CII Group CEO reflects on talent acquisition, leadership, and the future of the profession

CII Group CEO reflects on talent acquisition, leadership, and the future of the profession

CII Group CEO reflects on talent acquisition, leadership, and the future of the profession

Matthew Hill (MH), recently appointed CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), has shared his first impressions of the insurance sector and the CII in a new episode of ‘The Journal podcast’.

In conversation with The Journal editor, Luke Holloway, he considers the industry’s core challenges:

“One thing I've been struck by is how difficult we find it sometimes to articulate the value [of insurance] - and similar principles apply to financial planning - and the value that insurance adds to society. It seems to me that insurance is a bit like the law in many respects: society is greatly enriched by [insurance], and couldn't operate in the way that we understand, without it.

Because what you are doing, as a customer of insurance in personal lines for example, is paying into a fund that helps people when things go wrong. And there's something, I think, very profound about that. So, when I pay for my house insurance, I'm not paying with the expectation that my house is going to burn down (touch wood), but in the knowledge that if somebody else's house burns down, they will be helped, and they will help me if my house gets burned down. And the insurance industry is a means of sort of facilitating that social bargain.”

On how this school of thought may translate to talent attraction, MH said: “I think the job of the CII, and everybody involved in the profession, is to find ways to articulate the value that insurance adds that appeals to people, so that when young people are thinking about the careers that they want to go in to, there's something that they can connect with. There's something underpinning the day job of insurance that is transcendent, that is fundamental to the way that we live our lives. And you can make similar arguments about financial planning, and the service that provides to people to live their lives to the fullest possible potential. So, you're creating a pull in the same way that many people might say that they want to become a doctor because they want to help people.

Can't we find a way to persuade young people that they want to become insurance professionals or financial planners because they want to help people? Easier said than done, I recognise that. But I see it as being a really important part of the offer of the CII. Finding ways to articulate the value of these professions which are compelling.”

With respect to his leadership of the CII, and its five-year Strategic Plan published last year, MH said: “In my view, the current five-year Strategic Plan is really strong. It's very clear, it's full of ambition. It's a really good translation of the Charter into a strategic plan, and I see no reason to change that plan, but I do see lots of opportunity for the Institute to get better at turning that ambition into meaningful programmes of activity. The six themes seem very clear, very sensible, and what we need to do is make sure that for each of those six themes, we've mapped [what is] most likely to help us make progress towards our goals. And to make sure that we are making the right choices, that we're deploying every part of our resources with maximum efficiency, and to get maximum impact.”

I'd like us to be much more flexible and agile in the range of support we can provide in terms of education and training for the professions. So, there's a whole range of things that I see as being a source of enormous growth for the CII in terms of its influence, credibility, the way it positions itself. I feel very lucky to have joined the CII at this particular point in its history.”

The full episode of The Journal podcast is available here.