In her final piece for The Journal, Julie Page highlights the responsibilities of our generation
As I reflect on my term as CII president and the risk themes I have focused on in The Journal in the last 18 months, it is clear that many have been magnified by Covid-19. The pandemic has also demonstrated how big risks are interconnected and global, not local. Each calls for a different response if we are to tackle the unmet needs of our clients and maintain our relevancy.
In April’s Journal, we discussed cyber – one of the greatest risks of our age. Cybercriminal activity is now at a scale and frequency never seen before, further emphasising our role in helping clients understand, mitigate and present their risks to optimise the protection available to them.
In August, we reflected on the global challenge of climate change. Even in a core area of competence for our profession like weather risk, the insurance protection gap is growing. Given our experience and our capabilities, we must continue to embrace this challenge, to innovate and resist the temptation to step away.
Innovation was a theme of October’s Journal, in which we discussed the need to bridge the protection gap in another key risk area – intangible assets. As organisational value has shifted from tangibles to intangibles like intellectual property, we must figure out how to protect these assets in the same way we do buildings and physical property. It is crucial that we accelerate our solutions in this space – the exposure is currently growing faster than our response.
The pandemic has demonstrated how big risks are interconnected and global, not local
These risks have been playing out against the backdrop of both the pandemic and a hard market, touched on in February’s Journal, which has made insurance transactions more difficult. That complexity is demanding more from our professionals and it has never been more apparent that our people are the key to addressing unmet needs and maintaining our relevancy. To do this, we must have the right people with the right talent in the right place. This means looking beyond our traditional recruiting pools and bringing more diversity of talent into our profession.
Julian Enoizi, outgoing CEO of Pool Re, has placed this ambition at the core of his presidency of the Insurance Institute of London, stating: “We have too often looked not to include, but exclude, both in our insurance policies and the makeup of our workforce. My focus will be on how we respond to the complex world of risk we face, including how we embrace new technologies and partnerships to foster innovation in our profession. More importantly still, I will explore how we attract new talent and greater diversity, both in our thinking and our people, to this industry.”
Finally, with our people key in meeting this challenge, it is vital that we continue to support them and their wellbeing. The pandemic has brought the subject of mental health into the everyday vocabulary of the country and employers responded – let’s ensure this open and responsive approach to mental health continues.
These are the challenges of our age and the responsibilities of our generation. Insurance has a key role to play in protecting economies, lives and livelihoods and we must ensure that as a profession we maintain our relevance by keeping pace with the changes that are happening around us.
It has been an honour to serve as president of the CII and my absolute pleasure to hand the baton over to my successor Peter Blanc. I wish him all the best during his term of office.
Julie Page is outgoing president of the CII