BUILDING A BIGGER WELCOME MAT – CAROLINE WAGSTAFF & MATTHEW MOORE, LMG
This week´s guests on The Voice of Insurance podcast are CEO Caroline Wagstaff and Chairman Matthew Moore, who run the London Market Group, the LMG. In this episode, Caroline and Matthew discuss with host Mark Geoghegan the industry´s talent crunch and the LMG´s plans to make specialty insurance a destination career.
Earlier this month, the LMG launched a long-term campaign to increase awareness about the industry across the UK, engage young people and explain the various types of roles that exist in the market. The campaign has three distinct parts, which Caroline and Matthew discuss in the podcast.
Much has been documented about the possible talent crisis facing the UK insurance industry. According to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics, the UK finance industry has more than five vacancies unfilled for every 100 jobs between April and June 2022, the highest since records began in 2001.
Kicking off the discussion, Matthew talks about identifying the problem and why it matters, “Over a period of time, we´ve measured a trend that shows that the numbers of those in the cohort aged above 50 is greater than those aged below 30.” Why should that matter? Matthew discusses that the London Market has huge ambition – it needs to digitise, compete against other markets, and develop new products, amongst other things. Matthew argues that the market needs energetic, diverse talent filled with digital natives to achieve its business ambitions at the company and market level. Matthew adds, “So the London Market Group has really put that at the top of its priorities to address on a consolidated market-wide basis.”
The first step in its three-step campaign is getting the story out there, says Matthew, “We´ve got a fantastically compelling story to tell young people, school leavers, university leavers, people to come into our industry – we´ve got the story, now is the time to go out and tell It properly.”
So, how does the LMG plan to capture attention? Caroline responds, “So one of the things I always say about this to people is, we need to get our head into the same space that we do about what we do every day. So, what do we do? We pull capital to take bigger risks, and we act collectively, and we´ve never had that attitude to what we do about talent, and we need to get that attitude so that we can industrialise.”
Caroline outlines the next two steps of the campaign in more detail. Step two is building visibility in universities, with the LMG launching an outreach programme into 15-20 universities during the 2022-23 academic year. The third step is engaging school leavers and developing materials that schools can use to talk about insurance with the aim of creating an Academy in the London Market next summer.
Speaking further about the plans, Caroline says, “What we all know when we bring young people in, is seeing is believing. Once you´re in the market, and you talk to people, people are very easily convinced that it´s a great place to work.”
The trio talks about how skill sets will need to change to move forward and how the market can benefit from talent with a wide range of diverse skills; Caroline says, “So yes, as Matthew said, we need digital natives, we need data, we need analytical skills, but as someone said to me, you don´t have to be a math’s expert you just need to be not scared of numbers because you can learn a lot of that stuff on the job and I think that´s really critical to us… don´t feel you have to come in a certain package to work in London.”
This is a long game, asks Mark. Have you got the funding and commitment to keep it up? Caroline makes it very clear that the LMG is committed, “Absolutely, it needs to be a medium to long-term investment.”
Enjoy the podcast.