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2024 London Insurance market outlook

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David Carr, Managing Director, shares his views on the London Insurance market, including growth trends, factors influencing talent and retention, skills employers are looking for and in-demand roles. For advice on the UK or global insurance market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact David.

What specific trends have you seen in the London Insurance market?

The UK insurance market has considerably grown over the past 12 months, with premiums reaching around £320 billion at year end. Growth in the London market has been heavily influenced by the UK’s strong economy and various global factors.

There hasn’t been a dramatic rate correction for over four years, this is the first time since 2018 the average has been below 10% and looking to next year, we expect there to be overall risk pricing challenges.

Insurers are now aggressively looking for new business where they can write profitable business due to strong risk management processes, to provide additional protection of their client’s assets and to mitigate any potential losses. This is a priority for businesses as they continue to operate in a highly regulated market, with complex rules and regulations.

According to the market’s financial results, Lloyd’s of London reported it’s strongest ever combined operating ratio (COR) since 2015, of 91.4% for the first half of 2022, despite payouts of over £21 billion due to macroeconomic challenges. From 2019 to 2021 figures went from 110.3% to 92.2%, indicating significant profitability improvements across the market and good news for insurers throughout 2024.

What factors have affected talent attraction and retention in the past 12 months?

Key challenges the industry is facing is continued growth without the loss of profitability in a market, where there is a clear “war for talent”. It’s not a case that the talent isn’t there, it’s a case of how employers can successfully attract top talent and ensure they keep it, in a competitive climate. The importance of a strong Employee Value Proposition and a company’s ability to demonstrate a diverse and inclusive culture, plays a significant role here. Professionals are prioritising employers who not only align with their own values but also can evidence they have an authentic and effective diversity and inclusion strategy. In fact, many people are considering a business’ approach to ED&I before even considering an interview. We’ve seen employers adapt their recruitment processes to accommodate these demands, to ensure they’re able to attract the right people.

Another important factor, is the impact of climate change which is affecting many risk profiles. The lack of data to price risks accordingly is likely to create longer term issues across the sector. Certain businesses are building data labs to combat this issue, this will interestingly create new business opportunities and different job roles for the profession, as it continues to advance in a data driven and technological landscape.

Which roles are most likely to be in demand in 2024 and why?

Demand for individuals who can attract new business and control the income is becoming increasingly essential. We are seeing more businesses employ employees who have strong technical skillsets but who also have expertise in new business development and client management. Gone are the days where a Technician would be mainly focused on manually processing tasks, they now need a commercial skillset, with excellent communication skills and ability to forge strong senior partnerships, in order to progress and advance their career.

What skills are in-demand for professionals wanting to work in this market?

The market is continuously evolving to meet the demands of clients that are affected by the changing geopolitical landscape and shifting hybrid working environment. The move to more customer focussed models with a strong emphasis on winning new business is instigating significant shifts in company culture and providing new opportunities for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Consequently, technical and data skill sets will continue to be in demand as businesses continue to use automation and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to drive innovation and improve the customer experience. Training and development in this area will continue to be key across the London and wider UK/EU markets.

Niche skill sets like these, will always be in demand, along with individuals who either protect revenue or create revenue streams. These are the key areas we believe will grow, as demand continues across the market.

What do clients and professionals need to be aware of?

Throughout 2024 I expect there to be further international investment into the UK market which will create some really exciting opportunities. Hiring managers will need to act quickly on decisions in order to gain commitment from professionals they want to hire. It’s absolutely essential for employers to ensure they’re having regular and transparent conversations with prospective and current employees, failure to do this means losing talent to competitors or to counter offers, which are certainly rising across the market and subsequently inflating salaries.

For professionals, my advice would be to keep an open mind on new roles across the market, don’t just jump at the first offer. Carefully consider what is important to you and what you want your career trajectory to be, having your goals mapped out will help you understand whether they align with any future employer.

About David

David has been supporting clients to secure top talent and grow their businesses since 2001 across the UK, European and US Insurance markets.

His experience ranges from recruiting within regional markets in the UK, the development of a major FTSE 250 recruitment company, to running a specialist team in the City of London that focuses on Lloyd's and the London Insurance market. David really enjoys delivering an excellent service as well as taking on challenging assignments that improve business performance.

For advice on the UK or global insurance market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact David.