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Hiring, retaining talent lead concerns of brokers' midmarket clients


The most significant risk faced by middle-market clients that operate around the world is talent recruitment and retention, says a broker survey.

When Columbus, Ohio-based Assurex Global Corp. surveyed 68 of its partner firms around the world earlier this year, 24% cited talent recruitment and retention as the top risk faced by middle-market businesses. This was followed by natural disasters, cited by 20%, and rising employee benefit costs, 17%.

When the brokers were asked to identify the top three exposures faced by their clients, the biggest percentage, 49%, had cited cyber risks. But when they were asked to name their clients' biggest exposure, cyber was cited by only 9%, and dropped to fourth place, according to the survey. The other three ahead of cyber were talent recruitment and retention, rising employee benefit costs and natural disasters.

“It's clear that cyber risk is universally on the minds of business executives at middle-market companies around the world, many of whom readily rank it among their top three exposures,” Assurex CEO Jim Hackbarth said in a statement.

“Yet, when you drill down to what really keeps their clients awake at night, the same executives will answer differently, depending on where in the world their clients are located and do business.”

The survey also uncovered regional difference. Talent recruitment and retention and health care costs were cited as the top concerns for U.S. and Canadian respondents, while natural disasters were considered the top risk for brokers based in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.