Throughout 2016, the Insurance industry saw continued M&A activity and strategic changes as both local and foreign businesses looked to minimise cost and risk. Hiring has been steady although strong specialist insurance professionals are still in high demand.
Governance is a key focus for businesses
In 2016, increased regulatory requirements have led to hiring within the Corporate Governance space. Compliance professionals have been in particular demand, alongside Risk professionals who have a good understanding of the business.
Strong actuaries are still sought after at most levels and have their pick of employers. The best actuarial professionals are usually highly rewarded, and they are less inclined to move without high monetary and progression-based motivations. Given the shortage of local talent, insurers have sought particularly Singaporean actuaries.
We have also seen a lot of insurers hiring within the Strategy and Consulting space, as companies keep up with the changing economic, technological and regulatory landscapes. There has also been increased hiring of insurance professionals within Change and Projects teams, as efficiency and cost saving have become so vital.
Reinsurance still hiring
The Reinsurance space has been particularly active in 2016, and salaries are often higher compared to their direct insurance counterparts. In such a niche area as Reinsurance, companies are often open to hiring talent from a direct insurer or consulting background regardless of skill gaps. We saw high uplifts for excellent insurance professionals moving to join top reinsurers.
Contract staff an attractive alternative
Similar to the trends we have seen for some time in Banking, contracting has become more popular within Insurance than it has in the past. Amidst uncertain market outlooks, as well as internal changes and improvements, insurance companies want to maintain a flexible headcount and are open to hiring contractors.
Outlook for the months ahead in 2017
2017 will be somewhat of a transition year. Many insurers will continue to adjust their business strategies and core business focus. There will likely be high M&A activity across this region as liberalised markets come up with competitive pricings.
While insurers look set to undergo business transitions, we still expect to see business growth mainly driven by the regional expansion of emerging ASEAN markets and a changing regulatory landscape.
Insurance professionals with both regional and local market experiences will be key hires, especially for insurers who have historically had large regional teams based in Singapore.
We also foresee the contracting trend to continue into 2017.
Salary Report for Q1 2017*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Lester Qin