President reveals the enterprise milestones he is happy with
Cavaness attributes the industry’s impressive growth to companies’ fast adaptability to the changing environment. “Our ability to have freedom of rate and form and react quickly to changes that occur […] is really a major advantage to us. We do have the most creative people in the industry, and their willingness to really find creative solutions is certainly a huge advantage to us.”
He also recalls that starting his business meant having to work on everything – from marketing to policies to accounting – but over the years, he has been able to delegate those responsibilities to other talented people, so that he can think about what RPS is going to do in the next 25 years.
Looking towards the future, Cavaness considers climate change as one of the global issues that will affect the wholesale and E&S insurance markets. He said that global warming will have an impact “on the risk-taking community, our carrier partners, their concerns about what that can do to their balance sheet, to their loss ratios and of course, their stakeholders.”
As extreme weather events in many parts of the world affect the global insurance market, he asks: “What can we do both as a worldwide entity and then all the way down to what we can do on a local level? One person at a time to really hopefully impact or soften the speed of this change. Those are the kind of things that you do worry about a little bit.”
Cavaness acknowledged that two other factors – talent and technology – will have a bearing on the industry’s direction. “As we go down the road of people having the flexibility to work from many different places, hopefully some in the office, hopefully some remotely, we can invest in technologies to make their job easier,” he said. “Technology has changed dramatically [the insurance] industry. As we look at technologies to accumulate better or structured data, the use of data [science] and analytics to support better decision making on behalf of all of us, it’s pretty cool.”
Considering the need to bridge the talent gap in the industry, Cavaness said that RPS will have more than 80 college interns this summer and is aiming to convert many of them into full-time employees when they graduate from college.
“Our ability to retain these people after five years is over 75%,” he said. “That’s a fantastic statistic, one that we’re proud of because that means that we’re providing people with a good career, with a place that they want to stay.”
For him, growth allows a company to provide more career opportunities, which leads to talent retention. When RPS brings in employees, he said, the company teaches them its culture and enables them to advance their careers as the business expands.
Watch the full interview here