Munich Re: Pioneering the industry’s largest internship competition in China

2012/05/23

To solve the shortage of qualified actuaries in China, Munich Re’s Greater China Life team selected the best 35 college students for a paid internship in Beijing through a nationwide competition. 645 students with an interest in insurance and the actuarial profession from around 100 universities in and outside of China took the exam for the “Munich Re Cup – 2012 National College Student Actuarial Mathematics Competition” on 12 May 2012 at seven locations in China.

Beijing. China is expected to become the world’s third largest insurance market by 2015, and it is estimated that demand for professional actuaries will climb to 5,000 in the coming decade. However, there are fewer than 500 qualified actuaries to support the strong growth of the industry, creating a supply gap.

Joachim Wenning, Member of Munich Re’s Board of Management and responsible for life reinsurance business commented: “China’s insurance market is developing at a phenomenal pace, growing faster than the economy itself. With a tenfold increase in the premium volume in China between 2000 and 2010, it is no wonder that good talent is in great demand. Munich Re has been active in the region for 100 years, and we see China as one of our main growth markets.” He went on: “The internship programme shows our dedication to and confidence in the market, and is a long-term investment in our staff and future employees.”

“Insurance is a people business, and there is currently a shortage of talent in China. I believe this situation will become worse in the coming years,” said Steve Zhang, Munich Re Managing Director of Life Greater China. “China’s insurance industry will continue to grow at fast pace, and we urgently need more highly qualified talent in the sector. As a company, it is necessary to plan ahead in this area to accommodate future growth,” he continued.

The competition first started as a pilot in Beijing last year, with 21 participants taking part in the examination. Eight interns made it to the end and were awarded an internship. Built on the success of the pilot, the programme has developed into a nationwide competition, with students competing in seven mainland cities this year – Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hefei, Changsha, Chengdu and Guangzhou. The students sat a 100-minute test, focusing on the mastery of basic actuary knowledge, the ability to solve technical problems and stress resistance. The top 35 students will be awarded a monetary prize on top of the placement opportunity. They will join the Munich Re Beijing office for a minimum of three month in two batches, one this summer and one in winter.

The programme is designed to develop the interest of university students in the insurance sector, train their technical skills and risk management ability, and create an opportunity for them to put theory into practice. During their stay with Munich Re in Beijing, they will receive a wide range of training, including, basic reinsurance knowledge, as well as an insight into pricing, underwriting and bancassurance. Munich Re hopes to turn the Student Actuarial Mathematics Competition into an annual event.

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