- Posted by: Andrew Berry
- Category: news
Captive Insurance Times, Issue 159, October 17, 2018
Ned Holmes of Captive Insurance Times reports on SRS’s recent captive scholar program and the experiences of the three students who participated in the program at VCIA in August.
A little less conversation, a little more action
There has been lots of discussion about the ‘talent crisis’ facing the industry this year, but SRS turned talk into action with their captive scholar programme. Three of the students who took part discuss their experiences and suggest where the industry could go next.
The industry ‘talent crisis’ and the need to attract a new generation of professionals into the captive insurance industry is hardly a new topic. This year there have been discussions about what should and can be done at almost every industry event, with speakers ranging from company executives to college students. A commonly suggested solution from these discussions seems to be an increased industry outreach to communicate to students what captives are and why they should want to work with them.
Ahead of the 2018 Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) in August, Strategic Risk Solutions (SRS) turned those ideas in action and launched their Collegiate Captive Scholar Programme. The programme, which aims to provide underwriting students with learning opportunities in the captive insurance industry, was piloted at VCIA.
Three students, Christian Ferrara of Appalachian State University, Marissa Cesa of Bowling Green State University, and Brent Musgrove of Georgia State University, were selected by SRS who, in collaboration with the VCIA, covered the cost of sending them to the 2018 conference in Burlington.
The idea was to give the students the chance to attend educational sessions, network with industry professionals, and gain a basic understanding of what a career in captive insurance is like. Derick White, managing director of governance, risk, and compliance practice at SRS, says he is proud that amongst much discussion in the industry, SRS are taking action.
“Several speakers at the VCIA conference mentioned that the industry must do more to let students know we are here and hiring,” comments White. “However, I’m glad to say that SRS is actually proactively reaching out.”
“Brady Young, CEO of SRS, came up with the captive scholar programme idea and quickly instituted it for the VCIA conference. It wasn’t easy to gather students during the summer but it was done.”
White adds: “I think that the next round of conferences will see many more interested students, we are gathering cooperation from other associations for 2019 and have also contacted and been contacted by various universities and colleges with risk management programmes.”
Rich Smith, president of the VCIA, echoes the comments made by White about future plans and hopes more companies will follow in SRS’s footsteps moving forward.
“SRS brought students from risk management programmes from across the country to the conference this year,” explains Smith, “and that is something we are looking to expand over the next few years.”
“We are hoping to get other captive managers involved in hosting students at future conferences. We are hoping that these young people will be ambassadors for the industry and go back to their programmes to make more people aware of the captive industry.”
Smith and White’s reflections on the programme’s maiden voyage give an interesting insight into the industry’s stance on what they need to do to solve the talent crisis but the students themselves can provide a vital resource on how to attract the next generation of captive professionals and counteract the ‘talent crisis’.
Captive Insurance Times spoke to the three students, Musgrove, Cesa, and Ferrara, about their experiences, careers in captive insurance, and what needs to be done to appeal to more young professionals.