To be able to carve out a suitable survival strategy for the insurance sector, underwriting and reinsurance companies must recognise the need to institutionalise good succession plan for their organisations.
Chieftains in the insurance sector said that organisations in the post consolidation era do not have an option other than adopting a healthy attitude to human capital development. Insurance and reinsurance institutions owe their investors the core duty of ensuring that the huge investments are entrusted to well trained and proactive managers.
The Managing Director/CEO, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Mr. Adeyemo Adejumo, said in Lagos recently that succession planning is a process whereby an organisation ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill key role within the company, in so doing, companies recruit superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, abilities and prepare them for advancement or promotion into more challenging roles, for growth, consolidation and continuity.
According to him, "There is need to invest heavily in human capital development in all areas of our business. We need to develop technical competence as well as administrative skills to sustain our industry. Succession plan is a must for all our companies."
The Continental Re boss said that succession plan is not restricted to big companies only but includes the medium and small size companies to begin to groom and prepare a successor for the organisation's continuity.
This is true for small firms as well as large ones, he said, adding, "It's not just succession to the top, it's getting the right person in place for every job. Some of tomorrow's key jobs may not even exist now. If a firm plans to double in size in five years, they will need more talented managers and the managers cannot be picked from the market place."
According to him, insurance and reinsurance companies should begin to identify and monitor various talent pools within their organisation in order to match the future needs of their companies. Not having the right talent in place is often a growth-limiting factor in achieving business potential.
He said: "A succession plan must also ensure that the market place's perception of a company during the transition period remains positive. It must address the key audiences of employees and clients and ensure they remain loyal. It must calm shareholders and ensure they remain on board.
He said that leading organisations are already building systems that provide talented, high performers opportunities to grow.
"Any good company tend to identify and understand the developmental needs of its employees, ensures that key staff not only understand their career paths but the roles they are being developed to fill."
He stated that every insurance and reinsurance company must have one or two employees on line that when properly trained, can take a company to an height that the predecessor could not achieve.
He affirmed that succession plan help companies to develop talent for future roles and map development paths years in advance before the talent gap occurs.
Similarly, the Managing Director/CEO, Niger Insurance Plc, Dr. Justus Uranta, said in the present business environment in this country, the industry needs honest and courageous professionals that will be able to manage issues.
According to him, leadership in the Nigerian insurance market must begin to emphasise on intellectual capacity which comprised of professionally trained and qualified practitioners to manage change, and I want to say that Niger has one of the best succession plan in the industry.
"I believe that it is only proper for us to be proactive and understand that if we are going to position ourselves to provide adequate and quality service to big institutional and individual investors, we must prepare our staff for tomorrow."