New risk management rules 'likely to create 250 jobs'
THE introduction of new risk management rules for insurance companies looks set to create more than 250 actuarial jobs in Ireland this year, according to specialist recruiters Acumen Resources.
The new rules, dubbed Solvency II, aren't due to kick in for another three years but insurance companies and the Financial Regulator are already hiring staff to begin preparations.
Paul Walsh, who heads up Acumen's Europe and Asia Pacific operations, said the Dublin market had been "phenomenally busy" in recent months as Solvency II recruitment kicked in.
"We have about 80 [actuarial] jobs on our books now, we would have had about 15 this time last year," he said, adding that "about 85pc" of the jobs he was seeing had been created by Solvency II.
With the 80 jobs taking an average of six weeks to fill, Mr Walsh estimates that "250 to 300" Solvency II jobs could be created in Ireland by the end of the year.
"There's a max of 1,000 actuaries in Ireland, so 250 new jobs is large in terms of the size of the industry," he said, adding that there were "lots of people coming in from abroad".
The rush for Solvency II expertise sees the Financial Regulator competing directly with industry for actuarial professionals.
Mr Walsh said the regulator's office had hired about 10 actuaries last year and currently had about five jobs out-to-market.
"The regulator has been narrowing the gap with market pay, but there's still a gap," Mr Walsh said, suggesting senior professionals could expect to earn 30pc less with the regulator, though the gap is less stark for juniors.
A spokeswoman for the regulator declined to comment on the salary situation, but confirmed that the watchdog would boost its insurance team from 50 to 90 by the end of the year, with actuaries among the new hires.
Senior Solvency II actuaries can expect to earn upwards of €150,000 in the commercial market -- Mr Walsh said actuarial salaries hadn't fallen in the recession and were not now on the rise.