Image change needed by insurers to attract new talent

Insurers are struggling to compete with banks and asset
managers in attracting the most talented staff, according to research by

The report, called the The Hidden Power of Europe’s
Insurance Giants
, suggests that the insurance sector’s poor image is making
it difficult to recruit new staff and retain their their talent.

Michael Walters, partner in Andersen’s UK insurance group,
said, “Insurance companies suffer from the staid image of the past. Insurers
are seen to be overly conservative, slow to change, with a focus on the medium
and longer-term that insulates them from day-to-day pressures.

“In today’s market, nothing could be further from the truth.
The other issue is the public image of actuaries, who hold key management
positions in many insurers.”

Skills shortages are most severe in new business areas for
insurers such as retail asset management.

Staffing problems are also hitting management. Insurance
companies are also in competition with banks, consultants, accountants and
advisors at a senior level.

The report was based on interviews with chairmen, chief
executives and board members from 26 of the top 50 European insurers.

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