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 (1 December 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

EC News

EC News (1 December 2022)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Mosaic Insurance, Tysers Insurance Brokers, Liberty Mutual Re and more.​Mosaic Insurance opens new office in Frankfurt Mosaic Insurance has announced the opening of an office in Frankfurt, Germany, to help meet demand for cyber and transactional liability coverage through Continental Europe. This is Mosaics’ sixth office since its launch last year, following those in Bermuda, London, New York, Chicago and Toronto. Read MoreTysers names Andrew Kendrick as chair Tysers Insurance Brokers has named Andrew Kendrick as non-executive chair, effective 1 December 2022. Peter Haynes will remain as chair until FCA approval for Andrew Kendrick is granted. Read MoreLiberty Mutual Re promotes Vincent Gilardi to head of international treaty casualtyLiberty Mutual Reinsurance has announced the promotion of Vincent Gilardi to head of international treaty casualty. Within this role, Gilardi will lead all casualty reinsurance international business for Liberty Mutual Re. Read MoreTokio Marine HCC International promotes Vanesa Herrero to European CEOTokio Marine HCC International has announced Vanesa Herrero has been promoted to chief executive officer of Tokio Marine Europe. Herrero’s appointment follows the imminent departure of Christian Kanu, who is leaving TMHCCI to take up a new role at a global insurer in his native Italy. Read MoreVanessa Leemans joins AXA XL as head of cyber AXA XL had announced the appointment of Vanessa Leemans as head of cyber, UK & Lloyd’s, effective immediately. She joins from Aon and will be responsible for leading AXA XL’s cyber business in the UK and driving its strategic, profitable development. Read MoreBeazley appoints Ellie Horner as head of ceded reinsurance Specialty insurer, Beazley has appointed Ellie Horner as group head of ceded reinsurance, succeeding William Mills, who has departed to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). Horner has worked at Beazley since early 2020 as a ceded reinsurance manager, playing a key role in reinsurance purchasing decisions and strategy at the company. Read More

EC News (24 November 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

insurance

EC News (24 November 2022)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Insurance Europe, Pacific Life Re, Liberty Mutual Insurance and more.​Insurance Europe names Alexander Sarrigeogiou as vice president Insurance Europe, the European (re)insurance federation has announced the election of Alexander Sarrigeorgiou, chair and CEO of Eurolife, as its new vice president. A Greek citizen, Sarrigeorgiou has led Eurolife FFH for 18 years, and before this, was CEO of Allianz Insurance in Greece. Read MoreDavid Waters joins Pacific Life Re as director of underwriting in Europe Pacific Life Re has announced David Water has joined the firm as director of underwriting in its European Business Unit, reporting to Carl Padget, VP, head of claims and underwriting and will work closely with Ian Rowe, director of claims and Hayley Bloomfield, senior underwriting developer. Read MoreLiberty Mutual Insurance adds Rachel Conran as CUO at Liberty Specialty MarketsLiberty Mutual Insurance announce the appointment of Rachel Conran and chief underwriting officer, Liberty Specialty Markets, effective 1 January 2023. Conran will report to Matthew Moore, president, GRS office of underwriting, and Phil Hobbs, president and managing director of LSM. Read MoreSam Bradley joins Arch Insurance as senior cyber underwriter Arch Insurance names Sam Bradley as senior cyber underwriter, effective immediately. Based in London, he will report to Marcus Breese, head of cyber and technology E&O and joins the firm from Willis Towers Watson. Read MoreRyan Specialty strengthens European presence with new officeRyan Specialty Transactional Risks International has announced the opening of its new office in Copenhagen, Denmark, the business’ fourth office. The firm also appoints Christian Ulrich Weiss Bruhn, who has joined as senior underwriter. Read More

EC News (17 November 2022)

By Sheridan Muir

EC News

EC News (17 November 2022)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Allianz Holdings, Chubb, Marsh and more.​Allianz Holdings appoints James Maxwell as risk director for Allianz CommercialAllianz Holdings has announced the appointment of James Maxwell to the newly created role of risk director for its commercial business and will report to John Berry, chief risk officer. Read MoreSteve Driscoll joins Chubb as head of financial lines for Global Markets Chubb has named Steve Driscoll as head of financial lines for Chubb Global Markets, the firm’s London Market wholesale and specialty business, including its Lloyds platform, effective immediately. Based in London he will report to Robert Wilson, chief underwriting officer for CGM. Read MoreLloyds Banking Group names Chirantan Barua as group CEO of Scottish Widows Lloyds Banking Group has announced the appointment of Chirantan Barua as chief executive officer of Scottish Widows and the Group’s Insurance, Pensions and Investments business unit, effective in 2023. Read MoreMarsh names Michael Kolodner as global renewable energy leader, Marsh SpecialtyGlobal insurance broker Marsh has appointed Michael Kolodner as global renewable energy leader, Marsh Specialty. Based in Boston, he reports to Andrew George, global head, energy and power. Kolodner succeeds Hamish Roberts who has taken on a new role as Marsh’s UK & Ireland Specialty growth leader. Read More Liberty Mutual Insurance adds Mike Gosselin as global leader, energy & transition risk Liberty Mutual Insurance has announced the appointment of Mike Gosselin as global leader, energy and transition risk. In this newly created role, he will report to Elizabeth Geary, global risk solutions president, insurance solutions. Read MoreLockton Re appoints Ben Ryan to retrocession & property specialty team  Lockton Re has named Ben Ryan as a senior broker within the non-marine retrocession and property specialty team in London. Ryan joins from Aon, where he began his career as part of the graduate programme at Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions. Read MoreDarryl Page appointed as chief culture officer at Chubb Chubb has announced Darryl Page has been appointed as vice president, Chubb Group and chief culture officer, succeeding Ivy Kusinga, effective 9 January 2023. Page is returning to Chubb after retiring in July 2022 and will report to John Keogh, president and chief operating officer, and Jo Ann Rabitz, senior vice president, Chubb Group and global human resources officer.Read MoreEverest Re hires David Mann as head of casualty for the UK branch Everest Reinsurance, the reinsurance division of Everest Re Group has named David Mann as vice president, head of casualty for Everest Insurance, UK branch, effective January 2023. Based in London, he will report to Mark Wallace, vice president, deputy CUO and head of long tail for Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda) Ltd, U.K. Branch. Read More

We’re breaking down barriers to inclusive online experiences

By Sarah Roebuck

Diversity and Inclusion

We’re breaking down barriers to inclusive online experiences

​Eames Partnership has partnered with the accessibility technology provider, Recite Me to enable website visitors to customise their online experience in a way that best suits their individual needs. It is estimated that 20% of people have a disability that can prevent them from reading and understanding online content. Those who are most susceptible to access barriers are those who struggle with decreased vision, learning difficulties, literacy, language/linguistic problems, attention disorders and physical disabilities. Recite Me accessibility software implemented on our website provides users with the opportunity to customise their online experience. The toolbar includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech and styling options. This includes changes to the font size, type, and colour. Having secured a Bronze accreditation with Clear Assured in January 2022, this is another step forward in our equality, diversity and inclusion efforts and further demonstrates how we put inclusion at our core. To access the assistive toolbar on the Eames Partnership website, click the circular blue accessibility icon at the bottom right of the website. --- Recite Me functionality is also available on our brand sites: Eames Group, Eames Consulting, and ECMS. For more information on Recite Me, please visit their website here. For information on our partnership with Recite me please contact Sarah Roebuck, marketing director.

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. 

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

By Charlie Thomas

homepage

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

homepage

​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: 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.​

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: 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.​

Eames Group are winners at the 2022 Recruiter Awards

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

Eames Group are winners at the 2022 Recruiter Awards

​Eames Group has been recognised as the ‘Most Effective Back Office Operation’ at the 2022 Recruiter Awards.This is the seventh consecutive year we've been nominated for this honour. The Recruiter Awards are widely recognised as the benchmark for excellence within the recruitment industry and profession. The prestigious honour recognises best practice and celebrates the great work and achievement across the sector.Of the award win, Matthew Eames, Chief Executive Officer, shared:"I'm thrilled to see us recognised again by Recruiter. The service delivered by our Corporate Services (back office) teams plays a critical part in the overall value Eames delivers to its candidates, clients and stakeholders. A nomination for the Best Back Office Operation is a great nod to the work our HR & Operations, Finance, Marketing, Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development teams do.”We were also shortlisted for the Best Banking and Financial Services Agency, a prize we took home last year.

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. 

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

We’re breaking down barriers to inclusive online experiences

By Sarah Roebuck

featured-blog

We’re breaking down barriers to inclusive online experiences

​Eames Partnership has partnered with the accessibility technology provider, Recite Me to enable website visitors to customise their online experience in a way that best suits their individual needs. It is estimated that 20% of people have a disability that can prevent them from reading and understanding online content. Those who are most susceptible to access barriers are those who struggle with decreased vision, learning difficulties, literacy, language/linguistic problems, attention disorders and physical disabilities. Recite Me accessibility software implemented on our website provides users with the opportunity to customise their online experience. The toolbar includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech and styling options. This includes changes to the font size, type, and colour. Having secured a Bronze accreditation with Clear Assured in January 2022, this is another step forward in our equality, diversity and inclusion efforts and further demonstrates how we put inclusion at our core. To access the assistive toolbar on the Eames Partnership website, click the circular blue accessibility icon at the bottom right of the website. --- Recite Me functionality is also available on our brand sites: Eames Group, Eames Consulting, and ECMS. For more information on Recite Me, please visit their website here. For information on our partnership with Recite me please contact Sarah Roebuck, marketing director.

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. 

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.​

Eames Group are winners at the 2022 Recruiter Awards

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

Eames Group are winners at the 2022 Recruiter Awards

​Eames Group has been recognised as the ‘Most Effective Back Office Operation’ at the 2022 Recruiter Awards.This is the seventh consecutive year we've been nominated for this honour. The Recruiter Awards are widely recognised as the benchmark for excellence within the recruitment industry and profession. The prestigious honour recognises best practice and celebrates the great work and achievement across the sector.Of the award win, Matthew Eames, Chief Executive Officer, shared:"I'm thrilled to see us recognised again by Recruiter. The service delivered by our Corporate Services (back office) teams plays a critical part in the overall value Eames delivers to its candidates, clients and stakeholders. A nomination for the Best Back Office Operation is a great nod to the work our HR & Operations, Finance, Marketing, Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development teams do.”We were also shortlisted for the Best Banking and Financial Services Agency, a prize we took home last year.

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. 

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. ​​​

Blank

Subscribe to EC News

Keep up to date with the latest news and developments from the global insurance market in our free weekly digest.