In October, Crawford & Co announced the acquisitions of Netherlands-based specialist loss adjusting company BosBoon Expertise Group and US outsourced subrogation claims management and recovery services specialist Praxis Consulting.

Those two deals followed the acquisition in August of edjuster, a technology-driven field and desktop contents claims handling solutions company that operates in the US and Canada.

“We’re very excited about our recent M&A activity,” Blanco told The Insurer TV.

“We’re primarily still focused on organic growth – that is the core of who we are in responding to our current client needs … but we really want to augment that with our M&A activity,” he said.

“What we’re looking for is to grow our geographic base and to add specific capabilities to the company.”

Describing the current M&A market as “frothy”, Blanco said Crawford & Co is “looking for those opportunities where one plus one makes more than two, and where we can bring something to the company that is joining us”.

Joseph Blanco PQ

As in other areas of the (re)insurance industry, there is growing concern about an apparent lack of talent entering the claims management sector.

“The demographic challenges that the industry faces are real, and they’ve been ongoing for some time,” Blanco said, noting that the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

“What we’re trying to do is attract new talent into the industry,” the executive continued, adding that he believes there is “a three-part solution” to the issue.

Improving the sector’s diversity is important, Blanco said, as is providing sufficient learning and training opportunities.

“Crawford has been known as the trainer of the industry, which has been historically true of us and now we’ve recommitted to that and we’ve recommitted to training within the industry,” he said.

And the third aspect is the industry retaining the talent that it has trained.

“That is becoming a huge challenge within the pandemic and with the job movement that is going on,” Blanco said.

“The way we intend to do it is to become the employer of choice and when we set out to do that we believe we will be able to retain that talent that we’re attracting and training to the industry,” he added.

Training is also key for Crawford & Co to support clients amid the fast-evolving risk environment.

Blanco cited cyber, political and pandemic risk as segments where the claims management industry needs to evolve to meet clients’ needs.

“[It] really requires a new set of skill sets and it’s very specific, whether it be forensic engineering, forensic accounting, cyber assessment, renewable energy experts,” he said.

“It’s taking that expertise and marrying it up with what is our core adjusting competencies because it’s really science plus art that makes adjusting work,” Blanco added.