6 August 2018Analysis

Captive industry more visible than ever but still a challenge to attract young talent

It is incumbent on the captive insurance industry to engage the next generation of young professionals, and it must do more to provide mentorship and other initiatives to attract this talent.

This is according to Rich Smith, president of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA), speaking to Captive International ahead of VCIA’s 33rd annual conference held in Burlington, Vermont.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Where the Captive World Comes to Meet”, has a particular focus on collaboration. Aside from providing educational sessions and networking, Smith says the conference this year will focus more on facilitating collaborative opportunities.

VCIA this year is providing more opportunities for captive owners to meet alone and share ideas, for example on how their captives deal with particular issues, or which service providers they use – such as who they use for actuarial studies.

“Over the years we’ve tried to create the conference as not just a place for the Vermont captive industry, but a place where we bring in the experts from the industry,  and quite frankly from all over the world to provide not only that expertise but also to collaborate and learn from each other.”

There are several sessions at this year’s VCIA that focus on professional development, including the "Young Professionals Forum", "Bridging the Next Generation of Leaders," "Great Ideas for Presenting to a Board," and "The Art of Relationship Building."

“It’s always a challenge to get young folks excited about ‘insurance’,” Smith continued. “The good news is that the risk management field is more visible than it has ever been. More schools in the US – colleges and universities – are offering more robust risk management programmes.”

In terms of the captive industry as whole, Smith believe it is shifting, both in terms of its maturity, but also the size and type of organisations that are now forming captives.

For prospective captive owners and those new to the industry attending the conference, Smith offers the following advice: “Get out and talk to people – it’s a great opportunity to ask questions, not only to service providers but also your peers, people who have already gone through the process.”