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IFRS17: What's your next move?

20 June 2019

by Megan Walsh

IFRS17. It's the most complex change the sector has ever seen. Since the new reporting standard was announced in May 2017, organisations across the insurance world have been trying their best to interpret what the new rules require – and how to implement them.

Similar to the days of the Solvency II Directive of 2009, IFRS17 has caused uncertainty and confusion among organisations that are looking to hire skilled professionals equipped to deal with the project.

Jonny Plews, Director of our business in Asia, says: “I took OJ through the Solvency II years and we are seeing very similar patterns with IFRS17 – although the pressure now is much higher. There is a commonly accepted knowledge that hiring will be one of the biggest challenges of this project, but there has been a period of limbo in the market as companies try to figure out exactly what their hiring requirements are.

“The new standard will not come into effect until 2022, but, as this year’s Q2 draws to a close, organisations are beginning to try to tackle the recruitment challenge. Vacancies are coming in thick and fast – our offices in Asia alone have acquired 120 IFRS17 vacancies in the last 12 weeks – but the Asian market does not have enough talent to meet the demand.”

The implementation of IFRS17 is especially complicated for the life insurance market. So it’s no wonder why Asia, a global hub for life insurance firms, is seeing the highest demand for IFRS17-experienced professionals.

So, how do you solve the problem?

To answer this question, we must learn from the days of Solvency II. The narratives of the two regulation changes are of a similar nature: the demand for talent outstrips supply. But whereas Solvency II affected only the balance sheet, IFRS17 will affect your PNL – a fundamental difference. So the question begs; how long can you continue without the proper expertise in place?

The time has come to innovate your hiring strategy, which is where we come in. Oliver James Associates is fully prepared to navigate through these times of change. We are here to assist you in your search for IFRS17-experienced professionals and have unrivalled access to the best contractors in the APAC market. Want to find out more? Call Liza Ovinova today on +852 301 84618, or email her at, to find out how we can help you.


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