Employer Brand looking to the Future breakfast event: summary

Dec 24, 2021

Held on 16th November 2021 at the Eight Club Bank

Attracting and retaining the right talent is one of the top challenges for insurers right now, with a shrinking and non-diverse pool to choose from and a massive amount of pent up demand for quality talent and significant amount of people moving out of the market. So, can developing Employer Brands help and what else is happening in the Market?

At the event Caroline Wagstaff CEO of the London Market Group outlined the challenges and potential solutions to attracting new and diverse talent to the London Market and Ben Bolton MD of Gracechurch presented findings from the first Employer Brand study.

The findings and presentations were discussed by a small select group of talent, HR and Marketing heads representing some of the biggest employers in the London Market.


In a forthright and engaging talk Caroline highlighted the main issues that make it tough for London to attract diverse new talent:

  • A lack of understanding about what the insurance market is
  • The industry has a reputation problem
  • The market is hard to navigate with 350+ firms in the business and a lot of jargon
  • A lack of diversity and inclusion 

She then explained about the LMG’s major talent initiative called London Insurance Life (LiL) https://londoninsurancelife-lmg.com/about-us/:

LiL focuses on:

  • Providing information about the market (FAQ’s, interactive learning modules and glossaries) 
  • Giving people access to relatable role models (ambassadors, podcasts, and videos)
  • A job board to get more entry-level and graduates into the industry 

Coincidentally the LiL website had launched on the day of the event!

Ben then presented the Gracechurch Employer Brand Monitor underwriter research which showed that:

  • Underwriter ratings of London insurers as employers are extremely low
  • Underwriters are most attracted to businesses that have strong trusted leaders, a good market reputation with clear strategies and quality staff
  • They reject businesses that have spotty financial performance or appear to be too bureaucratic

Ben pointed out that the low rating was a problem in that if the most influential people in the market don’t rate its strengths how can we hope to inspire people to come in?  He also highlighted the significant opportunity for businesses to market themselves more effectively to potential talent rather than just relying on remuneration.


There followed a lively discussion and the points covered and at least partially answered included:

Q: Have we made any steps into becoming a more diverse industry? 

A: Yes, it is moving towards inclusivity as there are more women and ethnicities in insurance than ever before. However, it is not moving at the pace it should.


Q: How do we reduce nepotism in the market?

 A: It is difficult to not hire friends or family however if the pool of talent is made bigger, it will be easier to recruit a much more diverse range of talent. 


Q: Will the Employer Brand Monitor focus solely on underwriters and will research be conducted on different lines of business? 

A: Yes, different types of businesses will be very different culturally and in what they offer to employees, albeit that there will be common factors. In 2002 the study will cover claims, broking and other functions including technology and operational roles.


Other points of agreement:

  • Competition is healthy and a level playing field should be discouraged
  • It is important to get the insurance markets message out better- the key functions to make this happen this will be marketing and HR. Leadership engagement is also very important and we have to think of ways of getting board level sponsorship. 


There were more questions than answers on the day, but the group was positive about meeting regularly in future to discuss issues, share experiences, promote success and take the conversation forward to the market leaders. Some of the questions included:

  • What does a modern insurer need to look like?
  • How do we get leadership to buy into this?
  • Do we understand what inspires people to want to work with us?
  • What constitutes effective communication in the space?
  • How do we target the most appealing audiences effectively?
  • What is the competition doing and are we keeping up to speed?

It was generally agreed that insurer recruitment will be more like marketing in future that and attracting new talent requires a brand-positive cohort.

Thanks to all who attended and contributed so positively; we will be in touch about the Employer Brand group in early January and will set up another meeting in late January.


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