The Lloyd's Non-Marine Under 30s group was formed to bring younger members of Lloyd’s together though social and professional events, including a biennial study tour to the USA. Many within the industry fear those coming to the end of their careers are not being replaced by sufficient numbers of talented new recruits and while that’s not necessarily the case from Sampson’s perspective, she feels there is a need to do more to broaden the entry routes into the business. It still seems to be the case that many new entrants are following in the footsteps of family members.
“I came into the industry through a family connection and a lot of people are introduced that way,” said Sampson, a broker for North American commercial property at Lloyd and Partners. “I think insurance is seen like banking or finance in that it’s quite insular and hard to break in to, but in all truth it’s one of the more social industries, hence we have things like the under 30s and we’re trying to entice younger people in and get them involved in our events.
“With the majority of people in my office there’s some sort of family connection – that’s how I got into it. It’s a natural progression if you have a family member who looks like they’re doing okay, the hours seem okay, that looks like a nice job to have, it would be natural to investigate that as a career route for yourself.”
Sampson insists Lloyd’s isn’t quite the ‘pale, stale, male’ environment it’s often perceived to be. As a woman in her 20s, she’s not alone. “The industry, and especially Lloyd’s, can be seen as a bit stuffy and old-school, but we do have an influx of young people – we see them every day,” she said. “I’m almost 30 and I have an awful lot of peers within the market. I guess the business can be seen as archaic but at the end of the day most things that are insured come through Lloyd’s and the need for it won’t ever go away.”
Sampson believes while brokers’ and underwriters’ graduate recruitment schemes and Lloyd’s outreach work are valuable, more can be done to promote industry as a viable career choice for ambitious bright young things – especially by focusing on the wide variety of roles on offer.
“There’s always the opportunity to promote the industry more,” she said. “I think it’s about targeting the right people. I love what I do and the people I work with and there’s a social aspect to it as well – I’m not at my desk for six hours a day, I get to broke, I get to walk around the market, it’s very sociable from that perspective. That’s not what everyone ends up doing, some people like being in the office or on the claims side. I think more could be done to promote careers in different sectors.
“Every day is different and there are different challenges out there. Something like kidnap and ransom sounds super-interesting to me, but that’s a completely different facet of insurance compared to what I do day to day,” she says. “From the outside looking in, insurance probably does look a bit stuffy, and intimidating almost, but once you’re living it, it becomes a bit of a passion. The more that message can be broadcast, the better.”