11 March 2024news

Education is key to the growth of the captives sector

The captive insurance industry must act now to attract and secure potential future talent if it is to build on its present success and achieve its full potential.

That is the view of Anne Marie Towle, chief executive officer of Hylant Global Risk and Captive Solutions, speaking in advance of the CICA conference this year. 

She said the company was very proud of sponsoring the College and University student essay contest at CICA, along with helping to promote the next generation of professionals entering the captive insurance industry. 

She stressed that, for Hylant, this is a focus for the company as it approaches its 90th anniversary of being family-owned and privately held and as it plans for its fifth generation of leadership at the firm. 

She said that Hylant’s values go hand in hand with creating career opportunities not just for college and university students, but also for all professionals and supporting professionals in seeking additional education support resources to be able to do their job and be best at what they do.

Towle underlined the fact that in her view it is extremely important to get that next generation into the world of captives. 

“As we know, looking at the landscape today, I know [CICA President] Dan Towle continually says, ‘We’ve entered the golden age of captives’,” she explained.

“I think that is an applicable term. Because we’re at the stage where there are so many opportunities with clients and prospective clients, in exploring captives, expanding the use of captives, and having the talent and the resources in order to provide services to all of these captive owners is imperative.”

She warned that providing these services continues to be challenging for a lot of organisations, and having the staff to cope as the number of captives that are licenced continues to climb, is a key part of future growth.

Towle explained that being able to service these companies means providing thought leadership. As a result, it is imperative that the captive industry takes on the risk management, accounting and actuarial students that are graduating and starts to train them.

As she pointed out, many professionals in the current captive insurance industry graduated 20, 30 or even 40 years ago, making it imperative to recruit the next generation of captive insurance executives now, after they graduate with basic insurance knowledge and to help provide the technology, resources and other areas that will enable them to launch into their career and support the future growth of captives.

“We need to provide that opportunity in the beginning, but also highlight and show them possible career paths - what are the options as they progress throughout their career? Supporting these young adults is really important to Hylant and the overall industry.”

One way in which Hylant is doing this is through a partnership with Butler University, to offer not just internal employees, but also external clients, risk management resources. She explained that the Hylant – Butler partnership has developed a programme that will provide education and resources for risk managers who are new into their role, and internally are people who are focused on risk management and providing services. 

“It's another step in our journey,” Towle explained. 

“It shows our leadership's commitment to furthering education, both internally and externally and having a go-to resource because some people  struggle and don't know where to get further education. For instance, some may wonder how to set up a risk management department. Being able to know and understand all the different insurance aspects is extremely important. We wanted to be a forerunner, in this area with our partnership with Butler University, which is one of the premier universities in the nation with their risk management programme, and their actuarial, accounting and finance degrees.”

According to Towle, the partnership with Butler dates back quite a few years. Over a year ago, Hylant committed to a million-dollar endowment and just had its first scholarship recipient in the risk management undergraduate program. Hylant has also been recruiting fairly regularly from their degree programmes, as well as being supportive in the development of Butler’s risk management certificate. 

Hylant also developed a pilot MBA programme for its employees, which Butler participates in, along with other well-known colleges and universities such as Yale, the University of Michigan and Northwestern.

“We’re supporting not only early career entrants but also mid-career and experienced people, providing the support and resources that they need with an educational aspect. Not only is it very important to me and also to Hylant, but it is imperative for our industry that we continue to provide quality, innovative educational content, and share it amongst, the wider captive industry. In advanced of the CICA conference, and all the fantastic educational opportunities they have, I am looking forward to networking and supporting one another in our industry as we continue to strive for new talent.. The opportunity to engage with others is important and that's what I'm looking forward to during this upcoming CICA conference.”

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