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Airmic chairman: risk management profession facing talent shortage

Tim Murray, Airmic chairman
Tim Murray, Airmic chairman

The risk and insurance profession is facing a potential talent shortage as it adapts to the new business environment in which different types of risks are fast emerging, Tim Murray warned in his first speech as chairman of Airmic.

"This world will demand more of us as risk professionals. We will need new skills - both technical and non-technical," he explained.

Future entrants and tomorrow's leaders will require the ability to "operate across a number of professional disciplines", Mr Murray said. "This is starting to happen, but we have a long way to go. It can only truly result from gaining a breadth of experience through a variety of positions and roles across an organisation."

This leads to an important question, he said: "Where will such multitalented individuals come from? And how will they be incentivised to enter this profession?"

The talent among the Airmic membership is "exceptional", according Mr Murray, but with risk teams growing and risk management moving up the business agenda, "we will need more high-calibre risk professionals than ever before. And I ask you this: do we face a risk of our talent pipeline drying up?"

Be proud of the profession

The new chairman challenged delegates to help improve the "staid and boring" image of the risk and insurance industry, which is "incredibly frustrating to me personally".

"The profession is, at its best, a key enabler of informed business decision-making. It can assist to change and complement a culture of pragmatic and strategic risk thinking. It is varied, challenging and exciting.

"I request the help of everyone in this room to help us sell its virtues. This is a profession to be proud of and we need to shout about it more."

Mr Murray also used his speech to champion the importance of diversity and inclusiveness, saying that the profession needs to do more to recognise and embrace the benefits.

"The search for talent should reflect the new world - by which I mean we should encourage recruitment not only from different professions, genders, ethnicity, ages. But also regionally, by seeking to recruit from outside London and the South East."  

Mr Murray delivered his speech to delegates at Airmic's annual conference in Harrogate in June. He formally took over as chairman on the final day of the conference, and will hold the position for one year.