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2021 Innovation Awards: Risk Resilience Diagnostic

2021 Innovation Awards

Risk Resilience Diagnostic

While Marsh LLC has long focused on helping companies strengthen their resilience against risks that could hit their organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic helped shape a new diagnostic tool from the brokerage and spurred its further development.

The crisis heightened the realization by the broker and its clients that a gap existed in identifying the intersection of risks along an organization’s value chain, said Reid Sawyer, Chicago-based head of Marsh’s emerging risks group. The pandemic showed how the lack of such knowledge can hinder risk management, and it gave rise to the final version of Marsh’s Risk Resilience Diagnostic tool, he said.

“The pandemic is a systemic-level risk that really challenged our clients to think about stressors across their value chains,” Mr. Sawyer said. For example, “we had a corresponding epidemic of ransomware while we were in the middle of the pandemic,” and supply chains were suffering increasing interruptions, he said. “It really brought into focus the idea of interdependency of risk.”

Introduced earlier this year, The Risk Resilience Diagnostic tool, a winner of a 2021 Business Insurance Innovation Award, has delivered more than 800 “risk resilience responses” to Marsh clients.

Marsh’s tool gives risk managers the ability to examine the interrelation of six categories of risk: pandemic; cyber; emerging technologies; regulatory; geopolitical; and climate/environmental, social and governance. It analyzes the potential impact of the emerging risks as they intersect across a client’s organization to affect its physical assets, supply chain, human capital, reputation, share price and other areas, Mr. Sawyer said.

The tool gathers information through a self-guided survey that can include input from multiple stakeholders across an organization. The input forms the basis for the risk resilience responses, which include an overview on how to read the diagnostic results, a resilience score for each peril and benchmarking data that shows scores by industry. The findings are intended to be shared with senior leaders and board members to foster resiliency discussions.

“Resiliency shouldn’t be viewed solely through the lens of recovery time, response capabilities or redundancies — the ability to get up after being knocked down, which is all too often how we have defined it,” Mr. Sawyer said. “Instead, what we do in the report and what we are measuring comes back to the capability to perform during times of crisis and prolonged hardships like what we’ve seen over the past 18 months with COVID-19.”

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