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Young professionals urged to take lead on 'chaotic' global challenges

Marsh McLennan has held its two-day Rising Professionals’ Global Forum in London, presenting several speakers to an audience of more than 800 young industry workers.

This year’s event was themed Transforming Chaos into Opportunity, and presentations and panels examined an “increasingly complex” global environment and insurance’s role mitigating risks. 

“Insurance and reinsurance are important means to propelling our economy and society forward,” Marsh McLennan CEO and president John Doyle said. 

“As an industry, we have a clear responsibility to develop our future leaders to meet these challenges, which is what the Rising Professionals’ Global Forum is all about.”  

Lloyd’s chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown told the audience the industry faces “no shortage of challenges for us to tackle and therefore no shortage of opportunity to play a leading role in helping governments, businesses and individuals – your clients – manage the risks they face.  

“We’re right in the middle of these global challenges and because we live in an increasingly connected world, the correlation and aggregation of these risks could be truly vast.   

“The scale of these risks requires an ambitious response. As brokers and insurers, we need to collaborate to innovate and share risk. We need to develop partnerships, not just with our traditional clients in the private sector, but with governments and supranational bodies so we can advocate for the behavioural change our world needs to build resilience against these risks and ensure we have the capital we need to respond.”  

Mr Carnegie-Brown told the audience these challenges “will pass from my generation” and he encouraged the young professionals to seize the opportunity. “The future is in your hands, and society’s resilience will depend on you.”  

The forum also featured a presentation from Lancaster University professor Mike Berners-Lee, who called on the industry to wake up to the “multidimensional polycrisis” of climate change.  

“We have to adapt to the changing context, our failure to do this has led to the polycrisis,” he said. “There is no Planet B; what can insurers do about the polycrisis?”  

He said the industry has a “fantastic role to play” on the issue and younger professionals should look to lead on it.  

“It’s not often that the business interests of an industry align so closely with what the world needs,” Professor Berners-Lee said. “Insurance is actually a critical part of the wake-up system for humanity. Because when people’s insurance premiums rise ... it is impossible to ignore the stuff that is going on.”