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2014 Innovation Awards: Aon Interactive Political Risk Map 2013

Aon P.L.C.

2014 Innovation Awards: Aon Interactive Political Risk Map 2013


Aon P.L.C. has been producing the print version of its political risk map for more than two decades, but with an online interactive version launched in 2013, Aon provided a tool for examining changes in political risk over time and to provide risk managers greater insight into their own unique political risk exposures.

“We've been publishing the map in a printed format now for over 20 years,” said Matthew Shires, executive director and head of political risk at Aon Risk Solutions in London. “There's always a demand for it.” When the printed maps are distributed at conferences or other events, they “fly off the tables like absolute hotcakes,” Mr. Shires said.

The move to bring the political map into an online interactive format started with thinking about the years of political risk data gathered on an annual basis for the printed map.

“We thought one of the things we had, of course, was data that has been captured that we actually had done nothing with,” Mr. Shires said. Another factor was examining the existing universe of resources to help risk managers fashion a high level view of how political risk affects their enterprises. “The answer was it's pretty limited,” Mr. Shires said.

The interactive map allows risk managers and the finance community to look at 15 years' worth of historical political risk data and instantly generate more than 100 different maps. The interactive map also allows risk managers to compare different countries' risk profiles with one another, as well as calculate their own organizations' political risk exposures in various countries and track them over time.

Like the print map, the interactive political risk map rates countries based on six core perils or “risk icons”: exchange transfer risk, legal and regulatory risk, political interference risk, risk of political violence, risk of sovereign nonpayment and supply chain disruption risk. In 2013, Aon added three additional risk icons — risks to doing business, banking sector vulnerability and risks to fiscal stimulus — though those aren't included in country ratings.

While the printed map is updated annually, the free online interactive version is updated quarterly.

A March update will include new features as well as the availability of an Aon Interactive Political Risk Map app for mobile devices.

While Aon hasn't actively promoted the Interactive Political Risk Map, registrations have been brisk, Mr. Shires said, with approximately 3,000 registered users currently and an average of 100 new registrants per month.

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