Overcoming the skills gap in the workplace

By Matthew Eames

insights

Overcoming the skills gap in the workplace

Soft skills are becoming increasingly more important in the workplace as there is a shift in which skills are deemed to be more useful and relevant in today’s market. Hard skills can often be developed and taught through training, whereas soft skills often encompass behavioural traits and cognitive skills which tend to be more difficult to learn. Certainly, with changes taking place at a rapid speed, organisations must be prepared as they no longer know which specific skills will be needed in the future.However, based on current research, soft skills are becoming increasingly important. A report conducted by Deloitte has stated that ‘soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030’.[1] As a result, developing a talent strategy that embraces people with the ability to adapt to change if required is crucial in staying ahead of the curve.[2]​The rise of digital technologyA rise in digital technology and automation has created a level of uncertainty amongst both employers and employees and has resulted in the recognition and the growing importance of soft skills. According to Deloitte, nearly half of today’s jobs will have evolved and undergone significant change in the next ten years, and therefore, people will need to be able to adapt and remain engaged regardless of these developments.[3] Whilst there is thought to be significant job displacement in the future, new jobs will also be created that don’t currently exist. For instance, it is predicted that ‘65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist’.[4]In both these new and evolving job roles, soft skills will become a key differentiator in the workplace as they are harder to automate, and as a result, will be more desirable. Machines will replace some jobs, but they will be unable to stimulate real and genuine human interaction. Due to this, social skills such as communication and teamwork will become some of the most valued competencies in the workplace.​Career progression and promotionFurthermore, soft skills are transferable and will prove to be invaluable as the labour force moves towards becoming a mobile one with younger generations more likely to job hop than in the past. These skills certainly increase the value of the employee, with 94% of recruiting professionals believing those candidates with strong soft skills have a higher chance of being promoted to a leadership position than an employee with more years of experience, but weaker soft skills.[5] Accordingly, soft skills appear to be a key factor deciding whether or not one is to progress to the next stage of their career.In particular, within the insurance industry, there is a considerable shortage of professionals who are both technical and have strong soft skills. It appears that the majority of the workforce underestimates the importance of soft skills and as a result are restricting their own progression because hard skills and technical expertise are no longer enough to secure a job in a competitive market. For instance, commissioned reports have discovered that circa 90% of human resource leaders perceive emotional and social skills as crucial in a globalising economy,[6] and creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are noted to be the most in-demand soft skills of 2020.[7]A common misconception is that soft skills are only relevant in roles that involve customer and client interaction. However, in an era where technical expertise is commonplace, soft skills not only enable hiring managers to quickly differentiate between candidates but also allow candidates to rapidly progress throughout their careers.​Barriers to soft skills developmentFurthermore, whilst young professionals and students tend to focus on developing their technical skills and gaining formal qualifications before entering the workplace, research has recently stressed that graduates need to recognise that soft skills are just as, if not more, important as hard skills.[8] It has become clear that graduates are at a significant disadvantage if they leave university without work experience and the interpersonal skills required for the current job market.As a result, experience and activities outside of academia must not be underestimated. For example, research by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) demonstrates that the majority (63%) of employers believe graduates who had undertaken work experience, internships or apprenticeships had the required soft skills, yet less than half (48%) thought this of graduates in general.[9] Consequently, a shift needs to occur in terms of teaching students these skills before they enter the workplace, as currently, this acts as a major barrier towards overcoming the soft skills gap.If you are interested in learning more about our services and how we can help you develop areas of your business, please get in touch.   [1] Deloitte Access Economics, ‘Soft Skills for Business Success’, May 2017.[2] Raconteur, ‘Future of HR’, October 2019.[3] Ibid.[4] World Economic Forum, ‘The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, January 2016.[5] ICIMS, ‘The Soft Skills Job Seekers Need Now’, August 2017.[6] Korn Ferry, ‘Five Ways to Get Young Recruits to Embrace Emotional Intelligence’, June 2018.[7] LinkedIn Talent Blog, ‘The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020’, January 2020.[8] Deloitte Access Economics, ‘Soft Skills for Business Success’, May 2017.[9] ISE, ‘Internships Help Tackle Skills Gaps’.

Succession Planning: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

By Joel Swan

Insights

Succession Planning: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Businesses tend to purchase insurance policies in order to ensure they are prepared and protected from any external disruptions or risks outside their control. So why do most businesses overlook the importance of succession planning? The sudden departure of a senior leader or key figure can leave a business extremely vulnerable. Having a plan in place is crucial in order to minimalise the level of disruption that occurs when a significant individual leaves a business. As a result, the phrase ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ is very applicable when discussing the benefits of succession planning.​What is Succession Planning?A succession plan is a process where an organisation identifies talent to fill the responsibilities of a role that is currently occupied but may become vacant soon. This effectively provides a ‘safety net’ for the company as by preparing a list of capable individuals for the role in question, the transition from the incumbent to the successor is likely to be smooth and efficient. Due to this, succession planning and creating a pipeline of talent for the future certainly has positive repercussions on a business and is an extremely worthwhile process. It is an effective use of time and energy, and organisations should be on the lookout for outstanding talent in order to allow for a robust leadership pipeline in the future.[1]​Benefits of Succession PlanningAccording to the Pew Research Centre, approximately 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 today – and every day – until 2030, which will ultimately place a significant strain on those in senior leadership roles. Preparing for this transition will ensure functionality and stability within organisations, alongside providing the next generation of future leaders with development opportunities and training.Succession planning enables organisations to identify those individuals with high potential and the correct skills and experience to fulfil the responsibilities of a specific position. It is common for organisations to explore external talent in order to benchmark against their current workforce and ensure that the highest quality of talent is acquired. Eames Partnership can highlight the top talent operating across a market, showcasing individuals that not only have the expertise, but also bring diverse skillsets and fresh perspectives.Additionally, areas of weakness within a business may be uncovered and can be dealt with in order to secure future success and financial growth. Recognising these limitations and remaining open to alternative leadership possibilities is useful in order to evaluate how each potential candidate could benefit the organisation overall.[2] As a result, by partnering with an executive search firm to formulate a succession plan, Eames Partnership can create detailed perception analyses of each individual and their willingness to move elsewhere if the opportunity arose. Alongside this, we can create a bespoke development program for rising talent within the organisation, equipping them with the tools and coaching to progress further in their careers.Furthermore, there is a growing talent gap in the insurance industry, particularly at the middle management level, where organisations do not have the correct individuals internally to replace executives.  This has the potential to cause significant disruption, and therefore, insurance firms must plan to shrink this gap through talent pipelining. Importantly, preparing in advance ensures that businesses are ready for leadership changes and unexpected exits, enabling them to fill critical positions quickly without a lengthy hiring period. Contrary to popular opinion, succession planning proves to be useful not only when replacing those operating in C-suite positions, but also when preparing for the departure of other influential figures, including senior leaders within an organisation.If you are interested in learning more about our succession planning capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please get in touch.​[1] Personnel Today, ‘Is Succession Planning an Outdated Concept?’, January 2020.[2] HR Central, ‘Succession Planning Has Many Benefits’, June 2017.

The concerning impacts of climate change on the insurance industry

By Joel Westley

insights

The concerning impacts of climate change on the insurance industry

In 2019, climate change was identified as the greatest risk of them all, ahead of the threats posed by cyber attacks and terrorism. The consequences of this for the insurance industry are undoubtedly significant and extensive.[1] Not only does an increase in frequency and severity of major weather events result in an increasing number of claims, but this will eventually create a surge in premium prices, making insurance less affordable for those who need it. As Denis Kessler (Chairman and CEO of SCOR SE) stressed, insurance should be used ‘not only as a means for providing financial resilience, but as an instrument for supporting risk reduction’,[2] and therefore, insurers should focus on mitigating the risks associated with climate change.​The unpredictable effects of climate change:Due to unpredictable weather patterns, insurers have struggled to accurately predict the loses they will incur in a given year. For instance, in 2017, Swiss Re had estimated to incur $1.18bn in losses, but a rise in claims resulted in a staggering sum of $3.65bn.[3] For an industry that relies on predictions and previous loss records, accurately pricing risks is becoming increasingly difficult to do. Rather, insurers will need to ensure they have the correct talent on board with the skills required to use advanced analytics in order to assess weather records and assumptions regarding future climate predictions. Actuaries and underwriters will need to be able to competently detract information from catastrophe risk models to assist them with managing the likelihood of adverse events occurring.Furthermore, with the rise of extreme weather events, it is possible that it may become too costly in the future to provide cover to high-risk areas. For example, over a three-month period in early 2018, the abnormally low weather temperatures resulted in insurers paying an excessive amount to cover the costs of burst pipes; this amounted to a total of £194 million.[4] As a consequence, premiums rose, and in some cases, became unaffordable for individuals. There are fears that if insurers withdraw from certain types of risks, consumers will have little choice but to cover the costs of damage themselves. However, as will be discussed below, insurance firms can adapt to support a more sustainable future, and as a result, avoid the prospect of premiums increasing to an unaffordable level.​How insurance companies can drive a greener future:As Huw Evans explained, although the insurance sector has been harshly exposed to the costs of climate change, in the long-term, the industry has the ability to shape the future.[5]  There are concerns surrounding how the transition to a zero-carbon economy will impact those insurance firms invested in companies reliant on fossil fuels. Consequently, not only is it important for insurers to manage the physical risks involved with climate change, but it is also crucial that these organisations play an active role in moving away from investing in non-renewable energy. In recent years, several insurers have committed to no longer insure and invest in companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from coal-related businesses.[6] Swiss Re initially made this move, and Munich Re, AXA and Zurich have followed suit in limiting their dealings with unsustainable firms.Furthermore, insurance firms can act as ‘gatekeepers’ and participate in promoting the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Insurers can place increasing pressure on large companies, as by refusing to provide coverage for these firms, they will be compelled to move towards embracing renewable energy. Allianz made a statement in May 2018 pledging to remove its ‘coverage from single coal-fired power plants and coal plants, and that it would phase all coal risks out of its business by 2040’.[7] This movement away from a reliance on fossil fuels towards greener initiatives will consequently help mitigate the risks climate change pose to the insurance sector.​How is the industry preparing?In addition to shifting towards a sustainable economy, a short-term solution to dealing with an increasing number of climate change related claims is necessary. Insurance companies can introduce parametric insurance policies which assess the possibility of an adverse event, and will automatically trigger a payment to the consumer if the event occurs.[8] For example, Swiss Re has developed a new product, known as FLOW, for companies that are unable to transport goods when water levels drop below a certain level.[9] As a result, accurate risk assessment will be more important than ever, and when weather-related disasters occur with little warning, quick payments can reduce the level of disruption that may otherwise arise.Overall, it appears insurance firms will need to make a choice; either they face huge losses resulting in their inability to insure high-risk areas, or they must gradually move away from investing in and insuring large companies supporting the fossil fuel industry.  [1] The Ecologist, ‘Insurance and Climate Change’, 2019[2] SCOR, ‘How Does Climate Change Affect the Insurance Sector? A Geneva Association Conference’.[3] Fortune, ‘Climate Change Is Hitting the Insurance Industry Hard. Here’s How Swiss Re Is Adapting’, 2019[4] ABI, ‘Climate Change’.[5] ABI, ‘Can Insurance Help Drive a Greener Future?’, 2019[6] KPMG, ‘Climate Change into the Boardroom’, 2019[7] Financial Times, ‘Insurers Act on Climate Change Exposure’, 2018[8] Marsh, ‘Parametric Insurance: A Tool to Increase Climate Resilience’.[9] Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, ‘FLOW: Parametric Water-level Insurance’, 2019

EC News (11 August 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

EC News

EC News (11 August 2022)

​​​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Apollo, Aon, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance and more.​Apollo names Kate Foster as head of property for Syndicate 1969 Apollo has announced the appointment of Kate Foster as its new head of property for Syndicate 1969. She joined the business from Beazley where she has served as a property underwriter since 2017. Read More Aon appoints James Platt as chief digital officer and adds Mindy Simon as COO Global (re)insurer Aon has named James Platt as chief digital officer overseeing Digital Client Solutions and Mindy Simon joins the firm as chief operating officer leading Aon Business Services. Read More BHSI expands E&P lines coverage in Switzerland with new hire Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has announced the launch of Executive & Professional (E&P) Lines coverage in Switzerland, appointing Christoph Kammermann as Head. Read More Becky Allison joins Aon Reinsurance solutions as COO of STG Global professional services firm Aon has announced the appointment of Becky Allison as the new chief operating officer of the firm’s Strategy and Technology Group (STG), Reinsurance Solutions. Read More Gallagher acquire UK risk management consultancy, AnotherDay Global insurance brokerage Gallagher has announced the acquisition of AnotherDay Limited, a UK-based risk management consultancy, helping organisations across 90 countries pre-empt and prepare for complex threats, react to crises and investigate criminality through the use of intelligence and technology. Read More ​​​

EC News (4 August 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

insurance

EC News (4 August 2022)

​​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from TransRe, Liberty Specialty Markets, Atrium and more.​Trans Re names Matt Mahoney as new chief operating officerTrans Re has announced the appointment of Matt Mahoney to the newly created position of chief operating officer in addition to his finance and accounting responsibilities. He will continue to report to Ken Brandt, chairman, president, and CEO of TransRe. Read MoreLSM promotes Kerry Hall to head of P&C binders Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Group has announced the promotion of Kerry Hall to the newly created role of head of property and casualty binders, effective immediately. Read MoreAtrium appoints Peter Laidlaw as active underwriter Atrium Underwriters Limited, the managing agent for Lloyd’s Syndicate 609, has appointed Peter Laidlaw as active underwriter, effective 1 January 2023. Laidlaw’s appointment comes as part of a management restructure that will see Toby Drysdale take on an advisory role as director of corporate underwriting review. Read MoreAscot & Marsh launch marine cargo and war facility for Ukraine sea corridor Speciality (re)insurer Ascot and broker Marsh announce the launch of a Marine Cargo and War facility which will provide coverage for vital grain and food products transitioning through safe corridors established by the newly signed Black Sea Treaty between Russia and Ukraine. Read MoreSCOR announce a number of key changes to its board of directors Global (re)insurer SCOR has announced a series of key changes to its board of directors. With effect from 28 July 2022, Bruno Pfister, independent director and current chairman of the Risk Committee, takes up the chairmanship of the Audit Committee. Read More​

EC News (28 July 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

insurance

EC News (28 July 2022)

​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Tokio Marine HCC, HDI Global SE, CFC and more.​Tokio Marine HCC name Renaud de Pressigny as non-exec director Tokio Marine HCC announced the appointment of Benaud de Pressigny as non-executive director to the board of its European business, Tokio Marine Europe. Read More HDI Global SE appoints John Button as head of global distribution HDI Global SE has announced John Button has been appointed as head of global distribution and business development for its global operations, effective immediately. He succeeds Alan Waters and will report to Richard Taylor, member of the Executive Board and chief marketing officer. Read More CFC announce expansion to North America & Australia Specialist insurance provider CFC has announced the expansion of its cyber threat analysis capability into North America and Australia. The offering focuses solely on identifying new cyber threats and working with cyber customers to prevent attacks before they happen. Read More Fidelis to launch new Managing General Underwriter Specialty (re)insurer Fidelis has announced its intention to create a new Managing General Underwriter, which will be separated from the existing balance sheet business, called ‘Fidelis MGU’. Read More Admiral Group hires Keith Davies as group chief risk & compliance officer Admiral Group announce the appointment of Keith Davies as group chief risk and compliance officer, effective September 2022, reporting to Milena Mondini de Focatiis, Group CEO. Read More ​

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. I’ve often heard complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​​​​ 

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​A huge thank you to all of our contributors for taking part in this series:Erik Johnson, Incoming Active Underwriter at MIC Global David Anderson, Partner, Head of US Cyber at McGill and Partners Theresa Farrenson, Customer Experience and Integration Lead at Aon Adam Triggs, Chair of Pride and Allies at Lloyd's And thanks in particular to Inclusion at Lloyd’s and LINK, the LGBTQ+ insurance network for all their help and support in bringing this podcast special together. 

Celebrating Pride Month

By Sarah Roebuck

Diversity and Inclusion

Celebrating Pride Month

​It’s Pride Month.June is a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities around the world. Often marked by big parades and marches, Pride Month is also an opportunity to listen and learn more about our peers and shine a spotlight on inclusion in the workplace.We're using the month of June as an opportunity to listen, and an opportunity to learn. We’ll be sharing more over the course of the month about the history of Pride, ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and how we’re driving inclusion at Eames Partnership.To celebrate this month, our Pride @ Eames team has pulled together a number of events and initiatives from a virtual cook-a-long with a recipe from gay chef, Yotam Ottolenghi to a Book Club, recognsing an LGBTQ+ author. We're releasing a 3-episode GRID Podcast special featuring leaders from the community at organisations such as Lloyd’s, McGill, Aon and MIC Global (subscribe here). Our team can learn more about LGBTQ+ inclusion through internal training and utilise our newly created internal hub, Pride @ Eames, which is full of support, resources and insight on the key objectives we’re driving.Celebration of Pride extends far beyond rainbow logos and signature events. We’re committed to showing support for the community all year long and will be sharing more information throughout June about progress we’ve made with equality, diversity and inclusion at Eames Partnership.  Happy Pride Month!

IWD: #BreakTheBias with Karen Graves, non-executive director

By Charlie Thomas

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IWD: #BreakTheBias with Karen Graves, non-executive director

This International Women's Day, I interviewed Karen Graves, a non-executive director and inclusion advocate in the insurance market and she shared her thoughts on how we can #BreakTheBias. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.   Which bias would you like to break about women at work in 2022?  A move to accept that talent changes, and as we get older, just at the point where we can really start to add value with years of experience, women don’t turn into some crazed menopausal swirl of rage, tears and forgetfulness. Let’s start as individuals and companies to accept in a matter-of-fact way that it’s part of our life and career journey, and at the point where we can take on key roles we aren’t marginalised by outdated, biased assumptions.  What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?  Take risks in appointments. Lead by example and appoint interesting and talented women, really look at what they can bring to a company and appoint difference….it will be worth it, and NO HARM WILL BE DONE! Heck, the appointment may be a catalyst to drive further change. Hire different talent not a mirror image of the status quo. And I know you said one action...but also look outside our industry go and seek talent from other industries and bring some more vibrancy to our market and a different take on the business.  What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?  Focus on the skills required for the role and the talents needed. Be less prescriptive about wanting hard and fast educational qualifications, phrase things in a way that allows individuals to see they could do a role and then listen to them as they convince you why you should hire them. Time. Allow time for the hire, it’s sometimes a luxury but with a skills-based job description and time to consider a range of candidates, you will find real gems.   What advice would you give aspiring women in the industry you work in?  Spend some time thinking about your career path, not in a hard and fast way but consider where you want to spend your energy to allow for some focus, it won’t be time wasted. Find a way of talking about yourself and what you do in a way that reflects your style and allows for a positive representation of your talent. Network, network, network! When you get given a business card, meet someone and they say contact me, do it. You will make friends in a great industry and also build up contacts and a support network as you progress throughout your career.  International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements, who inspires you?  I think women are amazing, and those that find their voice in an environment that plays against them do it for me. I don’t expect my heroes to be perfect and I have a number I could name but I’m going for Emmeline Pankhurst. She wanted equality for women and led the start of women being able to vote, something I have made sure I have done at every opportunity. She is a fantastic example of taking direct action and of not underestimating women! 

​IWD: #BreakTheBias with Suneeta Padda, Director at Padda Consulting

By Charlie Thomas

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​IWD: #BreakTheBias with Suneeta Padda, Director at Padda Consulting

This International Women's Day, I interviewed Suneeta Padda, director at Padda Consulting and she shared her thoughts on how we can #BreakTheBias.We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. 1. Which bias would you like to break about women at work in 2022?  That women are not equal to men based on gender alone. Women and men should be appointed based on skill and ability to fulfil a role regardless of sex, age and colour. A more diverse approach in terms of gender creates a richer and balanced industry culture. 2. Within your market / industry sector, what progress have you seen businesses take to progress gender equality?  I think firms are starting to drive the move towards gender equality but there is still so much more to do, firms are driven by targets and/or benchmarks emanating from various external requirements whether driven by the regulators or ESG, but firms really need to understand the benefits of a diverse workforce, seeing things from different perspectives, attracting talent from a broader resource pool, it’s not about meeting the targets, it’s about the added benefit! 3. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?  Remove biases – easier said than done. Openly embrace the need to address the gender balance and review CVs on not only experience for the job but life experiences which make the character. Look at the barriers that person has overcome and how valuable they will be to your organisation. Ensure the salary for the role is the same for the individual who takes up the job.4. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?    Only list skills that are 100% necessary and do not exclude candidates that have potential. The wording on the job description should be inclusive and avoid unnecessary jargon. Also, what can you as a company offer the candidate – flexibility, training & development opportunities etc.5. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women and why?  Yes, as it proves that it’s not how many hours you spend at a desk, it’s about getting the job done. That said, the global pandemic and the move towards hybrid working has seen a number of men take more responsibility in the home, I think hybrid working has helped shift pre-conceived ideas about flexible working for both men and women.6. How can organisations support their employees in raising awareness against bias?   The approach to addressing the bias needs to be purposeful. In the same way companies set sales targets and review budgets, the bias needs to be monitored, measurable and celebrated. Training and regular workshops on unconscious bias awareness. Some companies have conducted culture reviews to identify areas of bias where they have been able to identify areas/pockets of bias and then identifying ways in which to address this, whether this is raising awareness of a speaking up policy, gender equality training, mentorship programmes etc. 7. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. Who inspires you?  There are lots of women who inspire me, so it is difficult to narrow this down: Women who have the courage to leave an arranged/abusive marriage Women who make sacrifices for others, such as children/parents Women who are single mums who work hard to raise their children alone Women who break down barriers and drive change for others who are ‘behind’ them Women who don’t let others prevent them from being successful

Market Insights: New Market Entry (London Market Carrier)
Market Insights: New Market Entry (London Market Carrier)

Eames Partnership was commissioned by a global (re)insurer to research a new product/market in preparation for a potential launch. The client instructed Eames Partnership to investigate a variety of territories ranging from the US, London, Europe and Asia as well as potential candidates to support the company in launching the product locally.The ApproachPrior to researching suitable candidates with the potential to provide direction and leadership and build a book of business from scratch, we spoke with a variety of market leaders and experts who were able to inform and advise us on the current market climate and recommend that the London and US markets were the most appropriate territories to launch the team/product due to a range of factors (notably clients uptake in purchasing this product). Through an intensive phase of primary research, we sought to highlight the relevant leaders across the London and US markets and focused on those individuals with a solid market reputation and a track record of building and maintaining a portfolio.The OutcomeFollowing the research phase, we highlighted in excess of 15 potential leadership candidates across London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Following the presentation of our findings to the client, Eames Partnership was instructed to pursue twelve individuals, and proceeded to interview nine, which resulted in a final shortlist of 6 strong leaders (3 in the US and 3 in London). Following the final interview phase, our client decided to launch the product in London, in addition to hiring a US leader to focus on North American domestic risks based on our recommendations from the market analysis report.If you are interested in learning more about our market analysis capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.​

Talent Mapping: Production (UK Broker)
Talent Mapping: Production (UK Broker)

Eames Partnership was recently commissioned by a global broking house to complete a market intelligence report highlighting production capability and independent revenue across the UK retail broking landscape. We focused on the key UK regional hubs (London, Ipswich, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and were asked to uncover individuals who were thought to have direct influence over a portfolio of business worth in excess of GBP 500,000.The ApproachThrough an intensive phase of desk-based research, the team sought to highlight notable brokers, across a pre-agreed list of regional top tier, mid-tier and independent broking houses. Due to the majority of individuals being based outside of London, we utilised our regional network of clients and sources in order to cross-reference each broker and capture the granular detail required. This included asking targeted questions around technical capabilities, geographical focus, notable personality traits, key accounts and estimated revenue. The OutcomeFollowing our deep-dive investigation into the UK regions, we highlighted in excess of 95 notable candidates across the broking community with "pockets of influence" in the UK P&C, construction, real estate, professional risks, and facultative markets. Following the presentation of our findings to the client, Eames Partnership was instructed to pursue 27 individuals across London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and proceed to interview 18, which resulted in a final shortlist of 11 key producers.The goal was to help our client build out production capability across the main markets. By partnering with our clients, we were able to understand and anticipate their requirements and advise them on the specific technical capabilities and personality characteristics required to build a balanced and effective regional team, which would ultimately enhance their retail offering.If you are interested in learning more about our market & talent mapping capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.​

Succession Planning: Global Broker
Succession Planning: Global Broker

Eames Partnership was commissioned by a leading US-headquartered (re)insurance broker to put in place a sufficient succession plan to be utilised, if and when, the time occurred. The client had identified a number of critical business roles within the company and expressed its concerns surrounding the implications of any leadership risk. As such, we were approached by the broker to develop continuity plans to address these concerns and enable a smooth transition of talent in the future.The ApproachThrough an intensive period of primary research, we engaged with our sources in the market to identify both up-and-coming talent within the organisation, as well as external individuals with the desired skills, experience and ambition to take on these roles. The client was particularly interested in 'key producers' who control and influence speciality lines of business, in addition to increasing the diversity of its workforce. With that in mind, we focused on finding potential female candidates in areas where they were most underrepresented. Following the research phase, we created a comprehensive list of suitable candidates who were well-respected and regarded by their peers in the market, in addition to being noted for their strong leadership and technical abilities. The OutcomeAs a result, we provided the client with access to a talent pool containing detailed perception analyses of each individual and their willingness to move elsewhere if the opportunity arose. Additionally, as part of our partnership with an established leadership development and talent advisory practice, we were able to create a bespoke development programme for rising talent within the organisation, equipping them with the tools and coaching to progress further in their careers.If you are interested in learning more about our succession planning capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.​

Talent Mapping: Leadership Talent Map (Global Broker)
Talent Mapping: Leadership Talent Map (Global Broker)

Eames Partnership was commissioned by a global broking house to complete a strategic intelligence report highlighting leadership capability across the South East Asian insurance market. We focused on six South East Asian countries (Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia), and were asked to look into both the broking and carrier markets and provide our client with a competitor analysis and succession plan as a result of an upcoming leadership re-structure.The ApproachWe identified the most relevant positions as local CEO, Head of Property & Casualty, Head of Business Development and COO. Through an intensive phase of both primary and secondary research, the team highlighted the relevant leaders and proceeded to complete an independent perception analysis by cross-referencing each individual with a variety of local sources in order to capture the granular detail required. This included leadership style, technical capabilities, geographical focus, key accounts, notable personality traits and market reputation.The OutcomeFollowing our research phase, we highlighted in excess of 200 potential candidates. Utilising our insights, we were able to provide our clients with a range of shortlists curated to enable them to achieve a list of objectives, ranging from company culture to tangible business outcomes.By partnering with our client, we were able to understand and anticipate their requirements and advise them on the specific technical capabilities and personality characteristics required to build a balanced and effective South East Asian team, which would ultimately enhance their overall regional offering. If you are interested in learning more about our strategic intelligence capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.​

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

We couldn't be prouder to have achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, the UK's workplace survey that sets the standard for workplace engagement. Best Companies lists Eames Partnership as an 'Outstanding' place to work and sees us recognised among the UK's 100 Best Small Companies to Work For and London's Best 30 Small Companies to Work For.When the pandemic took hold in March 2020 in the UK, and the first national lockdown was imposed, we had to react quickly to ensure our employees remained safe, motivated, and happy, but also to maintain business continuity under circumstances unlike any seen before. We leaned on our values and focused on our people – prioritising staff wellbeing, introducing home working, ensuring clarity of communication, and maintaining connections between teams. Employees characterised widespread faith in the focus on staff wellbeing and cultural connectivity. The introduction of flexible working hours, coupled with remote working, has afforded employees different ways of working. Most importantly, it has provided balance so that they can juggle all their jobs – parent, house cleaner, teacher, cook, dog walker – and the many other roles we stepped into last year.   Feedback from our employees is vital for us to continue to create opportunity as an organisation. The output from this survey will be invaluable for us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve. We're delighted our team feel so connected and engaged, especially in a year when we've never been more separated through lockdowns, homeworking and restricted international borders. We look forward to working with our team to build on the platform we've created, continue to improve, and strive for a 3-star accreditation next year. ---About Best CompaniesBest Companies was founded in 2001 and help make the world a better workplace by measuring, improving and recognising workplace engagement. Their world-class methodology powers The Best Companies to Work For list, spotlighting the UK’s best workplaces on a national stage. Eames Partnership engaged Best Companies as part of the Eames Group and the 2-star accreditation recognises all UK subsidiaries including Eames Consulting Group and ECMS. About Eames Partnership:Eames Partnership offers a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, focused on guiding the global (re)insurance industry on talent and linked strategies.Our specialist expertise and courage to challenge the status quo, has gained us the respect of leading firms within the (re)insurance market, with clients trusting us to find them exceptional leaders and talent that will deliver lasting success, both now and in the future.Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Communications, sarah.roebuck@eamespartnership.com.  

Eames Partnership Appoints Charlie Thomas as Associate Partner

By Matthew Eames

Eames News

Eames Partnership Appoints Charlie Thomas as Associate Partner

Today, Eames Partnership, a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, announces the appointment of Charlie Thomas to Associate Partner. Charlie will focus on elevating Eames Partnerships’ market intelligence capability, further propelling the executive search brand into a leading talent advisory consultancy to the global (re)insurance and wider financial services market."Charlie brings an impressive background in the wider financial services market, and a deep understanding of the macro economic challenges and opportunities our clients are facing,” says Matthew Eames, managing partner of Eames Partnership. “As a new breed of executive search, we understand the power of underpinning talent strategies with specialist market insight. Charlie’s perspective and expertise will enable us to provide a truly consultative approach with our clients. I’m looking forward to having her viewpoint, market expertise and insight in the team.” Formerly holding the position of managing editor at Insurance Insider, and most recently, as content director, Charlie has worked as a financial journalist since 2007. Her work has been published by The Times, The Financial Times Group, IFR (Part of Thomson Reuters) and most recently Insider Publishing. Her expertise spans institutional investments, pensions, investment banking, asset management and (re)insurance.“I’ve been a supporter of Eames Partnership’s approach to executive search and market intelligence for some time now and am excited about the new challenge this role will bring,”  Charlie shares. “I’m also a passionate supporter of the global (re)insurance specialty market. Risk management has never been more important, and this industry's people are central to its success.As we enter a hardening market for the first time in more than a decade, I’m greatly looking forward to helping Eames Partnership’s clients navigate their way through these remarkable times.”Charlie will assume the position of Associate Partner on January 4th, 2021. About Eames Partnership:Eames Partnership offers a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, focused on guiding the global (re)insurance industry on talent and linked strategies.Our specialist expertise and courage to challenge the status quo, has gained us the respect of leading firms within the (re)insurance market, with clients trusting us to find them exceptional leaders and talent that will deliver lasting success, both now and in the future.Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Communications, sarah.roebuck@eamespartnership.com. 

2019: A record year at Eames Partnership

By Matthew Eames

eames news

2019: A record year at Eames Partnership

We are pleased to report that we have had a record year at Eames Partnership! We’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of the markets global blue-chip, insurance brokers and carriers as well as the markets most exciting start-ups. Senior level mandates have been successfully delivered in Miami, New York, London, across EMEA and Asia Pac along with numerous ‘Talent Maps’ and ‘Succession Planning’ reports delivered across those geographies too. We’ve collected awards for our research capability and have worked continuously to improve our processes and outputs, to ensure we deliver maximum value to our clients. We also believe in being a specialist, sharing and growing our knowledge of the industry through featured articles and keeping up to date with the changes currently taking place. Our Partners are aligned to our disciplines to offer the most value to the search process. ​We are currently looking for passionate and experienced individuals who want to be part of building a challenger to the existing search firms. Being consultative, flexible and customer centric are key traits we value. If you are experienced in any discipline, focused on the Insurance markets and considering your career options message me for a confidential discussion.  

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

We couldn't be prouder to have achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, the UK's workplace survey that sets the standard for workplace engagement. Best Companies lists Eames Partnership as an 'Outstanding' place to work and sees us recognised among the UK's 100 Best Small Companies to Work For and London's Best 30 Small Companies to Work For.When the pandemic took hold in March 2020 in the UK, and the first national lockdown was imposed, we had to react quickly to ensure our employees remained safe, motivated, and happy, but also to maintain business continuity under circumstances unlike any seen before. We leaned on our values and focused on our people – prioritising staff wellbeing, introducing home working, ensuring clarity of communication, and maintaining connections between teams. Employees characterised widespread faith in the focus on staff wellbeing and cultural connectivity. The introduction of flexible working hours, coupled with remote working, has afforded employees different ways of working. Most importantly, it has provided balance so that they can juggle all their jobs – parent, house cleaner, teacher, cook, dog walker – and the many other roles we stepped into last year.   Feedback from our employees is vital for us to continue to create opportunity as an organisation. The output from this survey will be invaluable for us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve. We're delighted our team feel so connected and engaged, especially in a year when we've never been more separated through lockdowns, homeworking and restricted international borders. We look forward to working with our team to build on the platform we've created, continue to improve, and strive for a 3-star accreditation next year. ---About Best CompaniesBest Companies was founded in 2001 and help make the world a better workplace by measuring, improving and recognising workplace engagement. Their world-class methodology powers The Best Companies to Work For list, spotlighting the UK’s best workplaces on a national stage. Eames Partnership engaged Best Companies as part of the Eames Group and the 2-star accreditation recognises all UK subsidiaries including Eames Consulting Group and ECMS. About Eames Partnership:Eames Partnership offers a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, focused on guiding the global (re)insurance industry on talent and linked strategies.Our specialist expertise and courage to challenge the status quo, has gained us the respect of leading firms within the (re)insurance market, with clients trusting us to find them exceptional leaders and talent that will deliver lasting success, both now and in the future.Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Communications, sarah.roebuck@eamespartnership.com.  

Eames announces MIND as new charity partner

By Sarah Roebuck

careers

Eames announces MIND as new charity partner

The business was given the opportunity to vote for the 2017/2018 charity partner and an overwhelming majority backed the charity.  MIND is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.Driving the fundraising support is a volunteered group of employees who have pulled together a series of events to raise money and awareness for MIND.​Speaking of the partnership, Sarah Roebuck, head of marketing shared: “Often a taboo subject, in recent years public attitudes are improving, support is growing and mental wellbeing is high on the political agenda. With members of the Royal family supporting efforts to open up conversations about mental wellbeing, more is being done to help people better understand challenges people face that often can’t be seen.Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health and this can stop people from getting help. Through our fundraising efforts, MIND are able to continue offering advice and support to those facing a range of challenges.We are looking forward to contributing to the efforts to promote a greater understanding of mental health in the workplace and the recruitment sector.”For more information on MIND and the work they do, or for ways to support please visit their website. 

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. I’ve often heard complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​​​​ 

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​A huge thank you to all of our contributors for taking part in this series:Erik Johnson, Incoming Active Underwriter at MIC Global David Anderson, Partner, Head of US Cyber at McGill and Partners Theresa Farrenson, Customer Experience and Integration Lead at Aon Adam Triggs, Chair of Pride and Allies at Lloyd's And thanks in particular to Inclusion at Lloyd’s and LINK, the LGBTQ+ insurance network for all their help and support in bringing this podcast special together. 

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month [The GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month [The GRID Podcast]

​In this special episode of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate LGBT+ History Month. The theme this year is The Arc is Long, which is taken from a Martin Luther King Jnr speech from 1968, in which he says, “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But it Bends Toward Justice”, reminding us that change, while it may take a long time, will happen.Exploring the meaning behind that quote and where the reinsurance and insurance industry is today in its journey towards true inclusion for the LGBT+ community is LCP Partner Catherine Drummond who joins us for this special episode. As well as being the founder of LCP’s LGBT+ network, Cat also sits on the Senior Advisory Board to LINK, the insurance industry’s LGBTQ+ network, and is a mental health first aider. ​​​

[Episode 3] The Growth Story: Steve Hearn, CEO at BGC Insurance Group

By Matthew Eames

Podcast

[Episode 3] The Growth Story: Steve Hearn, CEO at BGC Insurance Group

In this series, The Growth Story, we speak with leading CEOs from across the insurance market on their future growth agendas and the key trends that will shape the future of the industry. From digital disruption to strategic people planning initiatives, this series tells the stories of the world's leading insurance organisations and how they are growing through change.Steve Hearn, CEO at BGC Insurance Group, joins us for episode three to talk Covid-19, the evolving role of the broker, an industry-leading approach to technology innovation and how BGC Insurance Group stay competitive in the war for talent.Watch Episode 3 of The Growth Story now. ​​​

[Episode 2] The Growth Story: Simon Matson, UK CEO at Gallagher

By Matthew Eames

The Growth Story

[Episode 2] The Growth Story: Simon Matson, UK CEO at Gallagher

In this series, The Growth Story, we speak with leading CEOs from across the insurance market on their future growth agendas and the key trends that will shape the future of the industry. From digital disruption to strategic people planning initiatives, this series tells the stories of the world's leading insurance organisations and how they are growing through change.With a 30+ year career in the insurance industry, our second guest, UK CEO at Gallagher, Simon Matson talks bold ambitions to grow the UK business and future plans for Capsicum Re, after it was recently announced the reinsurance brokerage would rebrand as Gallagher Re. We discuss the future of talent post-Covid and the impact it has had on the way we work. Simon passionately talks about looking after customers, being brave in the new world and what is "fundamental to our DNA at Gallagher".Watch Episode 2 of The Growth Story now.​

[Episode 1] The Growth Story: Julian James, CEO at Sompo International

By Matthew Eames

Podcast

[Episode 1] The Growth Story: Julian James, CEO at Sompo International

In this series, The Growth Story, we speak with leading CEOs from across the insurance market on their future growth agendas and the key trends that will shape the future of the industry. From digital disruption to strategic people planning initiatives, this series tells the stories of the world's leading insurance organisations and how they are growing through change.With a remarkable career within the insurance industry our first guest, Julian James, CEO of International Insurance at Sompo International, talks bold ambitions to grow the business internationally and in the London Market. We discuss the future of talent post-Covid and Julian also sheds light on the strategic decisions for Sompo's exit from Lloyd's and what he sees for the future of the Market. Watch Episode 1 of The Growth Story now.  

Overcoming the skills gap in the workplace

By Matthew Eames

insights

Overcoming the skills gap in the workplace

Soft skills are becoming increasingly more important in the workplace as there is a shift in which skills are deemed to be more useful and relevant in today’s market. Hard skills can often be developed and taught through training, whereas soft skills often encompass behavioural traits and cognitive skills which tend to be more difficult to learn. Certainly, with changes taking place at a rapid speed, organisations must be prepared as they no longer know which specific skills will be needed in the future.However, based on current research, soft skills are becoming increasingly important. A report conducted by Deloitte has stated that ‘soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030’.[1] As a result, developing a talent strategy that embraces people with the ability to adapt to change if required is crucial in staying ahead of the curve.[2]​The rise of digital technologyA rise in digital technology and automation has created a level of uncertainty amongst both employers and employees and has resulted in the recognition and the growing importance of soft skills. According to Deloitte, nearly half of today’s jobs will have evolved and undergone significant change in the next ten years, and therefore, people will need to be able to adapt and remain engaged regardless of these developments.[3] Whilst there is thought to be significant job displacement in the future, new jobs will also be created that don’t currently exist. For instance, it is predicted that ‘65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist’.[4]In both these new and evolving job roles, soft skills will become a key differentiator in the workplace as they are harder to automate, and as a result, will be more desirable. Machines will replace some jobs, but they will be unable to stimulate real and genuine human interaction. Due to this, social skills such as communication and teamwork will become some of the most valued competencies in the workplace.​Career progression and promotionFurthermore, soft skills are transferable and will prove to be invaluable as the labour force moves towards becoming a mobile one with younger generations more likely to job hop than in the past. These skills certainly increase the value of the employee, with 94% of recruiting professionals believing those candidates with strong soft skills have a higher chance of being promoted to a leadership position than an employee with more years of experience, but weaker soft skills.[5] Accordingly, soft skills appear to be a key factor deciding whether or not one is to progress to the next stage of their career.In particular, within the insurance industry, there is a considerable shortage of professionals who are both technical and have strong soft skills. It appears that the majority of the workforce underestimates the importance of soft skills and as a result are restricting their own progression because hard skills and technical expertise are no longer enough to secure a job in a competitive market. For instance, commissioned reports have discovered that circa 90% of human resource leaders perceive emotional and social skills as crucial in a globalising economy,[6] and creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are noted to be the most in-demand soft skills of 2020.[7]A common misconception is that soft skills are only relevant in roles that involve customer and client interaction. However, in an era where technical expertise is commonplace, soft skills not only enable hiring managers to quickly differentiate between candidates but also allow candidates to rapidly progress throughout their careers.​Barriers to soft skills developmentFurthermore, whilst young professionals and students tend to focus on developing their technical skills and gaining formal qualifications before entering the workplace, research has recently stressed that graduates need to recognise that soft skills are just as, if not more, important as hard skills.[8] It has become clear that graduates are at a significant disadvantage if they leave university without work experience and the interpersonal skills required for the current job market.As a result, experience and activities outside of academia must not be underestimated. For example, research by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) demonstrates that the majority (63%) of employers believe graduates who had undertaken work experience, internships or apprenticeships had the required soft skills, yet less than half (48%) thought this of graduates in general.[9] Consequently, a shift needs to occur in terms of teaching students these skills before they enter the workplace, as currently, this acts as a major barrier towards overcoming the soft skills gap.If you are interested in learning more about our services and how we can help you develop areas of your business, please get in touch.   [1] Deloitte Access Economics, ‘Soft Skills for Business Success’, May 2017.[2] Raconteur, ‘Future of HR’, October 2019.[3] Ibid.[4] World Economic Forum, ‘The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, January 2016.[5] ICIMS, ‘The Soft Skills Job Seekers Need Now’, August 2017.[6] Korn Ferry, ‘Five Ways to Get Young Recruits to Embrace Emotional Intelligence’, June 2018.[7] LinkedIn Talent Blog, ‘The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020’, January 2020.[8] Deloitte Access Economics, ‘Soft Skills for Business Success’, May 2017.[9] ISE, ‘Internships Help Tackle Skills Gaps’.

Succession Planning: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

By Joel Swan

featured-blog

Succession Planning: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Businesses tend to purchase insurance policies in order to ensure they are prepared and protected from any external disruptions or risks outside their control. So why do most businesses overlook the importance of succession planning? The sudden departure of a senior leader or key figure can leave a business extremely vulnerable. Having a plan in place is crucial in order to minimalise the level of disruption that occurs when a significant individual leaves a business. As a result, the phrase ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ is very applicable when discussing the benefits of succession planning.​What is Succession Planning?A succession plan is a process where an organisation identifies talent to fill the responsibilities of a role that is currently occupied but may become vacant soon. This effectively provides a ‘safety net’ for the company as by preparing a list of capable individuals for the role in question, the transition from the incumbent to the successor is likely to be smooth and efficient. Due to this, succession planning and creating a pipeline of talent for the future certainly has positive repercussions on a business and is an extremely worthwhile process. It is an effective use of time and energy, and organisations should be on the lookout for outstanding talent in order to allow for a robust leadership pipeline in the future.[1]​Benefits of Succession PlanningAccording to the Pew Research Centre, approximately 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 today – and every day – until 2030, which will ultimately place a significant strain on those in senior leadership roles. Preparing for this transition will ensure functionality and stability within organisations, alongside providing the next generation of future leaders with development opportunities and training.Succession planning enables organisations to identify those individuals with high potential and the correct skills and experience to fulfil the responsibilities of a specific position. It is common for organisations to explore external talent in order to benchmark against their current workforce and ensure that the highest quality of talent is acquired. Eames Partnership can highlight the top talent operating across a market, showcasing individuals that not only have the expertise, but also bring diverse skillsets and fresh perspectives.Additionally, areas of weakness within a business may be uncovered and can be dealt with in order to secure future success and financial growth. Recognising these limitations and remaining open to alternative leadership possibilities is useful in order to evaluate how each potential candidate could benefit the organisation overall.[2] As a result, by partnering with an executive search firm to formulate a succession plan, Eames Partnership can create detailed perception analyses of each individual and their willingness to move elsewhere if the opportunity arose. Alongside this, we can create a bespoke development program for rising talent within the organisation, equipping them with the tools and coaching to progress further in their careers.Furthermore, there is a growing talent gap in the insurance industry, particularly at the middle management level, where organisations do not have the correct individuals internally to replace executives.  This has the potential to cause significant disruption, and therefore, insurance firms must plan to shrink this gap through talent pipelining. Importantly, preparing in advance ensures that businesses are ready for leadership changes and unexpected exits, enabling them to fill critical positions quickly without a lengthy hiring period. Contrary to popular opinion, succession planning proves to be useful not only when replacing those operating in C-suite positions, but also when preparing for the departure of other influential figures, including senior leaders within an organisation.If you are interested in learning more about our succession planning capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please get in touch.​[1] Personnel Today, ‘Is Succession Planning an Outdated Concept?’, January 2020.[2] HR Central, ‘Succession Planning Has Many Benefits’, June 2017.

The concerning impacts of climate change on the insurance industry

By Joel Westley

insights

The concerning impacts of climate change on the insurance industry

In 2019, climate change was identified as the greatest risk of them all, ahead of the threats posed by cyber attacks and terrorism. The consequences of this for the insurance industry are undoubtedly significant and extensive.[1] Not only does an increase in frequency and severity of major weather events result in an increasing number of claims, but this will eventually create a surge in premium prices, making insurance less affordable for those who need it. As Denis Kessler (Chairman and CEO of SCOR SE) stressed, insurance should be used ‘not only as a means for providing financial resilience, but as an instrument for supporting risk reduction’,[2] and therefore, insurers should focus on mitigating the risks associated with climate change.​The unpredictable effects of climate change:Due to unpredictable weather patterns, insurers have struggled to accurately predict the loses they will incur in a given year. For instance, in 2017, Swiss Re had estimated to incur $1.18bn in losses, but a rise in claims resulted in a staggering sum of $3.65bn.[3] For an industry that relies on predictions and previous loss records, accurately pricing risks is becoming increasingly difficult to do. Rather, insurers will need to ensure they have the correct talent on board with the skills required to use advanced analytics in order to assess weather records and assumptions regarding future climate predictions. Actuaries and underwriters will need to be able to competently detract information from catastrophe risk models to assist them with managing the likelihood of adverse events occurring.Furthermore, with the rise of extreme weather events, it is possible that it may become too costly in the future to provide cover to high-risk areas. For example, over a three-month period in early 2018, the abnormally low weather temperatures resulted in insurers paying an excessive amount to cover the costs of burst pipes; this amounted to a total of £194 million.[4] As a consequence, premiums rose, and in some cases, became unaffordable for individuals. There are fears that if insurers withdraw from certain types of risks, consumers will have little choice but to cover the costs of damage themselves. However, as will be discussed below, insurance firms can adapt to support a more sustainable future, and as a result, avoid the prospect of premiums increasing to an unaffordable level.​How insurance companies can drive a greener future:As Huw Evans explained, although the insurance sector has been harshly exposed to the costs of climate change, in the long-term, the industry has the ability to shape the future.[5]  There are concerns surrounding how the transition to a zero-carbon economy will impact those insurance firms invested in companies reliant on fossil fuels. Consequently, not only is it important for insurers to manage the physical risks involved with climate change, but it is also crucial that these organisations play an active role in moving away from investing in non-renewable energy. In recent years, several insurers have committed to no longer insure and invest in companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from coal-related businesses.[6] Swiss Re initially made this move, and Munich Re, AXA and Zurich have followed suit in limiting their dealings with unsustainable firms.Furthermore, insurance firms can act as ‘gatekeepers’ and participate in promoting the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Insurers can place increasing pressure on large companies, as by refusing to provide coverage for these firms, they will be compelled to move towards embracing renewable energy. Allianz made a statement in May 2018 pledging to remove its ‘coverage from single coal-fired power plants and coal plants, and that it would phase all coal risks out of its business by 2040’.[7] This movement away from a reliance on fossil fuels towards greener initiatives will consequently help mitigate the risks climate change pose to the insurance sector.​How is the industry preparing?In addition to shifting towards a sustainable economy, a short-term solution to dealing with an increasing number of climate change related claims is necessary. Insurance companies can introduce parametric insurance policies which assess the possibility of an adverse event, and will automatically trigger a payment to the consumer if the event occurs.[8] For example, Swiss Re has developed a new product, known as FLOW, for companies that are unable to transport goods when water levels drop below a certain level.[9] As a result, accurate risk assessment will be more important than ever, and when weather-related disasters occur with little warning, quick payments can reduce the level of disruption that may otherwise arise.Overall, it appears insurance firms will need to make a choice; either they face huge losses resulting in their inability to insure high-risk areas, or they must gradually move away from investing in and insuring large companies supporting the fossil fuel industry.  [1] The Ecologist, ‘Insurance and Climate Change’, 2019[2] SCOR, ‘How Does Climate Change Affect the Insurance Sector? A Geneva Association Conference’.[3] Fortune, ‘Climate Change Is Hitting the Insurance Industry Hard. Here’s How Swiss Re Is Adapting’, 2019[4] ABI, ‘Climate Change’.[5] ABI, ‘Can Insurance Help Drive a Greener Future?’, 2019[6] KPMG, ‘Climate Change into the Boardroom’, 2019[7] Financial Times, ‘Insurers Act on Climate Change Exposure’, 2018[8] Marsh, ‘Parametric Insurance: A Tool to Increase Climate Resilience’.[9] Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, ‘FLOW: Parametric Water-level Insurance’, 2019

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. I’ve often heard complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​​​​ 

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​A huge thank you to all of our contributors for taking part in this series:Erik Johnson, Incoming Active Underwriter at MIC Global David Anderson, Partner, Head of US Cyber at McGill and Partners Theresa Farrenson, Customer Experience and Integration Lead at Aon Adam Triggs, Chair of Pride and Allies at Lloyd's And thanks in particular to Inclusion at Lloyd’s and LINK, the LGBTQ+ insurance network for all their help and support in bringing this podcast special together. 

Celebrating Pride Month

By Sarah Roebuck

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Celebrating Pride Month

​It’s Pride Month.June is a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities around the world. Often marked by big parades and marches, Pride Month is also an opportunity to listen and learn more about our peers and shine a spotlight on inclusion in the workplace.We're using the month of June as an opportunity to listen, and an opportunity to learn. We’ll be sharing more over the course of the month about the history of Pride, ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and how we’re driving inclusion at Eames Partnership.To celebrate this month, our Pride @ Eames team has pulled together a number of events and initiatives from a virtual cook-a-long with a recipe from gay chef, Yotam Ottolenghi to a Book Club, recognsing an LGBTQ+ author. We're releasing a 3-episode GRID Podcast special featuring leaders from the community at organisations such as Lloyd’s, McGill, Aon and MIC Global (subscribe here). Our team can learn more about LGBTQ+ inclusion through internal training and utilise our newly created internal hub, Pride @ Eames, which is full of support, resources and insight on the key objectives we’re driving.Celebration of Pride extends far beyond rainbow logos and signature events. We’re committed to showing support for the community all year long and will be sharing more information throughout June about progress we’ve made with equality, diversity and inclusion at Eames Partnership.  Happy Pride Month!

Market Insights: New Market Entry (London Market Carrier)
Market Insights: New Market Entry (London Market Carrier)

Eames Partnership was commissioned by a global (re)insurer to research a new product/market in preparation for a potential launch. The client instructed Eames Partnership to investigate a variety of territories ranging from the US, London, Europe and Asia as well as potential candidates to support the company in launching the product locally.The ApproachPrior to researching suitable candidates with the potential to provide direction and leadership and build a book of business from scratch, we spoke with a variety of market leaders and experts who were able to inform and advise us on the current market climate and recommend that the London and US markets were the most appropriate territories to launch the team/product due to a range of factors (notably clients uptake in purchasing this product). Through an intensive phase of primary research, we sought to highlight the relevant leaders across the London and US markets and focused on those individuals with a solid market reputation and a track record of building and maintaining a portfolio.The OutcomeFollowing the research phase, we highlighted in excess of 15 potential leadership candidates across London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Following the presentation of our findings to the client, Eames Partnership was instructed to pursue twelve individuals, and proceeded to interview nine, which resulted in a final shortlist of 6 strong leaders (3 in the US and 3 in London). Following the final interview phase, our client decided to launch the product in London, in addition to hiring a US leader to focus on North American domestic risks based on our recommendations from the market analysis report.If you are interested in learning more about our market analysis capabilities or how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.​

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

We couldn't be prouder to have achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, the UK's workplace survey that sets the standard for workplace engagement. Best Companies lists Eames Partnership as an 'Outstanding' place to work and sees us recognised among the UK's 100 Best Small Companies to Work For and London's Best 30 Small Companies to Work For.When the pandemic took hold in March 2020 in the UK, and the first national lockdown was imposed, we had to react quickly to ensure our employees remained safe, motivated, and happy, but also to maintain business continuity under circumstances unlike any seen before. We leaned on our values and focused on our people – prioritising staff wellbeing, introducing home working, ensuring clarity of communication, and maintaining connections between teams. Employees characterised widespread faith in the focus on staff wellbeing and cultural connectivity. The introduction of flexible working hours, coupled with remote working, has afforded employees different ways of working. Most importantly, it has provided balance so that they can juggle all their jobs – parent, house cleaner, teacher, cook, dog walker – and the many other roles we stepped into last year.   Feedback from our employees is vital for us to continue to create opportunity as an organisation. The output from this survey will be invaluable for us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve. We're delighted our team feel so connected and engaged, especially in a year when we've never been more separated through lockdowns, homeworking and restricted international borders. We look forward to working with our team to build on the platform we've created, continue to improve, and strive for a 3-star accreditation next year. ---About Best CompaniesBest Companies was founded in 2001 and help make the world a better workplace by measuring, improving and recognising workplace engagement. Their world-class methodology powers The Best Companies to Work For list, spotlighting the UK’s best workplaces on a national stage. Eames Partnership engaged Best Companies as part of the Eames Group and the 2-star accreditation recognises all UK subsidiaries including Eames Consulting Group and ECMS. About Eames Partnership:Eames Partnership offers a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, focused on guiding the global (re)insurance industry on talent and linked strategies.Our specialist expertise and courage to challenge the status quo, has gained us the respect of leading firms within the (re)insurance market, with clients trusting us to find them exceptional leaders and talent that will deliver lasting success, both now and in the future.Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Communications, sarah.roebuck@eamespartnership.com.  

Eames Partnership Appoints Charlie Thomas as Associate Partner

By Matthew Eames

Eames News

Eames Partnership Appoints Charlie Thomas as Associate Partner

Today, Eames Partnership, a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, announces the appointment of Charlie Thomas to Associate Partner. Charlie will focus on elevating Eames Partnerships’ market intelligence capability, further propelling the executive search brand into a leading talent advisory consultancy to the global (re)insurance and wider financial services market."Charlie brings an impressive background in the wider financial services market, and a deep understanding of the macro economic challenges and opportunities our clients are facing,” says Matthew Eames, managing partner of Eames Partnership. “As a new breed of executive search, we understand the power of underpinning talent strategies with specialist market insight. Charlie’s perspective and expertise will enable us to provide a truly consultative approach with our clients. I’m looking forward to having her viewpoint, market expertise and insight in the team.” Formerly holding the position of managing editor at Insurance Insider, and most recently, as content director, Charlie has worked as a financial journalist since 2007. Her work has been published by The Times, The Financial Times Group, IFR (Part of Thomson Reuters) and most recently Insider Publishing. Her expertise spans institutional investments, pensions, investment banking, asset management and (re)insurance.“I’ve been a supporter of Eames Partnership’s approach to executive search and market intelligence for some time now and am excited about the new challenge this role will bring,”  Charlie shares. “I’m also a passionate supporter of the global (re)insurance specialty market. Risk management has never been more important, and this industry's people are central to its success.As we enter a hardening market for the first time in more than a decade, I’m greatly looking forward to helping Eames Partnership’s clients navigate their way through these remarkable times.”Charlie will assume the position of Associate Partner on January 4th, 2021. About Eames Partnership:Eames Partnership offers a new breed of executive search and market intelligence, focused on guiding the global (re)insurance industry on talent and linked strategies.Our specialist expertise and courage to challenge the status quo, has gained us the respect of leading firms within the (re)insurance market, with clients trusting us to find them exceptional leaders and talent that will deliver lasting success, both now and in the future.Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Communications, sarah.roebuck@eamespartnership.com. 

2019: A record year at Eames Partnership

By Matthew Eames

eames news

2019: A record year at Eames Partnership

We are pleased to report that we have had a record year at Eames Partnership! We’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of the markets global blue-chip, insurance brokers and carriers as well as the markets most exciting start-ups. Senior level mandates have been successfully delivered in Miami, New York, London, across EMEA and Asia Pac along with numerous ‘Talent Maps’ and ‘Succession Planning’ reports delivered across those geographies too. We’ve collected awards for our research capability and have worked continuously to improve our processes and outputs, to ensure we deliver maximum value to our clients. We also believe in being a specialist, sharing and growing our knowledge of the industry through featured articles and keeping up to date with the changes currently taking place. Our Partners are aligned to our disciplines to offer the most value to the search process. ​We are currently looking for passionate and experienced individuals who want to be part of building a challenger to the existing search firms. Being consultative, flexible and customer centric are key traits we value. If you are experienced in any discipline, focused on the Insurance markets and considering your career options message me for a confidential discussion.  

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

The importance of intersectionality [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. I’ve often heard complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​​​​ 

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

True inclusion is driven by company culture [GRID Podcast]

In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate Pride Month.We are bringing together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, our expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​A huge thank you to all of our contributors for taking part in this series:Erik Johnson, Incoming Active Underwriter at MIC Global David Anderson, Partner, Head of US Cyber at McGill and Partners Theresa Farrenson, Customer Experience and Integration Lead at Aon Adam Triggs, Chair of Pride and Allies at Lloyd's And thanks in particular to Inclusion at Lloyd’s and LINK, the LGBTQ+ insurance network for all their help and support in bringing this podcast special together. 

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month [The GRID Podcast]

By Charlie Thomas

The GRID

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month [The GRID Podcast]

​In this special episode of The GRID Podcast, we celebrate LGBT+ History Month. The theme this year is The Arc is Long, which is taken from a Martin Luther King Jnr speech from 1968, in which he says, “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But it Bends Toward Justice”, reminding us that change, while it may take a long time, will happen.Exploring the meaning behind that quote and where the reinsurance and insurance industry is today in its journey towards true inclusion for the LGBT+ community is LCP Partner Catherine Drummond who joins us for this special episode. As well as being the founder of LCP’s LGBT+ network, Cat also sits on the Senior Advisory Board to LINK, the insurance industry’s LGBTQ+ network, and is a mental health first aider. ​​​

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