Government considers talent pool for insurance succession plan

The government is planning to set up a ‘talent pool’ to deal with the succession planning in the PSU general insurance sector.

Finance Ministry officials had recently told insurers that the government will create a ‘talent pool’ of officials who will be eligible for the fast-track promotions to hold the top positions of the public sector general insurance companies. The Bank Board Bureau (BBB) had recently selected CEOs for ten PSU banks from Executive Directors of PSU banks and Deputy Managing Directors of SBI.

The PSU general insurance industry will see a large scale retirement of senior officials in the next two-three years and there are not many who will be eligible for the top positions of these companies. The post of the chairman and managing director (CMD) at United India Insurance hasn’t been filled as yet as the appointee — Girish Radhakrishnan, chief executive officer, NIA’s London operation — is yet to get regulatory clearance to get relieved from his present assignment. New India Assurance is also operating without a CEO.

Though the merger of three companies United India, National Insurance and Oriental Insurance have been announced, the issue was not part of the agenda at the last month’s convention, indicating that the merger issue has been put in the back burner and MoF’s current focus is to strengthen these companies. The two-day conclave had a brain storming session on the six-point agenda: product & risk management, HR practices, talent, distribution, technology & digital, customer experience & operation and inclusive Growth. The summit also identified 36 micro issues for which action plans will be developed.

The six groups that were deliberating the six broad issues will be meeting in every two-three weeks to devise suitable action plans, said sources who had attended the two-day conclave. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley also heard sympathetically the demand about one more option on pension for the employees — those who were working before 2004 — of the PSU general insurers. The government has also shown favourable response to the long standing demand for providing one more option on pension to the older employees of the sector. “Providing one more option on pension to the employees, who had not opted for it, will not put any extra burden on the government,’’ the insurers had impressed upon Jaitley.

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