas and we are currently seeing both UK and overseas opportunities within the life space.”

3. Compliance

Like the banking sector, financial regulators are getting tougher on insurers. The obvious regulation for insurers in Europe is Solvency II, which aims to ensure that firms are well-capitalised, but there are also those hitting internationally-active firms such as ‘ComFram’ – a major initiative still being finalised by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which aims to develop governance standards for global firms. All of this means an uptick in demand for compliance professionals.

“Faced with more stringent regulatory requirements within the industry, operational professionals with knowledge of the latest regulatory and compliance standards are in high demand,” said Andy Dallas, director, Robert Half Financial Services.

4. Management accountants

Accounting in insurance is getting more complicated and firms are demanding not just intimate knowledge of UK and US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but also familiarity with regulation linked to the insurance industry. Lloyd’s market firms are seeking ‘finance business partners’, or management accountants who can improve their accounting systems, said Martin Fox, Senior Consultant – Insurance recruitment at Robert Walters.

“Many firms within the Lloyd’s market are restructuring their finance teams and adding professionals with strong management accounting experience tasked with interfacing with stakeholders (underwriters, actuaries, claims, executive committees) to improve understanding of how premium information is reported in the accounts,” he said.

5. Senior claims within Lloyd’s syndicates

The Lloyd’s market remains relative subdued, according to recruiters, even if there’s likely to be an uptick in activity after bonuses are paid out. However, there’s still a healthy demand for claims specialists in Lloyd’s syndicates, said Dainty.

“We are seeing a continued increase in high end claims roles, where market talent and expertise is lacking, specifically Lloyd’s syndicates, less so on the broking side,” he said.

In late January, Aegis London made two senior appointments to its claims division. Kerry Williams took up the role of claims adjustor focusing on international casualty, while Matthew Nicholas will work on non-marine property claims. Late last year Simon Catt joined Mitsui Simitomo as its new head of claims.

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