2023 – just do it

Unfortunately, we're holding ourselves back…

2023 – just do it


By Caroline Wagstaff

For the last year the LMG has been planning and rolling out a market-wide campaign to encourage more young people to consider specialty insurance as a career. The campaign is driven by one vital data point – that there are more people over 50 in the London Market than there are aged under 30. We face a retirement cliff and a shortage of talent to take up the baton. Insurance overall remains dogged by a decades-old image problem that labels it ‘dull’ and, while the problem has been recognised for some time, the specialty industry has wrestled with how to ‘rebrand’ its market segment.

But now we have some of the solutions in hand. We are telling a better story, highlighting “risk” as the key message, showing the glamour and excitement in our market and talking about topics young people find interesting. Our teams are going out there and reaching out into schools and universities; putting out the message that a career in specialty insurance can be as rewarding, financially and intellectually, as a job with a law firm, an investment bank or any other financial services sector.

Social media has brought a huge opportunity to speak directly to young people and we are investing in digital channels to reach young people. It is all making a big difference. Change is on the way, but at present there is just one thing holding us back. And sadly, that is ourselves.

There are lots and lots of people who tell me every day about our perception problem. Sadly, there are many fewer willing to pick up the tools we have available and deploy them. That’s why I want to declare 2023 the year of “just do it” – when everyone does just one thing to promote our market to young talent. There is no one silver bullet – but an aggregation of energy and enthusiasm will absolutely move the dial.

So, what could you do?

  • Sign your firm up to take some sixth form students for work experience with us.
  • Give your social media channels to your young talent so their networks hear about our industry.
  • Use your social media to share inspiring stories about our industry.
  • Look at what you say about your company and its roles? Do they make sense if you know nothing about insurance?

It’s time to stop talking about ‘the talent problem’ and instead start talking about how great our market is. It’s time for a face-to-face market to know when it has to use digital channels to reach the next generation. It’s time to look outward and talk about purpose and to stop talking in our own peculiar jargon – some might think that terrorism underwriting is about selling insurance to terrorists!

The only thing that can hold us back is ourselves. In order to be different, we have to look around and recognise that we actually have become different. We need to take a look at the younger teams in our offices (or working at home), and see that tradition no longer dominates, that a much fresher outlook is there, waiting to be acknowledged, and wanting to be seen.

And once we sound like our new selves, start believing in our new selves, and talk in that way to school leavers and graduates, the hard work that has gone into building our outreach programmes will bear fruit in a way that will excite all of us. Let’s spend 2023 talking about change and success in representing our industry to the world, not the problems of the past.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!