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Managing risk is where the big bucks are

Risk management, including occupations such as financial planners, actuaries and  financial and business analysts is a growth area with high pay-offs for top professionals.30

Employment opportunities in risk management occupations have risen sharply over the past few decades and are predicted to rise much faster than average in the coming years.

– Factors driving the upward pressure on remuneration rates include:

– The increasing professionalisation of the industry

– Companies and individuals now more than ever recognise the need to properly assess, identify and manage risk to avoid financial catastrophes

– Life has become increasingly complex and it’s become much more difficult to predict uncertainties

– The pool of skills that is available to predict and manage uncertainties is however very limited

Risk managers are particularly good with financial models, mathematics and statistics, the very things that help to manage uncertainty – predicting the possible financial outcomes of different situations is indeed a science – a scarce one at that – one which you need to study and practice over a long period of time in order to be really excellent.

INSETA is providing bursaries to top performing and financially deserving students who are studying towards occupations in the insurance sector like B Comm Risk Management; B Comm Financial Planning, etc.

Over 800 learners have been provided with bursaries and these graduates will not only make a difference to help ameliorate the lack of skills in these occupations, but also help to transform the insurance industry, given the fact that there are so few historically disadvantaged individuals who practise these scarce careers in risk management.

Moreover, we are delighted with the academic performance of the students, and have no doubt that they will make a dynamic and very positive contribution towards improving the industry and be great role models for younger learners.

Viviene Pearson, South African Insurance Association’s (SAIA) Acting Chief Executive, says, “The SAIA commends INSETA for its skills development and transformation efforts, especially in its promotion of the industry among learners studying towards occupations in the insurance industry. Bridging the skills shortage and producing a quality, diverse and empowered workforce, are matters which lie closely to the SAIA value proposition and represent the interest of its members.”

Pearson further explains that South Africa’s current economic conditions require that the industry delivers a diverse skilled workforce to enable a vibrant and dynamic short-term insurance industry and this is why the INSETA bursaries are important because it contributes to transformation in the industry.

Overall the SAIA has had a long-standing partnership with INSETA and actively participates in its platforms to promote programmes and initiatives which could lead to raising the skills base which is so necessarily required for the sector. The SAIA believes that its participation with INSETA is a worthwhile investment not only in the insurance talent pool but in the future sustainability of the industry and of the country.

The SAIA is the voice of the short-term insurance industry. It represents the industry at all levels and with all stakeholders, to ensure a sustainable and dynamic short-term insurance industry for the benefit of all South Africans. The SAIA represents most of the short-term insurance companies in South Africa and is authorised to negotiate on their behalf. The Association has 61 members who abide by the SAIA code of conduct. The SAIA also participates and is represented in various organisations within and outside the insurance industry.

The types of careers that young people can look forward to in the risk management industry include:

Financial planners who provide advice on a range of financial issues such as retirement and tax planning, health and education planning, insurance planning, etc.

Actuaries are the most sought after in the insurance and pensions sectors, given the constant need to predict future events and their financial implications. They determine the cost of insurance for individual clients, based on the possibility of certain outcomes and the financial disasters that could occur.

Financial risk analysts and business analysts design strategies to help companies deal with the many threats that might cause them to fail such as legislative changes, changes in technology, rising costs, lack of credit, changes in market conditions, operational changes, etc.

Sandra Dunn,  INSETA CEO

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