Director – Professional Services organisation
After recently shifting my focus on the insurance sector, I have spent a large chunk of time lately to better understand the industry and why it can be such a beneficial career for many governance professionals. Like many, I had certain vague impressions of the industry which protects us: stable, orthodox, conventional and, possibly, slower to change than other sectors however, I'm quickly learning that the insurance sector has much more to offer than you see upon first impression. Much like the mullet, a popular hairstyle from the 90s, the insurance sector is multifaceted.
Firstly, insurance is a highly regulated sector with companies adhering to at least 1, if not 2 or more different sets of financial regulation, meaning exposure to the board room at a level junior stage of your career is prevalent, whilst also gaining the opportunity to learn very complex and technical financial products and terminology. Not only is this highly valuable exposure and information to gain at a junior stage of your career, it also showcases your ability to pick up complex topics and feel confident working within similarly fast paced and highly regulated environments. These skills are incredibly useful whether you are looking to stay in the sector to transfer across to another, these transferable skills can often set you apart from the rest.
While financial gains aren’t the biggest motivator for everyone, it is worth noting that insurance companies do tend to have salaries that sit towards the higher end of market bandings. And while they may fall slightly lower than the big banks, this is often made up by a very competitive benefits package, particularly attractive bonuses and pensions. Typically, a medium to large insurance company will offer in between £55,000 - £90,000 for an ACS alongside these excellent benefits.
The insurance industry can be often seen as being a little traditional and old fashioned, but this can be a blessing in disguise when it comes to job security and long-term career plans. Furthermore, the sector is a fairly futureproof industry to go into and despite it having been recently affected by large market downturns. Due to the nature of the sector, it is often diverse in its approach to the products it insures, meaning it is unlikely to be massively affected unless it has to pay out for several large-scale policies in a short span of time.
Insurance is also a highly buoyant market with consistent hiring over many years meaning that entry is easier unlike than some of the more niche sectors such as construction or retail that are slightly more turbulent and depend on global sentiment. This often means teams sizes in insurance are far larger which leads extra support on large projects and the ability to develop a deeper understanding on particular pieces of work without feeling stretched or overworked.
If you like the sound of the insurance sector and would like to find out more, please let me know. Possibly the most important thing I’ve learned about my time in insurance is the sheer volume of exciting and interesting opportunities in the governance sector. Although, the industry is often viewed as conventional, in reality, insurance corporate governance offers the best of both worlds: The stability and professionalism of a mullet's fringe with the excitement and opportunity of the party in the back.