From: Captive Insurance Times

Members of CICA’s NEXTGen committee discuss the development of the talent crisis, and how the captive industry has concentrated its efforts to attract the next generation of young professionals

Amid the current favourable market conditions for alternative risk (such as the continued hardening market and enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic), the captive industry is still navigating the talent crisis that has plagued the sector for several years. The talent crisis refers to the difficulty of attracting and retaining the next generation of talent in the captive insurance industry. The most significant challenges in doing so are largely a result of two distinct factors: lack of education around the captive sector, and misunderstandings about the wider insurance industry.

The industry does a pretty good job with retaining young professionals that are already in the industry, we just need to make sure we can capture the attention of the incoming young professionals and entice them to stay”

Karen Hsi, Fiat Lux Captive Insurance Company, University of California Office of the President

For the former, Michael Zuckerman, associate professor at Temple University Fox School of Business and board member at the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA), explains: “Unfortunately, most university students do not know much about or understand the captive insurance industry — neither does the risk management and insurance industry or the wider public, while many who do know about captive insurance often think it is all about tax avoidance.”

He identifies that the challenge for the captive industry here lies in educating insurance professionals not currently involved with captives, as well as those in other correlated disciplines (such as law, finance, accounting and operations management), on the advantages they can provide to the risk management process. This is affirmed by Karen Hsi, programme manager, Fiat Lux Captive Insurance Company, University of California Office of the President, who says: “One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to attracting the next generation to the captive industry is the lack of education and publicity about this innovative insurance industry sector to colleges and universities.”

She adds that as a result of this “lack of education, understanding and exposure to what the captive industry is about”, captive insurance is usually generalised and categorised within the larger market of traditional insurance. In lacking the sufficient marketing as a niche industry that can provide many growth opportunities for young professionals, captives often struggle to compete with the big-name, fast-growing traditional insurance companies that the next generation are more likely to be familiar with. This leads to the aforementioned challenge, a problem of misunderstanding, as the insurance industry as a whole is generally typecast as a mundane line of work lacking innovation and dynamism.