Insurance sector faces challenging times

We need an industry which provides an efficient and predictable service to the economy

5th October, 2016
Jim Power, Economic Consultant at Jim Power Economics Ltd

What's your name?

Jim Power

What position do you hold?

Economic Consultant at Jim Power Economics Ltd since 2010. Chief Economist at Friends First since 2000. Teach at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Work closely with Chris Johns for CJP Consultants Ltd. I am chairman of Love Irish Food and an investment firm Three Rock Capital Management which is going from strength to strength.

How long have you held the positions?

I have worked as an economist since 1987 in a number of different organisations.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

Charles Handy inspired me in the late 1990s to pursue a portfolio approach to my working life. I speak at many varied events, I teach, I write, I carry out varied economic consultancy and economic impact studies for many different clients. Among other things, I am author of the quarterly SIMI/DoneDeal Motor Industry Review and the Friends First Quarterly Economic Outlook. I work for myself which is all I ever really wanted to do. I could not cope with corporate politics and was never prepared to play the game.

What is your professional background?

I have a primary degree in Economics & Politics and a Master’s Degree in Economics, all from UCD. I am dabbling in the early stages of a PhD at the moment in an area that really interests me.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I am an avid hill walker and regularly set off on foot from my home on Saturday mornings to Enniskerry, where my wife meets me for lunch in a superb restaurant called Kennedy’s. I normally walk alone. I was an avid cyclist – growing up as I did on a farm in rural Waterford in the same parish as Sean Kelly – before lycra and the lycra brigade were heard from. I still cycle a lot, on my own. I read a lot; I listen to music a lot, preferably Bob Dylan; I love photography. Social events do not really interest me – I love the outdoors. I am passionate about sport. My two sons play senior football for Tempelogue Synge Street and I am very passionate about Waterford hurling.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I support QPR and I can occasionally be spotted in watering holes around Shepherd’s Bush.

You are speaking at the 2016 Future of Insurance conference. What is your talk about?

I think I will speak about the economy and Brexit and how they impact on the insurance industry.

What challenges do you see for the insurance sector?

Depending on the area of insurance, the challenges are different. At one level the bizarre interest rate and bond yield environment has massive implications for the life insurance industry in particular. For general insurers, the growth in insurance costs and the political attention it is justifiably attracting present huge challenges. The role of the legal professional and court awards need to be examined very closely as does the legacy of the unprofitable business that the insurance industry has written in recent years

Where would you like to see the industry in 10 years time?

A competitive industry that is suitably profitable, but which provides an efficient and predictable service to the economy. Insurance costs and the unpredictability of same are currently crippling individuals and business. This is not acceptable.

Jim is speaking at The Future of Insurance Summit on November 18 at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin. See for more information and to book tickets.

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