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Venquis Market Intelligence update: Business Change & Transformation in the Insurance sector in H1

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Clare Eades Market Update, Financial Services, Business change...

H1 key trends

The political uncertainties and upheavals of last year have continued into 2017 and as a result the last six months have seen a plateauing of the business change and transformation recruitment in the insurance market. The ongoing availability of capital has forced lower rates across the market and this has been compounded by both global and domestic political uncertainty as well as the much talked about kick off to the Brexit negotiations.

Uncertainty often results in cost cutting exercises and these last six months have been no exception to that. On the upside, the climate of rationalisation has led to some hiring around process efficiencies. Process efficiencies have also led to a change in the geography of hiring. Where previously roles were London based, we are seeing more and more back office roles moving outside of London, not just to the home counties but also to regional cities like Manchester and Birmingham.

Automation in the insurance industry continues to grow. Although it has meant some roles being streamlined, it has also resulted in a number of roles being generated to support these projects. Another change we’ve seen in the last six months is not so much a decrease in vacancies, they’ve remained constant but instead we’ve seen a decrease in the number of people looking to move because they’re uncertain of the market.

Brexit

As the negotiations get underway, "Brexit" continues to be high on the agenda in the commerical insurance space and it is bound to remain a key topic until well beyond agreements are reached.

Ahead of the negotiations, many of our clients kicked off “Brexit” projects at the start of this year. The focus of these projects has been to explore ways of setting up an entity within the EU so when (if) the divorce happens organisations will be able to continue writing business with their European clients.

As such, we have seen an increase in contract requirements to support the setup of these new entities, with contract PMs and BAs in particularly high demand to lead and scope these projects. 

Of course, it is still early days and too soon to have a clear idea of which way the Brexit negotiations are going to go. What is clear though is that as the parameters emerge, we can expect to see more hires around change, operations and regulation skill sets. There will undoubtedly be a resounding impact on the business transformation and change sector with some large-scale project opportunities emerging.

GDPR

In May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect. Its aim is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals across Europe. All industries will be affected and as with Brexit, this is an area that will mostly impact the contract market and because it’s a cross industry requirement it’s proving to be a highly competitive market.

In the last six months, we have assisted many of our clients to build up their GDPR projects. Those with the right experience are being snapped up very quickly and clients will need to act quickly to secure the best talent. In the Insurance sector the most sought-after contractors for GDPR projects are those with prior experience in data privacy work or regulatory work such as FATCA or Solvency. Many of the bigger banks started early on their GDPR projects and a lot of the talent is coming from this space. These are complex projects affecting all aspects of business and we expect demand for GDPR talent to remain high in the next half of the year as well.

 

What to expect in H2

The climate of political uncertainty is likely to carry on affecting the recruitment market into Q3. There will continue to be an increase in Brexit related hires especially towards the end of Q4 as the structure of the deal emerges.

We anticipate digitisation and the rise of AI and Insurtech to continue apace and for that to continue to generate opportunities both for contract and permanent roles. The chance to innovate and be industry leaders is there for the taking. It may be the brave that win out in an uncertain market.

For further information about any of the topics covered in the report, or if you would like the opportunity to talk to one of the team, please get in touch at insurance@venquis.com