Insurance Beyond the Market: Airmic Talks

Published on Tue, 14/12/2021 - 13:00
Chris Lay

The definition of emerging risks, the demand for relevant risk financing solutions and the need to attract the best talent were the key topics up for debate in the final episode of the year of the Airmic Talks podcast, says Richard Cutcher, Airmic’s captive ambassador.  

In 2021, Airmic Talks has brought together senior leaders from the insurance market with Airmic members to discuss insurance beyond the market, hosted by Richard.  Most recently, Chris Lay, CEO of Marsh UK & Ireland, and Scott Feltham, Group Insurance Manager at Compass Group, reflected on the past two turbulent years of the pandemic, combined with the hard insurance market.

Lay explained that it had changed the risk culture and mindset within organisations. “What we are seeing from our customers is a greater appreciation actually of the resilience of their organisations,” he said.

“Many found that they actually can take a lot more risk when faced with things in reality, as opposed to, perhaps, the theoretical analysis. And so that’s given a greater appreciation of the need to look at risk financing in the light of that. That includes greater use of their own balance sheets and risk retention, and how resources and capital are deployed against risk.”

Feltham agreed and added that the shift in key risks facing organisations means that risk professionals are asking different questions of their insurance partners. “In many ways, the pandemic resulted in a bit of an eye-opener in terms of understanding and really assessing some of the key corporate risks that we face nowadays,” Feltham said. “If you assess the corporate risk landscape of today versus what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago, it’s clear there’s been a fairly major shift in terms of some of the key risks facing large corporations.”

The trio also discussed the importance of attracting new and diverse talent to the risk and insurance market to ensure that the next generation of solutions and services are fit for purpose, now and in the future.

“I found the insurance profession to be very rewarding, very enjoyable, but most people, let’s face it, sort of land in insurance,” Feltham added. “There’s a need to dispel this kind of myth of, dare I say it, sort of grey suits and dullness that permeates people’s expectations at this current time around insurance. I think we should place greater emphasis on the part insurance plays in today’s society, how it’s relevant.”

You can listen to the Airmic Talks podcast on any podcast app or platform, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud.