Claire Combes will take over from Tracey Skinner as chair of Airmic from 1 September

From 1 September Claire Combes will take over the chair role from Tracey Skinner, Airmic’s current chair.

Julia Graham, CEO of Airmic commented: “I am delighted to welcome Claire into the role of Chair and I’m looking forward to working with her during her term of office. We have a marvellous and talented executive to help us navigate what remain some still quite ’choppy’ times ahead.”

Alongside Julia Graham, Airmic’s new CEO since April, this gives the risk and insurance professionals’ membership body a different leadership line-up as the UK prepares to bring an end to the lockdown period of 2020-2021.

“I have no doubt it will be a challenging stint as Airmic’s chair, as well as an exciting one. As a long-term Airmic member I want to wear my heart on my sleeve to champion Airmic for the value it provides,” said Combes.

“As the risk management profession continues to increase in relevance, Airmic is positioned to support all risk or insurance managers; increasing their technical skills and personal development.”

“From my existing role as chair of the Risk Steering Committee, as a board member, as well as on the Audit Committee, I can see that Airmic is coming out of this difficult period very strongly, helped enormously by Julia and Tracey’s hard work and strong leadership. Our attention is now turning to how we will continue to adapt for the future,” she added.

Combes has been an Airmic member for 20 years and joined the Board in 2016. She is chair of the Risk Management Steering Group and also sits on the association’s Audit Committee, helping to prepare her for the role of chair.

A qualified chartered accountant, she has served in roles spanning risk management, internal audit, health and safety, treasury, and insurance management, across different sectors. She is currently director of Risk and Assurance at easyJet, a role she took on this year.

As Airmic chair, she is keen to champion the association’s continued stance on issues of mental health. 

“This focus on mental health and wellbeing is an area that a lot of business need to look at,” she says. ”We are living in a period of enormous change and people are trying to adjust, which has inevitably impacted some people more than others,” she says.

“From a risk management perspective that means we should focus on culture, and enhance organisations’ ability to adapt to flexible working trends, to learn and implement the lessons of the pandemic for the longer-term.”

“Many firms have had quite rigid structures, and these will need to evolve while still maintaining the culture and personality of their organisation ,” she adds.