Insurance recruitment may be comparatively buoyant, but large publicly-listed firms like Aviva, Axa, Royal Sun Alliance, Standard Life and Direct Line have been cutting jobs over the past 12 months. The option of moving to a smaller firm may seem tempting, but if you’re going to make the leap, it’s important that it’s a stable option – these three companies are not just stable, they’re expanding.
This week, The Sunday Times published its Profit Track 100 league table, which ranks the most fastest-growing private companies in the UK. Perhaps not surprisingly, there were not many financial services organisations on the list, but the three that made the rankings were all in the insurance sector.
These are the rapidly growing firms:
Business area: Life assurance specialist
Rank: 1 (profit growth: 176.36% per annum)
Staff numbers: 311
This is the second year that Partnership has topped the rankings, and 2012 was one of rapid expansion for the firm. It took on 188 new people across the business, and has added a further 40 new employees in the first quarter of 2013.
Jane Kennedy, the firm’s chief operating officer, said that Partnership plans to hire another 100 people this year, including actuaries, business change professionals, developers and technical areas like sales and underwriting. The firm has two UK offices in Redhill, Surrey and London, and is set to move into bigger premises over four floors in the Heron Tower in EC2 this year because it’s run out of space.
“We’re not a high street name, and these rankings tend to generate a lot of unsolicited CVs,” said Kennedy. “Nonetheless, we face the same challenges finding staff, particularly actuaries and change professionals, as any other insurance firm.”
Business area: Insurance broker
Rank: 27 (profit growth: 176.36% per annum)
Staff numbers: 241
Jo Newton, assistant director for HR and training at Be Wiser Insurance, admits that it’s difficult for the firm to find the right talent. It’s based in Andover, Hampshire where unemployment is low and they’re competing with other financial services firms like Lloyds Banking Group. Nonetheless, headcount has tripled since 2010, and the plan is to add at least 50 people during the course of 2013.
“We’re looking to move into new premises this year because we’ve reached maximum capacity,” she said. “We’re recruiting for revenue generating roles, customer service positions and back office and IT functions.”
Business area: Insurance intermediary
Rank: 11 (profit growth: 112.38% per annum)
Staff numbers: 419
This broker focuses on the ‘high-premium’ clients for car, van, home and travel insurance and has increased profits from £0.6m in 2008 to £6m last year and also has a health and commercial insurance division in France. It appears to be hiring for sales and customer care roles in its London office, but a spokesperson didn’t return our requests for further elaboration.