With the insurance market seemingly buoyant from a hiring perspective, I recently caught up with (virtually of course) a previous candidate who has like so many interviewed and on-boarded remotely.
Having joined an MGA to kick off the company’s Political Risk division I was keen not only to understand their experience, but also what impacts of the pandemic they have seen both now and in the year ahead.
As someone who has onboarded remotely how have you found the experience?
It’s been surreal. Not only getting to know my new colleagues on zoom etc but also interacting with the market as a whole in this new way of working. I’m a firm believer in making the most of the situation (even a bad one) so for me it’s been a rapid adjustment and getting stuck into the new role. We are all in the same boat after all. I have worked out a ‘new’ routine of life as I think we are creatures of habit, so this has helped me.
Kicking off a new division for the business and needing to secure capacity, has this been more difficult through a pandemic and in a hardening market, will this affect PR specifically?
I think this one is a double-edged sword. The uncertainty and hardening market create opportunity in specialty lines, but also makes finding support that much harder particularly on the challenging business I write.
From your perspective what impact do you see the pandemic having on the Credit and PR market currently and how do you see the coming year playing out?
I have looked at all the lines I write to try and predict the likely outcome of the pandemic and it’s not a short answer.
Trade credit will struggle and there will be some companies/syndicates writing retail, travel, supply chain etc that will undoubtedly see a deterioration in their results as the incidence of insolvencies increase. I don’t think this is necessarily a feature of the pandemic, but it certainly hasn’t helped matters.
Brexit in the mix too is also making the road to economic recovery a long one. For those of us left trading, the exit by a number of notable underwriters from the market in the 2 years running up to 2019/20 has made a bit of room, but there is still a reluctance to grow in many quarters (either self‑imposed or enforced by Lloyd’s etc). Which if positioned with capacity will make for a very profitable few year.
On the PV side the civil unrest and (depending how you view it) an attempted coup in Washington, shows more than ever that SRCC risk and insurrection is a real possibility. The destabilising effect of the Capitol Hill unrest has far reaching ripples with regimes such as Syria potentially ignoring international law and reverting to the use of WMD’s on their enemies whilst the US sorts out the mess on home soil.
Relations with China have never been worse, North Korea are already showboating a new ‘super rocket’ and the sustainability of large defence budgets and maintenance of NATO etc are all under pressure as the financial costs of COVID continue to bite.
There doesn’t seem to have been as many reports on terror activity through the last year – is this due to the pandemic taking all the airtime or has it been a calmer time?
I think this is just a matter of time. The lockdown and therefore restriction on movement means the terrorist whose MO now is kill and maim rather than raze to the ground can’t really inflict any significant and therefore newsworthy damage whilst there are very few targets of opportunity for them to attack and whilst the police etc are out in force.
Lastly, so many people have been finding new things to fill the time in lockdown – have you started revisited any new hobbies?
I have qualified as a volunteer vaccinator and start next Sunday.
It appears whilst there is obviously some impact from the global pandemic, equally there is too opportunity being created in the specialty classes.
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Additionally, if you are considering growing a team or adding a class of business, we can arrange a meeting (virtually of course) to discuss Arthur’s approach.
By Vicki Filer
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