Young at Heart

Young professionals

Young captive professionals at a recent VCIA event.

Recruiting and training the next generation of captive professionals is a paramount issue for our industry, as everyone knows. Both CICA and NRRA have programs designed to reach out to this group and draw them into the industry.  Fostering newcomers to join the field and eventually step into the roles of our current captive leaders and professionals is an initiative that VCIA takes to heart.

Over the past number of years, VCIA’s Annual Conference has created places and sessions where young professionals can learn from and network with both peers and seasoned professionals as they pick a pathway forward in the captive insurance field.  Besides our NEW Captive Immersion experience, which will familiarize those who are new to the captive industry on the key services, and our annual Captives 101 session that provides a basic overview of captive insurance companies and RRGs, other VCIA sessions designated for young professionals include:

Developing the Next Generation of Captive Industry Leaders, which will explore what is being done in the industry to attract and retain new talent.  According to the Pew Research Center, millennials were the largest portion of the workforce in 2016. As a group they are very connected, having grown up with the internet in their everyday life. In the workforce, they are eager to make a meaningful contribution to the workplace and the greater good. In many ways, this group is helping transform organizations.

Our Young Professionals Forum will provide a great resource particularly for those with fewer than 10 years of captive experience.  Three dynamic facilitators will lead small group discussions about sharpening your speaker skills, how to approach your early career years and work/life balance.  Afterwards, an open forum will occur for a fluid discussion on topics such as transitioning into the workforce, professionalism and meeting work demands in a sometimes-stressful environment.

On top of all that is just the best networking opportunities both “on campus” and “off campus” in the captive industry, so, I hope you all can join us! Click here to register for the VCIA Conference today.

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Ignore the man behind the curtain!

static1.squarespaceWhy does the marketplace for captives continue to grow, especially in mid-sized enterprises? A big reason, as pointed out by Steve Bauman of Zurich Global in North America, is the ability to access and utilize data on the costs of risks within enterprises is more readily available and transparent. In the “old days” companies and organizations paid their premiums to insurance carriers with the hope that the risks would be whisked away. Without full access to data and transparency on risk cost, you paid up and crossed your fingers.

As Steve points out, now the managers of enterprises of all types and sizes realize that the more control they have over their risks, the more control they have over the success of their business. No longer should it be a mystery on what risks cost and how to better manage them. Captive insurance is the ultimate internal control!

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!


End of the Year (not the World)

2014 clockOne thing about living in Vermont is that you know when it gets toward the end of the year – it’s dark, cold and often snowy. Just keeps us in a rhythm with nature, I guess. But it also signals the start of lighter days ahead. With that introspective hackneyed opening, it’s time to ponder the end and look ahead.

It was another good, albeit challenging year in the captive industry. We continue to see growth industry-wide as more organizations (big and small) take control of aspects of their own risk which in the past they would have pushed off to the commercial insurance market.  There are now over 5,000 captive insurance companies worldwide, and growing interest from smaller to middle sized entities seeking ways to mitigate new and emerging risks.  Emerging risks, such as cyber risk and supply chain risk, present opportunities to the captive insurance world, which can respond more quickly and precisely than traditional insurance. We see the risk starkly with the very recent cyber-attack on Sony by shadowy assailants who are causing major disruptions to Sony’s operations. Owning the risk early on may have helped Sony protect itself from these types of attacks.

Even as captive insurance has emerged solidly as a mainstream risk financing tool, there is still work to be done.  We continue to see  challenges to the industry, including  threats of excessive regulation; the weakening of sound regulatory structures based on a desire to attract business; and efforts to impose new or increased taxes.  As Congress left Washington this week without passing a TRIA reauthorization, we are reminded that we have our work cut out for us next year.

All in all, however, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. We have so many opportunities for growth, and will work hard to see captives continue to prosper!

Have a safe and happy holiday season and terrific New Year! Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!