Denis O’Leary, President of The Insurance Institute of Dublin
Denis has been involved with The Insurance Institute for almost 40 years. During his Presidency he will focus on advancing the ‘Community’ theme, and he also intends to pay special attention to two important generations – youth and retired members.
We caught up with Denis to hear more about these areas of focus, as well as his opinion on a range of matters related to insurance and the Local Institutes.
What does the role of President mean to you?
It is a huge privilege to take on the role of President and particularly as this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Dublin Institute. In particular, during my Presidency I would like to concentrate on two important generations – youth and retired.
For the youth, our focus will be on NxGen, an initiative that was set up to engage with younger members and which primarily, through a series of events, facilitates them in building their own individual professional network. We’ll also focus on the promotion of The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship. For our older retired members we will concentrate our efforts on the active development of ARíS (the Association for Retired Insurance Staff) in Dublin.
How do you think Local Institutes contribute to the development of members?
We provide valuable support and guidance to our members around their professional studies. We also offer a wide range of CPD opportunities. From a networking perspective we provide a variety of social events, with everything from quiz nights, to hill walking, to theatre nights and family cinema days. We also host an annual lunch in aid of insurance charities and our main event is the Annual Dinner, which usually has around 900 in attendance.
As a result of Covid-19 all our events are currently on hold – but I’ve no doubt that once normal life resumes we’ll pick up where we left off and we’ll be hugely excited to see our members again!
Are there any initiatives started by a previous President that you want to take on and develop further?
Yes, Ruth McArthur started the process of developing ARíS for retired insurance staff in Dublin. We have several hundred insurance pensioners in Leinster and I am really looking forward to creating a vibrant community for these retired members. I’m excited about this initiative and believe that there is huge opportunity for the Dublin Institute to develop a significant active ARíS group.
What advice would you give to those starting their professional careers today? How do you feel your Institute can help?
My advice is relatively simple – Get involved and network; Set about your professional studies early and aim for your ACII; Write down your personal 5 year plan; Seek out guidance and mentoring from more experienced colleagues; Enjoy your career and ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance.
The Institute will support you through your studies, providing a variety of relevant lectures and seminars, arranging networking and social events for all members, with NxGen for younger members.