No matter what anyone tells you, reinsurance is a knowledge-based business, as Chris Murumets explains.
Life insurance and reinsurance are struggling to find a way to transfer knowledge from industry veterans to the next generation. A knowledge gap is developing at possibly the worst time, when products, reinsurance structures, and regulatory requirements are becoming more complex.
This poor transfer of knowledge is coupled with a lack of training. There are now a number of organisations across the industry with long term skill gaps.
The generalists, who understand the broad concepts of the entire product and service chain, seem to be almost extinct, replaced by specialists in every area from pricing through to claims. These specialists are stretched to keep up with developments and workloads in their own areas, let alone attempt to understand and consider the impact of their efforts on other parts of the reinsurance business.
We are in a risk management business, something that requires individuals to think beyond their own sphere. Increasingly companies look to outside support, a fresh pair of eyes, to help them do this. Inexperienced staff tend to see systems, especially legacy systems, as the only process available to
“There are now a number of organisations with long-term skill gaps.
solve all their problems. A ‘black box’ which few, and in the worst case no one, in an organisation truly understand. Surely the solution is more focus training and development, across all core functions – presuming that a company first has a clear strategy as to what is considered core. Talent cannot be managed as earnings, quarter to quarter. Owning and developing knowledge must be part of a company’s long-term goals.
Organisations can continue to pay lip service to concerns that “their most valuable asset is walking out the door”; however, that can only happen if the most valuable asset has already walked in.
Chris Murumets is the CEO of Life Reinsurance consulting services and technology specialists LOGiQ3