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Daily Insurance Industry News
Thursday 18th of October 2018
February 25, 2012

Insurance CEOs hampered by talent shortage

by Gill Montia

Story link: Insurance CEOs hampered by talent shortage

Over two thirds of insurance chief executive officers are planning on changing their strategy over the next 12 months, according to new research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Of the 121 insurance company heads surveyed for PwC’s annual global survey, 70% cited current economic uncertainty as the greatest threat to growth in the short term, and almost 50% believe the global economy will worsen over the next 12 months.

Even so, 90% think revenues will improve, although over-regulation and a lack of talent are likely to hold back investment and business development, with key findings on lack of skills / talent as follows:

Nearly 60% of insurance CEOs see a shortage of skills as a significant threat to growth, the highest of any financial services sector.

Around 30% of respondents said they had been unable to pursue a market opportunity or have had to cancel or delay a key strategic initiative as a result of talent constraints.

The majority of CEOs questioned plan to reassess their talent strategy, with 20% planning major changes.

The talent gap looks set to widen as demand continues to outstrip supply – nearly 50% of insurance CEOs said they are finding it harder to hire good people and only 10% believe it will get easier.

High-potential middle managers and suitably qualified and experienced people in emerging markets are in especially short supply.

This is leading to pay inflation within many businesses, with more than 50% of insurance CEOs saying that pay costs have risen more than expected.

Moving on from skills and talent, the survey also reveals:

Only 15% of insurance CEOs are planning on carrying out a cross-border acquisition in the coming year.

Nearly half of CEOs questioned said emerging markets are more important than developed markets to their company’s future.

More than 80% of respondents said they plan to build up their operations in East Asia, South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America over the next 12 months, compared to less than 40% in Western Europe.

PwC’s global insurance leader, David Law, comments: “Growth opportunities exist, particularly in faster growing economies and from new technology developments, and those insurers that are able to respond to this changing risk landscape with innovative solutions will be rewarded by the way they are valued by customers and investors.”

 

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