Temple University Wins 2016 Spencer-RIMS Challenge

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SAN DIEGO—A team of students from Temple University won this year’s Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge, concluding a three-month case-study challenge against 20 other universities. Team members Andrew Donchez, Carolyn Murset, Sean Preis and Zilong Zhao, advised by Associate Professor R. B. Drennan, will take home the competition’s $4,000.

This year, Lego provided a case study for teams from 21 universities to studied the risk portfolio and develop an array of proposed solutions. Eight teams were then invited to attend the RIMS 2016 Conference here in San Diego to present their findings to judges and an audience of risk professionals.

“All of the students who took part in the Spencer-RIMS Risk Challenge are winners,” said Ron Davis, the newly elected chair of the Spencer Educational Foundation. “Each university team was prepared, smart and successfully delivered innovative risk management solutions for a very complex situation. It is truly rewarding to see them have the opportunity to shine during this competition and validates the critical work we do to support tomorrow’s risk management professionals.”

“This competition reinforces that the risk management profession’s future is bright,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “The Rising Risk Professional demographic of RIMS members continues to grow and their contributions and professional needs have directly influenced the resources and opportunities the Society delivers. We are so proud to be able to introduce these students to the energy and excitement of a RIMS Annual Conference and congratulate all of them for participating in the challenge.”

Second place went to Florida State University, while the team from Butler University took third. The Temple team won $4,000, FSU $3,000 and Butler $2,000 for their achievements.

Cyber, Regulation Seen as Top Emerging Risks, Report Finds

SAN DIEGO—Forecasting risk is not expected to get easier in the next three years, with cyberattacks and regulation topping the list of emerging risks, according to a new report published jointly by Marsh and RIMS.

The 13th annual Excellence in Risk Management report found that while risk professionals are increasingly relied upon to identify and assess emerging risks, there are still organizational and other barriers to identifying those risks. In fact, nearly half of survey respondents—48%—predicted that forecasting critical business risks will be more difficult three years from now, while just over one-quarter said it would be the same.

“Whether emerging risks are on your doorstep, around the corner, or on the far horizon, they have the potential to catch organizations unaware,” said Brian Elowe, Marsh’s U.S. client executive leader and co-author of the report. “It’s important for risk professionals to maintain awareness of global risk trends, and to make the connection to their organizations’ business strategy.”

Where do risk professionals turn when trying to understand the impacts of emerging risks on their organization? According to the report:
One of the goals of this year’s Excellence survey’s goal was to better understand how organizations view the emerging risks facing them, what tools they use and the barriers they face in assessing, modeling, and understanding the risks. According to the findings, a majority of respondents—61%—cited cyber-attacks as the likely source of their organization’s next critical risk. This was followed by regulation, cited by 58% of the respondents, and talent availability, cited by 40% of the respondents.

Based on survey responses and insights from numerous focus group discussions, it became clear that risk professionals generally agree on the importance of identifying emerging risks, and also that there is no clearly established framework for doing so. More can be done to better identify, assess, and manage the impact emerging risks may have on organizations.

For example, a majority—60%—of the risk management respondents said they use claims-based reviews as one of the primary means to assess emerging risks, compared to 38% who said they use predictive analytics.

“The widespread use of claims-based reviews means that a majority of organizations are relying on studying past incidents to predict how emerging risks will behave rather than using predictive analytic techniques like stochastic modeling and game theory to help inform their decision making,” Elowe said.

Survey respondents also cited several barriers to understanding the impact of emerging risks on their business strategy. Decisions with lack of cross-organization collaboration ranked first among risk professional respondents.

“Lack of collaboration across the organization is still an issue for many risk professionals. On the other hand, breaking down silos has become less of a concern for executives,” said Carol Fox, vice president of strategic initiatives for RIMS and co-author of the report. “Tackling emerging risks often requires creative yet pragmatic approaches. It has to encompass internal cross-functional conversations — formal and informal — around the intersection of risk and strategy, senior-leadership engagement, and tapping into external information sources. Risk professionals are encouraged to broaden the scope and collaboration around emerging risk issues within their organizations.”

According to the report:

As the risk environment becomes increasingly complex and more entwined with financial decisions, risk strategy is increasingly a boardroom issue. As we have seen in past Excellence surveys, senior leaders’ expectations of the risk management department have increased in everything from leading enterprise risk management to providing better risk quantification and analysis.

However, while more is being asked of risk professionals, investment is not necessarily keeping pace. For example, the percentage that say they expect to hire more staff dropped to 25% this year from 37% when we asked in 2015. “We’ve all experienced this elevation of risk management at our institutions, but…as we are battling for budget, it becomes pretty easy for risk management to get pushed over to the side,” said the assistant vice president of risk management at a major university.

The survey is based on more than 700 responses to an online survey and a series of focus groups with risk executives in January and February 2016.

RIMS Presents Risk Management Industry’s Top Honors

RIMS16_Award_Winners-7SAN DIEGO—During today’s RIMS 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition Awards Luncheon, RIMS doled out its highest honors to several prominent members of the risk management industry.

The risk management society presented Christopher E. Mandel, senior vice president of strategic solutions at Sedgwick Claims Management, Inc., with its top honor, the Harry and Dorothy Goodell Award for outstanding service and achievement to the risk management discipline.

“The risk management community is filled with exceptional professionals but few have had the remarkable career achievements and broad industry impact as Chris Mandel,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “To this day, Chris continues to give back to the profession through his involvement with RIMS and at Sedgwick. He is a wonderful example of the best this profession has to offer and it is our honor to present him with RIMS’ highest award.”

Mandel served as 2002 RIMS president, and has fulfilled 19 distinct roles for the society and delivered dozens of workshops for other risk professionals since becoming a RIMS workshop instructor 2010, with particular emphasis on enterprise risk management and strategic risk management.

This year’s Risk Management Hall of Fame inductees are David Mikulina and William H. (Bill) McGannon. Mikulina headed the risk management department at Hyatt Hotels Corporation for 23 years before his retirement in 2007, and still enjoys sharing his insights with rising and veteran risk management professionals alike as a longstanding RIMS member. McGannon was one of the first Canadian risk managers to establish a full-service risk management department that included loss prevention and statistical support at NOVA Chemical Corporation in Alberta. After his retirement in 1998, he frequently lectured at the University of Calgary and traveled to Scotland to participate in the Risk Manager in Residence program. While McGannon passed away in 2015, his legacy in the risk community lives on, particularly through the William H. McGannon Foundation, which provides scholarships, research grants and student involvement initiatives to advance risk management by way of education, research, mentorship and work experience programs.

“Although the risk management profession has evolved significantly, the achievements of its early pioneers continue to have lasting influence on the processes and strategies used today,” said RIMS Chief Executive Officer Mary Roth. “Whether it was enhancing their organization’s already complex risk program or devoting themselves to supporting the promising careers of future risk management leaders, this year’s Risk Management Hall of Fame inductees have unquestionably made substantial contributions to the profession and RIMS.”

“We are pleased to recognize Bill and Dave for significant achievement in their professional careers and their contributions to shaping the risk management discipline,” said Rob Schimek, CEO of AIG Commercial.

RIMS and Business Insurance presented Gus Fuldner, head of insurance for Uber Technologies, with the 2016 Risk Manager of the Year Award.

In recognition for her outstanding performance in furthering risk management with the RIMS Memphis Chapter, Sedgewick Senior Vice President of Risk Management Robin Joines received the Ron Judd “Heart of RIMS” Award.

RIMS also announced its first inductees into the RIMS Ambassador Group, which recognizes individuals for their continued service with the organization. Darius Delon, South Alberta Chapter member and associate vice president of risk services at Mount Royal Univeristy, and Daniel McGarvey, Western Carolina Chapter member and managing director at Marsh, both recived this award for going above and beyond to help strengthen and support the society’s strategic initiatives.

The RIMS Rising Star Award was presented to Alumine Bellone, director of risk and insurance for Broward Health, and Kathleen Crowe, account specialist II for Aon Risk Solutions were honored for demonstrating exceptional initiative, volunteerism, professional development, achievement, and leadership potential.

David Engel, director of risk management for AT&T, received the Cristy Award, presented to the individual with the highest marks on the three exams required to earn the Associate of Risk Management designation.

Can You Spot a Liar?

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SAN DIEGO—Just to be clear, we’re all liars. What’s more, the better we think we are at spotting a lie, the worst we are in reality, lying expert Pam Meyer is quick to point out.

Meyer, certified fraud examiner and a keynote speaker here at the annual RIMS conference, said that we are also gullible to lies. “Ask yourself, I am hungry for Meyer, Pamela-HR PhotoX,” she said. Once we figure out what our own weakness is, we can become less of a target. “Pursue that hunger,” she said.

There are lies and then there are lies. There are the corporate fraud kind, which cost billions annually, the lies we use every day to protect ourselves or others—lying about small things to a partner or people we know.

To spot a liar, she looks for too much or too little detail in people’s statements, speaking in the wrong tense and repeating a question to stall for time—think Bill Clinton, whose formal language used when denying any wrongdoing with Monica Lewinsky gave him away; Susan Smith, who drowned her two children, but spoke in the past tense about them before a crime was proven; and Bill Cosby, who when asked if he committed any crimes against his accusers, completely dodged the question, giving a nonsensical answer.

She also looks for:

  • Lip smacking/biting
  • Grooming gesture
  • Hand wringing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Closed eyes
  • Slumped posture
  • Lowered Voice

Body language cues can also include giving the opposite of the words—such as shaking the head while saying yes or shrugging the shoulders while telling a confident, good story.

When trying to determine honesty or deception, look for these attitude giveaways:

  • An honest person will be enthusiastic and help brainstorm to discover the real suspect.
  • An honest person will be infuriated throughout the whole process if they suspect they are being accused – it won’t just be in flashes.
  • An honest person will want a strict punishment for the person who committed the crimes.
  • In contrast, a deceptive person will talk only in chronological order and get confused when asked to tell it differently, changing the order.
  • A deceptive person will be withdrawn from the conversation.
  • A deceptive person will add way too much irrelevant detail.

Spotting a liar isn’t always possible, but when you practice lie-spotting skills by combining the science of recognizing deception with the art of looking and listening, you exempt yourself from collaborating in a lie, Meyers said. “You start being a little bit more explicit, because you signal to everyone around you that your world will be an honest one, where truth is strengthened and falsehood is recognized and marginalized.”