Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is set to slash 600 jobs but recruitment and salaries in the insurance sector are still staying strong at a senior level.
The Sydney-based firm also reported its first loss in six years and says it will sell its floundering UK business (Melbourne Age).
Grant Williams, of Reynolds Stockbrokers, explains: "They've had a fairly big exposure to the equities market...Apart from problems with their UK operations, they've also had some weather and claims issues in Australia."
But the good news is that IAG's lay-offs may not reflect the insurance jobs market in Australia. There is a shortage of experienced candidates with general insurance experience, according to a Sydney-based recruiter who preferred to remain anonymous.
Garry Medland, from search firm Primary Asset Consulting in Melbourne, says global companies such as Zurich are looking to increase their presence in Australia. "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that flow through to [IAG-owned company] CGU and their other businesses," he says.
Medland adds that there is also some demand for business development managers, development underwriters and specialty claims experts and that salaries are relatively strong. "National underwriting managers can command early to mid AU$100,000s, plus bonuses. While senior executives, reporting to CEOs, saw salaries between AU$300,000 and AU$500,000."