Flex benefits, duty of care and technology advancements emerged as important topics.

Authors: Dieter Gistelinck LeAnne Stefl


LeAnne Stefl and Dieter Gistelinck of the Multinational Benefits and HR Consulting practice made their way to San Francisco, California for RiskWorld, the 2022 conference of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS). Upon their return, LeAnne and Dieter reflected on what it was like to finally reconnect face to face with their peers in the industry, what insights they gained from participating in the Gallagher Global Network (GGN) forum and what risk management trends to look for so they can help their clients face the future with confidence.

Reconnecting: Strengthening engagement in an evolving world

The RIMS conference offered an opportunity for partners, employers, clients and stakeholders in the industry to get to know one another in person, something that a number of us have been missing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While working from home and forming connections over computer screens has become the norm for many, there is something to be said for in-person networking.

As is crucial to any business, fostering relationships was at the front of LeAnne and Dieter's minds. Gallagher's Multinational practice works with Gallagher teams all over the world, and RIMS offered LeAnne and Dieter to connect with: Gallagher Brazil, Renomia (Czech Republic), PhilInsure (Philippines), Assiteca (Italy), Soderberg (Switzerland) and Gallagher India.

Key takeaways

  • When safe to do so, in-person events — especially conferences — are a great way to reconnect with people you've built relationships with virtually since the pandemic started.
  • Protecting your people across the globe is your duty of care obligation. To do that, make sure you're considering insured and non-insured benefits and keep in mind the holistic wellbeing of all employees.
  • Flex benefits are on the rise as technology continues to advance. One size does not fit all, so ensure you have solutions that work for your organization.

Lessons learned from the GGN forum

LeAnne, along with several other Gallagher employees, sat on the GGN panel to answer the question: "How do organizations protect their most important asset: people?" As companies start to adjust back to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have the responsibility of keeping their employees up to date on medical, security, political and health risks globally.

"While political factors are currently impacting our clients, we must protect the biggest asset of their organizations, their employees," says LeAnne. "With a focus on duty of care, Gallagher strives to give clients the best of the best. Gallagher offers resources such as GVISOR and the Global Mobility Advisory (GMA) to help assist employers in taking care of their people."

During the conference, Dieter noted that many of conversations focused on trends such as the importance of both insured benefits and non-insured benefits, best practices, and what the industry may look like moving forward.

"Not only does Gallagher want to protect our clients by equipping them with proper healthcare benefits, but also by taking care of their holistic wellbeing," he says. "This approach means supporting their mental wellbeing by offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), making sure they are physically safe by setting them up with evacuation coverage, communicating the best ways to reach carrier support services and so much more.

When we set our clients up with the best forms of care, we gain insight into their best practices as a business. When we know client’s best practices, we can be one step ahead, keeping an eye on advanced technology and how we can use it, to better serve them as their broker.
Dieter Gistelinck, Managing Consultant, Global Workforce Strategy and Consulting

A benefit trend to watch for

Be on the lookout for flex benefits — or better yet, "life cycle benefits."

Dieter and Leanne discussed with their international counterparts that Asia and Latin America are just a couple of the populations that are looking to move from standard benefits to flex benefits. They are regions at the forefront of the flex benefits initiative and are keen to what this might look like. As the market evolves — especially in these regions — and technology advances, flex benefits are going to make their way into the marketplace.

While it has always been a desire to move away from one-size-fits-all insurance plans, employers were reluctant to offer flex benefits to their employees, because of administrative costs and manual effort. With the evolution of smartphones, apps and technology in general, employees can now see their benefits at their fingertips.

The truth is that insurance is not one size fits all. Some employees might be looking for paternity leave, while some may prefer heavier mental health coverage. "We definitely want to move away from the traditional, plain, vanilla risk brokerage, and instead get into value-added consultancy," says Dieter about Gallagher's plan to move forward. With the right technology and partnerships, we can implement these flex benefits globally.

While the RIMS conference focused on risk management and commercial insurance, it also brought so many other conversations to the table. At the core of any business is the need to connect people. In doing so, you ensure their safety and security, which is the ultimate goal. Through RIMS and other insurance conferences, we can all connect face to face and learn from each other about how to keep our people safe and move the industry forward.

Author Information

Dieter Gistelinck

Dieter Gistelinck

Managing Consultant, Global Workforce Strategy & Consulting, Multinational Benefits & HR Consulting

  • Antwerp, Flanders