Steel City Re CEO and former Los Angeles County deputy coroner on what derailed the ESG movement & what boards expect from risk management in the aftermath.
Yes, reputation is insurable. That’s the opinion of several carriers and agencies interviewed by Law360. “The proportion of the asset base of larger companies, and for the majority of companies these days, has shifted from the tangible and physical to the intangible. Reputation and brand are a core part of that,” Neil Kempston, head of Beazley’s Incubation Underwriting team, told Law360. […] Steel City Re instead offers parametric coverage, in which after some reputational loss, the insurer automatically applies a preset coverage amount based on the level of reputation impairment once a policy is found to be triggered.
“For the first time since its landmark Caremark decision, the Delaware Chancery Court has allowed a breach of oversight claim to proceed against a corporate officer when it declined to dismiss claims brought by stockholders against David Fairhurst, McDonald’s former head of human resources…”.[kos] The bottom line is that law and society are expecting better management and oversight—a touch of common sense many would say—and that disappointment (read, shift in expectations leading to anger and disappointment, aka, reputation crisis) is playing out in the courts….Companies and boards need a solid, universally applicable management and oversight process that is forward-looking to manage risk strategically. The quality of that process needs to be proactively authenticated with insurance. Compliance-focused controls, which by design are backward looking—and the audits that authenticate them—are necessary but with the evolving expectations of society, apparently no longer sufficient.
The settlement with Activision Blizzard could have widespread implications for how companies choose to manage risk, according to Nir Kossovsky, CEO of Steel City Re, which provides insurance for reputation and assists companies in establishing risk management functions. Kossovsky said that companies should create “reputation risk leadership committees” composed of representatives from “every silo” of the company that interacts with a critical stakeholder group…“No one can argue with thoughtful risk management and dutiful oversight, but you need a demonstrable, effective process to make that claim.”
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