Mutual and cooperative insurers’ unique business model helps attract and retain millennial/Gen Z talent says new ICMIF report

25 June 2020


As the millennial and Gen Z generations continues to enter the workforce in vast numbers, it is crucial for mutual and cooperative insurers to position their unique business model as a factor in them being seen as “employers of choice” and to remain relevant for future generations. A new report from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) finds that cooperative/mutual insurers which are sustainable, socially responsible and high-performing businesses are endowed with the characteristics that attract and retain millennial talent.

In order to be truly sustainable companies, cooperative/mutual insurers must attract, retain and develop the next generation of talent, as this will be crucial to keeping up with today’s fast-changing market needs, says the new ICMIF Strategic InSights: The next generation of mutual talent report which was launched today as an exclusive member-only publication.

This is the first report to be written by a group of young professionals all of whom are members of the ICMIF Young Leaders Forum (YLF). In the report, the main findings of a comprehensive study on the best ways that young employees can be attracted, developed and retained by cooperative/mutual insurance companies are outlined.

Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive, ICMIF said: “This latest strategic report from ICMIF, The next generation of mutual talent, presents many inspiring examples of how cooperative/mutual insurers are using initiatives and innovative programmes to attract, retain and develop millennial and Gen Z employees. Talent attraction and retention are inherently linked, with many of the various examples from our members featured in this report, acting as a tool for both. The better the culture for employee engagement and development, the more likely potential talent will be attracted to join an organisation”.

The report’s coordinator Ben Telfer, Vice-President, Business Intelligence, ICMIF, said: “We are delighted to publish the first research report from the ICMIF Young Leaders Forum. Not only is it great to share some of the unique intelligence on best-practice strategies with our members, but also to conclude the first piece of collaborative research by this group of Young Leaders. We hope that the practical examples and insights presented in the report will help senior leaders within the ICMIF membership with the global challenge of millennial employee attraction and retention and provide a source of inspiration for other young professionals. Many of the initiatives in the report were created and led by young professionals to proactively aid their own engagement and development and that of their peers within their respective organisations”.  

The report includes a summary of responses provided by 23 ICMIF member organisations around the world and describes a wide range of initiatives and programmes which, the Federation and authors of the report believe, help to position the mutual/cooperative model as unique and as “employers of choice” for the younger generation. In total, 23 organisations from 17 countries across ICMIF’s global network are featured in the report.

The report concludes with a discussion of the emerging challenges for cooperative/mutual employers and some suggested approaches for managers wishing to attract and retain the best talent and help it flourish within their organisations.

The launch of this report was preceded by an ICMIF webinar “Attracting, retaining and developing the next generation of mutual talent” which also took place on Thursday 25 June. In the webinar, representatives from two ICMIF member organisations shared some of the initiatives and programmes that have been implemented at their respective companies to attract, retain and develop millennial/Gen Z employees.


  • Louis Sirois, Manager, Events and Special Projects, Desjardins (Canada)
  • Subashni Gounder, Programme Manager: PPS Foundation, PPS (South Africa)
  • Lebogang Tsotetsi, Marketing & Communication Specialist, PPS (South Africa)

ICMIF webinars are organised exclusively for the benefit of members, looking at current strategic issues and the latest trends impacting the cooperative/mutual insurance sector. They showcase thought leadership and best practice from ICMIF member organisations and prominent industry experts.

The ICMIF Young Leaders Forum (YLF) is a network of young professionals (generally aged between 20 and 35 years old) at ICMIF member companies who have been identified by their seniors as strong candidates to become future leaders within their organisations. The Forum focuses on the professional and personal development of its members, as well as providing added value to discussions of the Intelligence Committee and its outputs to the wider ICMIF membership. Learn more about the YLF by contacting the Forum’s coordinator Ben Telfer.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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