Nicholas Hentges, Chairperson of Captive Insurance Companies Association 2023 - 2024
3 April 2023ArticleAnalysis

Meeting tomorrow’s challenges

Recruiting the talent of tomorrow might be the way to deal with the issues facing the captive insurance industry today, said Nick Hentges, chief executive of Captive Resources and the recently announced chair of the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA).

Talking to Captive International Hentges said that the insurance industry, of which captives are a niche part, is “ageing out” as managers and senior executives leave.

“Our industry is not facing the great resignation as much as the great retirement,” said Hentges. “The captives space is an interesting industry to be a part of, but unfortunately we have not delivered that message to young professionals very well. If you talk to college students today and ask: ‘What do you think about the insurance industry?’ they would probably answer: ‘It’s old, stodgy, boring, and not interesting at all’.”

Hentges emphasised that insurance is an exciting industry, there are very interesting things going on especially in captives, and that the industry must do a better job of getting the message out.

He does three or four talks on college campuses each year and his hope is that when he spends some time with students, they will feel his passion and be more open to learning about the opportunities out there for young people.

“The fact is our industry needs fresh talent, so we must educate and inform young people about our industry, and CICA is leading the charge on that in the captive insurance space,” Hentges told Captive International.

Hentges has been a member of the CICA board for the last three years which, he said, had been a great experience as he moved through the board positions to become chair this year. He has known CICA’s president Dan Towle for a long time, but over the last three years he has come to know the other board members very well and “they are tremendous people”.

“Renea Louie, the immediate past chair, is going to be a tough act to follow,” he said. “The good news is that we work as a team—this isn’t a one-person show. We have a group of talented people who work very closely together to discuss and address the issues facing the captive insurance industry.”

According to Hentges, shortly after becoming CICA president, Towle reached out to him and asked if he would like to become more involved in the association. Captive Resources had not been active in CICA mainly because the company was focused on growing its business.

Hentges believes that CICA’s Amplify Women and Next Gen initiatives are great directions for the captives industry to follow and also for the broader insurance industry. Towle put Hentges on the Next Gen Committee, which he has enjoyed tremendously, saying that it’s been very rewarding to be involved.

Hentges said that he has great expectations for the younger generation coming into the captive insurance industry, and he feels the same about the Amplify Women initiative.

“More than 50 percent of the management team at Captive Resources are women, which is indicative of what is happening in the industry,” he said. “It’s important for CICA to continue to emphasise the Next Gen and Amplify Women initiatives.”

The CICA annual conference in Palm Springs this year was extremely successful, Hentges added. After cancelling the in-person 2020 and 2021 annual conferences, close to 600 people attended this year, with 280 first-time attendees at the conference which, Hentges said, was very exciting.

“People want to see each other and are excited about being able to gather together again,” he said. “I’d love to see the attendance continue to grow, and the conference become the preeminent educational conference in the captive insurance space.

“One of the things I want to do this year is to build on the energy I felt at the last conference. I felt a great energy in the halls, in the panel discussions, throughout the entire two or three days, that tells me we’re going to see an uptick in people joining CICA, being part of it, and participating.

“That’s exciting to me and I hope I can be a part of helping to make that happen,” he concluded.