Thursday, 21 June 2012
Dutch risk managers focus on need to attract young talent to profession
Rising concern within the European risk management community about the professions ability to attract and retain the best young talent was again expressed at the recent annual Narim risk management conference in the Hague, Netherlands.
Annemarie Schouw, Risk & Insurance Manager at Tata Steel, and the new Chairwoman of Narim
Senior European risk managers who have recently taken part in Commercial Risk Europe’s annual Risk Frontiers survey have expressed worries that the profession is failing to sell itself well enough to bright young employees.
Even when they are captured they are often subsequently snapped up by the insurance industry that itself continues to suffer from an image problem, claim risk managers in Germany the UK and elsewhere.
The theme was taken up at the Narim conference as Denise Ozmis, Claims Manager at multinational AkzoNobel, and Jeroen Everling from Aon, said that ‘senior professionals’ overly dominate the insurance world.
During a lively and broad-based Narim conference that drew a record attendance of some 315 delegates, the speakers said that only a relatively small number of young professionals are entering the sector.
When the generation of baby boomers retires, essential expertise and knowledge will be lost and important networks will fall apart, said Ms Ozmis and Mr Everling. That is why the rot needs to be stopped, they pointed out.
The pair presented a manifesto at the event designed to try and improve the appeal of the sector for young professionals and called on junior and senior employees in the risk and insurance sector to help achieve this transition.
Narim confirmed after the event that every company that attended the conference supports the initiative. The first person to sign the manifesto was Ellen Rekker, Risk and Insurance Manager at Dutch Railways and outgoing chairwoman of Narim.
The idea is to initiate a Generation Next Academy that would include a mentoring system, explained the association. “This system would allow senior professionals to pass on knowledge to younger generations. At the conference, many old hands in the risk and insurance business indicated that they would be prepared to act as a mentor for young professionals. Before long, Denise Ozmis had received as many as 40 business cards,” stated Narim.
At the event, the annual Narim Award 2012 was presented to Wim van der Hoek, former Corporate Insurance Manager at Hunter Douglas.
Mr Van der Hoek has been a Narim member from its formation. The association said that he received the award because of his ‘outstanding track record’ in the sector.
He was, for example, the first insurance manager to set up a captive for his employer in the 1980s. At the end of the two-day conference, Annemarie Schouw, Risk & Insurance Manager at Tata Steel, was announced as the new chairwoman of the association.
- CRE will hold a roundtable discussion with Ms Schouw and other leading Narim members next month as part of our annual ongoing Risk Frontiers project, sponsored by XL and Willis. It will be published in full in September. The Dutch roundtable will also be published as a standalone report in the September issue of our publication.