Fri, Dec 06, 2013 -
As I write to you from across the globe at RIMS Risk Forum in Australia, it dawned on me that upon my return, registration will be open for our 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for April 27-30 in Denver. And, just like that the calendar year has come full circle – like it always does.
Before I jump ahead to what’s going on in April, I have a lot to catch you up on since my last message.
Yesterday, I stood in front of a room of risk professionals in Melbourne for our first-ever risk forum in the region. Together with our stellar team in New York, our new chapter officers on the ground have done a remarkable job putting this event together and have assembled an all-star lineup of sessions and speakers. I’d like to again thank our sponsors for their support and look forward to reporting back on the forum.
RIMS’ global expansion is no longer just something that complements what this Society has built over the last 64 years, it has become an integral component to everything we do. Geographical borders do not stop your businesses, so they won’t stop ours.
December 5th is a popular day at RIMS as it’s also the day we launched the RIMS ’14 website and open registration, officially marking the sprint to RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Denver. Education is our focus this year, and we’ve almost doubled the number of sessions at the conference. We’ve added several new events, including a third keynote presentation, as well as an Innovation Showcase on the exhibit floor– a venue right in the heart of the exhibit floor where exhibitors can be the center of attention and present their new products, services and executives to everyone.
In addition to its serene setting nestled in the Rocky Mountains, I think attendees are going to love the convenience of getting to and staying in Denver. The enhancements we’ve made to the conference and the first-rate program we’ve developed will combine for a highly valuable experience for all attendees and, perhaps more importantly, allow them to go back to their organizations and create value for their employers.
This past month, RIMS released two new reports. The first “Understanding Reputation Risk” is a product of the RIMS Strategic Risk Management Development Council and explores the definition and complexity of the dimensions that influence reputation. Look for the upcoming RIMS webinar on December 17th that will focus on findings from the report and will feature its three authors.
The second report, “Risk Reports & Perceptions” takes a look at trends in risk reporting. The report was done in collaboration with Miami University. Academics provide a great perspective to our profession and we look forward to partnering with others to further advance our understanding and application of successful risk management practices for our members.
RIMS continues to look at legislation that impacts the insurance process. We strongly believe it’s our responsibility to ensure that that process is not impeded by lack of foresight by our elected officials and that the future of the profession is preserved.
NARAB, legislation that would impact agents and brokers, and the CLAIM Act, that pertains to claims adjusters, both call for similar action and are endorsed by this Society. These pieces of legislation encourage interstate uniformity and reciprocity – a change in policy that would streamline the insurance buying and settlement processes.
Also, while we were pleased to see The SMART Act pass earlier this year, a new Interim Final Rule implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would now allow for more than double the statutory 120-day period to obtain final payment amount on settlements. RIMS is opposed this new rule and has voiced its concerns to the CMS. We will continue to monitor the implementation of the SMART Act to ensure it does what it was originally intended to do.
Finally, RIMS Board of Directors met in early November in San Jose to review, discuss and deliberate the 2014 budget. We’re happy to report that the Board approved a balanced budgeted for the upcoming year that is well-suited to advance the Society’s strategic objectives.
The Board also reviewed recommendations from the Committee Structure Task Force that was established to report on the efficiency of RIMS committee and council structure. The task force worked with all committee chairs, board liaisons, and RIMS staff and affirmed that value of this Society’s highly dedicated, professional and talented volunteer network is undeniable. The task force’s recommendations can be read in the memo that was distributed to all chapter officers.
RIMS relies on its volunteers. Guiding those volunteers so that their energy is applied efficiently to the Society’s goals is critical to the future of RIMS and the professional success of our members.
So, here we are again: that familiar time of year where we reflect on our accomplishments and prepare for the future. It feels like just yesterday that we were getting ourselves ready for 2013. And now, in a blink of an eye, we’re prepping for RIMS ’14 and the year ahead. On behalf of RIMS, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday, and look forward to another successful year.
John R. Phelps
What Could Be...
Tue, Oct 29, 2013 -
With our finger on the pulse of the risk management and insurance community, RIMS is always looking for ways to help you deliver the most value to your organizations while making the day-to-day operational aspects of your job easier.
Our External Affairs Committees (XAC) work in support of the formation of NARAB, the National Association of Agents and Brokers is a great example. The committee has taken a close look at this legislation and determined that allowing for multi-state licensing for insurance producers would increase competition, potentially lower rates and reduce redundancies and inefficiencies by permitting businesses to only work with one broker or agent. Noting the tremendous value this piece of legislation offers our members, XAC has issued an official statement supporting the bill and will work with key elected officials to bring it to fruition.
At the end of the month, RIMS Board Member Rick Roberts will join a panel at the ACORD Implementation Process Forum in Boston. There he’ll speak to a group of business leaders about the insurance renewal process from a risk management perspective with the intention of sparking a dialogue on ways to improve what can become an extremely tedious task. Participating in these open forums is a great way for the Society to ensure the risk professional’s voice is heard when decisions are being made about the processes and policies that directly impact our work.
On the value front, RIMS recently published results from its 2013 RIMS ERM Survey. The annual survey is designed to gain insight into the current state of, and ongoing trends in ERM. It provides insight on the risk professional’s role in implementing ERM, ERM program drivers, the value of ERM, ERM expectations and effectiveness, strategies for measuring the maturity of an ERM program and risk reporting.
The key takeaway from the survey is that ERM has gained “critical mass” acceptance with 63 percent of the respondents having either fully or partially integrated an ERM program to address their organization’s strategic and operational risks. This milestone is further reinforced by the response and expansion of the RIMS ERM Conference 2013.
In just a couple days (November 3 – 5) more than 250 risk practitioners from an array of organizations will descend on the city of San Francisco for this annual event. The conference will explore best practices for implementing and sustaining an enterprise-wide risk management program, as well as strategies for risk professionals to demonstrate the value of enhanced risk management capabilities to senior-level decision-makers. We’ve expanded the Solution Showcase for practitioners to network with service providers who specialize in the discipline.
RIMS conferences are an exceptional opportunity to learn from the best and meet with the best. We’re excited to announce that RIMS will share its collective knowledge at RIMS Risk Forum – the Society’s first educational conference in Melbourne, Australia. I’m looking forward to travelling to Australia, gaining an understanding of their risk management strategies and challenges and delivering my keynote address, “Managing Risk Through Strategy Planning & Execution.”
In addition to expanding our reach into the Asia Pacific region, our initiatives in South America continue to gain momentum. Last week, RIMS Board Member Lori Seidenberg participated in the Associação Brasileira de Gerência de Risco (ABGR) risk management conference in Sao Paolo. Lori’s panel focused on the perception of risk management and the role of the risk professional in various regions around the world.
Finally, I had the privilege to attend and speak at the RIMS Canada Conference in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia a few weeks ago. The theme for this conference was DISCOVERY and that’s exactly what it was for me. I discovered a unique sense of pride our Canadian colleagues have for this conference as the one time during the year where risk managers from across their vast nation come together to share experiences, renew friendships and grow in knowledge. The sense of pride our Canadian members have in their country, their heritage and the risk management discipline was palpable. The conference in Victoria is truly a “national conference” for Canadians and it was a time for me to immerse myself in the learning, festivities, and the splendor of one of the most beautiful places on earth, British Columbia.
One of the highlights of the conference was a key note address by Colonel Chris Hadfield, an astronaut who logged considerable time on the international space station. While delivering an engaging and fascinating description of his experience as a test pilot and later an astronaut, he described our world as a few billion people all living within a tiny sliver of space known as the atmosphere. Compared to the vastness of space the place in the universe we call home is spectacularly small. In his speech entitled, The Sky Is Not The Limit he challenged our thinking with regards to space exploration and removing any constraints around “what could be”. I couldn’t help but think about the journey in which we have immersed ourselves called risk management. I have often said, as cliché as it is, that risk management is about the journey and not the destination. When I look back on my own career and examine the changes in this discipline over a few decades, I feel a sense of wonder about the changes that have taken place. From being the guy who buys the insurance to actually participating in strategic planning and execution, it seems to me to be a vast journey and, at the same time, just a sliver of change when compared to, as Colonel Hadfield said … what could be.
As RIMS leadership and I travel the world to industry conferences and chapter meetings, we are captivated by the extraordinary work of risk professionals, their unique approaches to risk management and learning from the successes and challenges they’ve encountered as part of their journey. As your leadership, we’re committed to transforming these incredible stories into innovative and informative resources for you to reach your professional goals and advance your organization’s risk management capabilities. It’s part of our …. what could be.
School’s in Session…
Thu, Sep 19, 2013 -
From all those years of schooling we’re trained to treat the start of the school year as a new beginning, a time to refocus our energy on our work and achieve those goals we set out to accomplish on January 1. Key to that is a continued commitment to sharpening our professional skills and knowledge-base…taking advantage of RIMS’ many educational offerings is a great place to start.
RIMS’ newly launched CourseCasts are just one of the tools we’ve designed to help risk professionals acquire and fine-tune the skills they need to succeed. And, thanks to the volunteers on RIMS SRM Development Council, we just successfully completed the second SRM CourseCast “Developing and Managing Risk Strategic Risk Appetite.” All previous CourseCasts are available for download on the RIMS site and mark your calendars for the next one on October 30th.
It’s also great to see our Professional Development team “thinking globally.” In just a few weeks, RIMS instructors will travel to Medellin, Colombia to deliver a customized In-Company Training risk management educational program for Gestion de Innovacion y Tecnologia Innmagina Group. If you’re looking for a way to get your entire team up-to-speed but don’t have the travel budget to fly them all out to a workshop, this could be the tool for you.
This fall season also brings regional conference time. Our Chapters are a tremendous resource for risk professionals around the globe and these localized conferences are perfect for meeting other risk practitioners in your area. In the next two months, RIMS Chapters will host the Southeastern RIMS Educational Conference in Charleston; the Western Regional Conference in Park City; REBEX in Chicago; and RIMS Canada Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.
RIMS’ educational initiatives must also branch out to professionals whose jobs influence their organizations’ overall risk management capabilities like those in Human Resources, IT, Legal among those with other titles. Increasing the size and scope of the Society is one of our strategic goals. So, to that end, RIMS will take its expertise on the road and exhibit at the National Safety Council’s Annual Congress in Chicago and ISACA’s Information Security and Risk Management Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re in the area, stop by our booth.
The 3rd annual RIMS ERM Conference is also right around the corner. Our ERM Committee has been hard at work and recently released the conference’s final agenda. This group of dedicated volunteers has also done a remarkable job redesigning the Strategic and Enterprise Center on RIMS website that now features their newly developed ERM Starter Kit.
In addition to educating all professionals about the value of risk management and about the tools we offer, RIMS is also tasked with educating our Congressional leaders about the legislative issues that impact this industry. Recently, members of RIMS External Affairs Committee met with the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to discuss the implications of TRIA’s expiration. And, as a follow up to that meeting, the Society delivered an official letter to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to be considered for their report to Congress on the availability and affordability of insurance for terrorism risk. It’s extremely rewarding to know that the voice of the commercial insurance consumer will be considered for the FIO’s report to Congress and I applaud everyone who has helped support this cause.
Finally, I’d like to share this story. I had the honor to guest lecture at the College of Business at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. I always enjoy these opportunities to speak and interact with the future of our discipline.
The students in the risk and insurance program at FSU were bright, engaged and enthusiastic men and women eager to build a career in insurance or risk management. Several of them talked about the experience of attending our Annual Conference & Exhibition, the Florida Educational Conference or about the invaluable support they’ve received from the Spencer Educational Foundation. They described experiences that were etched in their memory and how they helped fuel their desire to be a part of our discipline.
As your president this year, I am able to experience, in a very direct way, how the services, networking and support from RIMS and Spencer affect our members and future members. Interacting with the FSU students reminded me of why I made the commitment over the last 10 years to serve RIMS. Funny how an activity where I was going to “give back to the discipline” by spending some time lecturing to students instead turns into a different and unexpected experience for me.
I drove back home with a sense of satisfaction and gratification that the work we are doing at RIMS and Spencer to assure the future of our discipline is working. We are making a difference in the lives of these men and women at the sunrise of their career and the future of our discipline is bright.
In the coming weeks stayed tuned for more information from RIMS Board of Directors including updates regarding the Society’s strategy and governance, our work on the RIMS’ budget, conference updates, as well as news from our nominating committee and their progress forming our Board Slate for 2014.
John R. Phelps
Summer Reading List...
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 -
In addition to bringing the heat, the month of July also brought you three new RIMS publications that should be included on every risk professionals’ must-read list for the summer.
First on that list is RIMS’ new executive report “Root Cause Analysis: More Than Just Cleaning Up the Mess.” Co-authored by RIMS Director of Strategic and Enterprise Practice Carol Fox and Andrew Bent, a risk coordinator with Suncor Inc., this report looks at root cause analysis differently. While the technique is routinely used by practitioners after an adverse risk event, the report highlights the value it can add as a predictive measure.
The next item is a piece created for industry newcomers. Sticking to my presidential theme, providing resources for the young risk professionals is critical to their success and the future of our discipline. The development of our new executive report “Introduction to Property Loss Control” was an initiative overseen by the RIMS Member and Chapter Services Committee that resulted in a comprehensive guide to this crucial element of any risk program.
We have to do more than just create a resource. RIMS continues to find new ways to engage this group of membership including the launch of an initiative to encourage these professionals to update their RIMS profiles with demographic information and their areas of interest in exchange for an advance copy of our “Introductory to Property Loss Control” report. This information will give us a better understanding of the positions they hold within their organization, where they’re located and the areas of risk management they’d like to pursue…better preparing us to develop the resources they want and need.
The final item on the reading list is RIMS Benchmark Survey. Often referred to as “The Book,” the annual RIMS Benchmark Survey is produced with Advisen, Ltd. and is a single source of benchmark statistics with industry data from more than 52,000 insurance programs shared by almost 1,500 organizations.
In addition to these new reports, RIMS continues to pursue projects and initiatives that align with our mission to advance risk management for your organization’s success.
We continue to push for the reauthorization of TRIA that is set to expire in 2014. On July 17, RIMS Board Member Michael Phillipus, RIMS Government Affairs Staff and our Washington, D.C. consultants met with key congressional offices and the Chair of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Randy Neugebauer in DC. As insurance consumers, we strongly believe that our perspective is vitally important to highlighting the dangers of this bill’s expiration for our leaders on Capitol Hill.
This Society’s relevance hinges on the feedback we receive from our membership.
Just in the last month, the feedback you have submitted has resulted in a minor reorganization of the Society’s administrative responsibilities. In the weeks ahead, RIMS will announce the formation of a new working group dedicated to client services. This change aligns with RIMS’ strategic goal to maintain progressive technologies and operations to meet our members’ evolving needs.
We’re not done there. Also in the near future we’ll host focus groups regarding our website. And, our International Committee – who has been working with Zurich on access to their comprehensive international insurance placement database – will reach out to a test group of members to get their thoughts on the database’s content, as well as training and ease of use.
Continuing on the global front, I would like to officially congratulate and welcome the recently announced inaugural board of RIMS Australasia Chapter. Led by the chapter’s first president Colin Knox, this esteemed group of risk practitioners share a wealth of industry insight, adding to RIMS’ collective knowledge and strengthening our global footprint.
Finally, I want to mention that RIMS held its annual two-day strategic planning meeting this month to ensure that the Society continues to deliver resources essential for risk management success.
Day one included presentations by RIMS Staff that provided updates on the Society’s areas of practice, as well as other strategic initiatives. And, on day two, Tecker International – a consulting group specializing in strategic, knowledge-based planning – facilitated a workshop that focused on developing brand identity, as well as an exploration of RIMS’ resources that will best serve our stakeholders.
With all this said, we do hope that you’ve found time to enjoy your summer and encourage you all to check back in soon for new and exciting updates from RIMS.
John R. Phelps
Changing Policy for Our Profession…
Thu, Jun 27, 2013 -
Congress might be on recess but RIMS certainly isn’t. In the last month, RIMS has placed a concerted emphasis on government affairs, in particular, our push to have TRIA extended.
RIMS Board Member and New York City Chapter Member Lori Seidenberg recently submitted testimony on behalf of the Society for a New York City Council Committee on Federal and State Legislation hearing, lending our support for their fight to extend TRIA. And, in May, we officially commended Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), the Ranking Member of the Committee of Homeland Security, for introducing the “Fostering Resilience to Terrorism Act of 2013.”
In the upcoming months, our External Affairs Committee (XAC) will continue in its charge to have TRIA extended through a grassroots campaign encouraging our members to partake in District Meetings. While Congress is in recess and our congressional leaders are in their hometowns, there is no better time to set meetings with them and share your professional insights on legislative issues like TRIA. RIMS can help schedule these hometown meetings for you and make sure you have the background information you need. Stay tuned as more information will be available soon.
Furthering our TRIA efforts, RIMS leaders and TRIA experts will partake in a July 18th web panel that will review the intricacies of this legislation and how its expiration will impact insurance markets and a wide range of other industries. The webinar is open to all RIMS members.
Like the XAC Committee, our ERM and SRMDC Committees are hard at work. Earlier this month, we announced that registration is now open for the RIMS ERM Conference 2013 on November 3-5 in San Francisco. The conference is set to explore best practices for implementing and sustaining an enterprise-wide risk management program and will have sessions focused on key ERM components such as: scenario planning; identifying “Black Swan” events and emerging risks; risk reporting processes and tools; and crises management. Attendance is limited by design, so don’t wait long to register.
RIMS “Maintaining Global Employee Benefit Coverage with Multinational Pooling” Executive Report was extremely well-received prompting our International Committee to develop a special webinar on the topic today (June 27th). It’s important that RIMS continue to provide these opportunities. As our membership becomes more global, RIMS must expand its offerings to meet the needs of today’s risk professional. Thanks to AON Hewitt and Spring Consulting for sponsoring this new RIMS webinar.
I also wanted to share an update from our Committee Structure Task Force. The group, formed earlier this year and led by Board Member Rick Roberts, was created to evaluate the current RIMS committee structure and to ensure it’s aligned with the Society’s vision and mission. The group has almost completed a survey of all committees, speaking with RIMS staff liaisons, chairs and vice chairs of existing committees and councils and board liaisons. While the surveys are still being tabulated, an immediate example of the group’s work was the consolidation of RIMS Student Advisory Council and the Student Involvement Committee. This Task Force’s work will provide a more effective governance structure that will allow us to deliver services and resources while syncing with my Presidential goal to create value for our membership.
Finally, last week was the first meeting Education Advisory Group. This group of industry professionals and loyal RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition attendees met in New York on June 17th to review the format of the conference, the process for program submissions and the approval process, as well as the session categories and industry trends. Before you know it, RIMS ’14 will be here and we look forward to sharing the group’s findings and other conference enhancements as we continue the planning process.
RIMS has a lot in store for us in the upcoming weeks – new conference announcements, new reports, new surveys and new professional development opportunities. We look forward to an exciting summer and thank you for making us your go-to risk management resource.
John R. Phelps
And, It's A Wrap!
Tue, May 21, 2013 -
I’m happy to report that RIMS ’13 was a huge success. The conference boasted attendance numbers close to 9,000 making it one of our highest attended conferences in years. And, according to all the feedback, RIMS educational programming and the new schedule of sessions – including Power Hours and the Thought Leader Theater – significantly enhanced the conference experience for many.
A common theme throughout my presidency and the conference has been RIMS’ commitment to the next generation of risk professionals. For the first time, a panel of young risk practitioners addressed RIMS Board of Directors and provided their perspective on the profession and its future. The board learned a great deal from this discussion and we look forward to continuing these dialogues through our Young Risk Practitioners Group and working together to make their risk management journey a successful one.
In my address to members during the conference’s General Session, I challenged our younger professionals to get involved and help shape the future of the discipline through service with RIMS. I also challenged chapters to reach out, from a grass roots perspective, to this group and encourage their involvement. They are, after all, the future of the risk management profession.
One challenge that we faced in Los Angeles was the limited number of hotel rooms in close proximity to the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the subsequent commuting time to attend sessions, events and business meetings. Our annual conference venues are booked almost ten years in advance and, unfortunately, we were not able to predict or make up for the demolition of one downtown hotel and the loss of its 600 rooms. RIMS regrets any transportation inconvenience you may have experienced in Los Angeles as a result.
We are excited for RIMS ’14 in Denver, a city that has thousands of hotel rooms and top-notch dining options all within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center.
Some updates from the Society, our Chapters, Committees & Councils:
First, I would like to extend an official President’s Corner Message welcome to our two new chapters: our Australasia Chapter based in Melbourne and our Peru Chapter based in Lima. As we announced at the Annual Conference, these two chapters are a testament to this Society’s commitment to expanding its global footprint.
By now, I hope most of you have had the opportunity to download the two new RIMS Executive Reports issued by our International Committee. The Challenges of Implementing an Insurance Program in China and the Maintaining Global Employee Benefit Coverage with Multinational Pooling reports are available for free in RIMS newly revamped Risk Knowledge online resource library.
RIMS Technology Advisory Council (TAC) continues to produce stellar work. Cyber risk management, data breaches, information security, privacy liability, cloud computing, mobile technology, big data, convergence, ERM tools, risk management information systems, all continue to be hot button issues around risk management circles. The committee, led by its Chair Emily Cummins, has established itself as a go-to resource for these issues and has had its members participate as panelists on a Risk & Insurance webinar, as well as being featured in a Business Insurance article.
As we speak about technology, some projects that are currently in progress include an upgrade to Avectra – the system that manages our member’s data, membership renewals and new membership additions – that is scheduled to be completed this summer, the streamlining of the “Contact Us” feature and the process for answering submissions. We have also added a “Find Chapter” button to the right section of the RIMS homepage to make it easier for members and nonmembers alike to locate their local chapter website. We are always looking for your feedback and have developed the following SURVEY to learn what website features matter most to you.
Finally, with little rest from Los Angeles, our Exhibitor Advisory Council (EAC) and Meetings and Events team have been in Denver the last week planning for RIMS ’14. This trip to the Rockies provides the EAC with first-hand knowledge of the layout of Denver’s conference facilities in order to effectively communicate those offerings to our exhibitors and coordinate the design of the Exhibit Hall, as well as to familiarize themselves with external sites – hotels, restaurants, and other meeting facilities – that will be used for networking events.
In the next month, I will be headed to Bermuda Insurance Day to speak on the importance of communicating the value of risk management and its impact on the development of a risk financing program. I look forward to sharing that experience with you and encourage you to explore RIMS exceptional professional development opportunities in the month of May.
John R. Phelps
Connecting Flight to LA
Tue, Apr 02, 2013 -
A few weeks ago, I left my home in sunny and warm Jacksonville for Tokyo to visit with RIMS’ Japan Chapter. The Japan chapter is an important part of the Society’s global footprint that is continuing to expand. At nearly 10,000 miles away, it couldn’t be more clear how connected we all really are. Risk professionals in Japan face the same challenges and have the same questions as my colleagues back in Florida. Risk management truly transcends borders and RIMS will continue in its efforts to become the go-to resource for all risk professionals, wherever they are located.
While in Japan I delivered speeches in Tokyo and Osaka that focused on the value of accelerating an organization’s risk capabilities to achieve strategic objectives and heighten social responsibility…something that is very relevant to RIMS members, no matter what country they practice in.
And, it’s hard to believe that as soon as I returned from Japan, it’s practically time to board another flight for our Annual Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles. As president this year, I’ve been very involved in the planning of the conference and strongly believe we have an outstanding program planned for you.
Leading up to the conference, I’ve been asked several times “what advice do you have for someone who has never been to the RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition.” My answer seems obvious, especially for a risk practitioner, but I think it can go a long way in helping attendees gain the most from their RIMS ’13 experience. My advice for the risk professionals that are committed to improving themselves in order to increase the value they bring to their companies, is to develop a plan before they go.
Decide what you want to know more about. Which people do you want to talk with? What sessions will help strengthen your organization? Look at the list of vendors in the Exhibit Hall and see if there's something you want to explore or find more information about. Maybe there's an opportunity to put a new insurance carrier in your portfolio or finally automate your ERM program. So, make a plan and work through it, because if you don’t you will find it can be very overwhelming. You’ll return home wishing you had remembered to connect with a certain vendor or attend a session that could have helped you with an issue you are struggling with at your company.
To further assist first-timers and others who are still relatively new to the conference, RIMS Member Services Department put together a document (download it here) that can be used as a cheat sheet. Those attendees would also benefit from the First-Timers Orientation session scheduled for Monday, April 22nd at 10:15 a.m.
You might not be new to the conference but RIMS is always trying to create additional value for our members, offering new products, resources and, in this instance, conference features that include top-tier speakers that set us apart from the rest.
No RIMS Annual Conference experience should start without attending the General Session breakfast. This year we will have one of the great business thinkers, author Simon Sinek, deliver our opening keynote to get everyone energized and excited for the week ahead. Our Awards Luncheon has been completely revamped with a professional emcee and production to give it an Oscars-style vibe. And, last but certainly not least, our Conference Finale featuring author, comedian, TV personality Howie Mandel, who is all set to give us his spin on risk management.
Finally, some updates from RIMS’ Councils and Committees. In addition to having prepared a student session track for attendees at RIMS ‘13, our Student Advisory Council along with the Student Involvement Committee will host a Power Hour session focused on how to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace; a student luncheon; a speed networking roundtable; and another roundtable to give these aspiring students a glimpse of “A Day in the Life of a Risk Manager.”
Additionally, our International Committee is developing two new reports that will focus on strategies for conducting business abroad and captives. RIMS 2013 Compensation Survey that’s produced bi-annually by our Membership and Chapter Service Committee will also be released at RIMS ‘13.
There’s a lot in store for all of us in Los Angeles. Remember, if you have any questions about what to see or what to do, the volunteer members of RIMS’ many committees and its staff are standing by to help. We wish you safe travels to LA and look forward to seeing you all there.
And, for those of you who aren’t able to join us in Los Angeles, keep an eye out for the daily emails that RIMS sends during the conference. Their coverage of the events, education and networking taking place provide valuable information for even those not in attendance.
John R. Phelps
It's Only Just Begun...
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 -
We have accomplished so much in such a short period of time and I could not have done it without the support of my fellow Board Members and RIMS’ dedicated staff.
In just my first week, President Obama signed the SMART Act, a long-standing legislative priority for RIMS that will streamline the Medicare reporting process for insurers. We have always believed that this legislation would benefit the entire risk management community and I’d like to commend the External Affairs Committee for their work in support of its approval.
Continuing on the legislative front, RIMS will host three regional legislative events in March that will give our members a chance to discuss the most relevant legislative risk management issues in their state and meet with their local elected officials to review them. On March 6 we will hold our State Legislative Conference in Tallahassee; March 12 -13 a regional RIMS on the Hill in Austin; and, March 19 – 20 RIMS on the Mall in Sacramento. I encourage all RIMS members who are interested to contact our External Affairs team to get involved. Don’t feel you need special knowledge to talk to your legislators. They want to talk to people like you who represent the buyers on issues.
I think it’s safe to say that RIMS 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition is front and center and on everyone’s mind. I’m happy to report that exhibitor and sponsorship numbers are strong and that registration numbers are exceptional. L.A. is a terrific location and our conference planners have done an outstanding job lining up world class sessions, networking opportunities and an exhibit hall filled with companies eager to learn how they may be of service to you.
For me, the educational sessions are the heart of the Conference. It is there where we get to sharpen our skills and learn from the best our profession has to offer. This year, we wanted to make sure our sessions met your scheduling needs so we added some new features to the educational component of the Conference.
Look for RIMS Power Hours, shorter, one hour educational sessions on Tuesday morning. The RIMS Hub in the Exhibit Hall will offer “round-the-clock” educational programming for professionals looking to boost their social media skills. And, the Thought Leader Theater will feature more than 20, 25-minute risk management sessions not offered at any other time during the conference. We’re confident that these new additions will further enhance your time in LA.
RIMS Board of Directors met in New York in January for their first Board Meeting of the year. This meeting’s agenda was extensive and included a vote on a “hot button” issue that has been a highly debated at House of Delegates meetings for the past several years. That issue: Associates of the Society serving on Chapter Board.
After appointing a specially commissioned Task Force to review this issue and studying their strong arguments for and against Associates serving on Chapter Boards, RIMS Board of Directors has voted and made its decisions on this issue. We want all those affected to fully understand the methodology behind this process and the factors that were considered. So, I invite you click here to gain access to the background information, the process and the considerations we, on the Board, reviewed in order to make such an important decision on behalf of the Society.
Finally, in each of these President’s Corner Messages, I plan to give a quick update on the work of a couple of our National committees.
The ERM Committee is undertaking a new project on integrating ERM with traditional risk management and has plans to release a survey later this year. And, the Strategic Risk Management Development Council is undertaking a new project on reputational risk. We’re looking forward to seeing the product of their work.
Each year, PDAC – RIMS’ Professional Development Advisory Council – is charged with reviewing our workshops and webinars to make sure the content is on point and relevant for today’s risk professionals. That committee held its first meeting of the year and has begun that process.
RIMS Student Advisory Council (SAC) is hosting the GIS monthly webinar on Thursday, February 21 from 2:30 - 4:00pm. The topic will be “A Year in the Life of a Risk Manager.” Council Chair Debbie Rodgers will serve as moderator. Los Angeles Chapter President Ross Pebley and SAC member James Conoly will join the panel.
There are countless ways to be involved in RIMS, whether it be National service, conference participation, legislative advocacy or with your local chapter. This Society success depends on the invaluable contributions of our volunteering members. We truly appreciate all that you do for the Society that enables us to grow and thrive year-after-year.
RIMS 2013 President John Phelps Rings in the New Year and Sets Presidential Goals...
Wed, Jan 09, 2013 -
Happy New Year. I hope you all enjoyed your holidays.
It is an honor and a privilege to write to you as RIMS 59th President. Serving on RIMS Board of Directors for more than nine years, I strongly believe that the invaluable resources and opportunities this Society offers today’s risk practitioners is a testament to RIMS outstanding staff, the work of my fellow board members, the remarkable work of our Chapter Officers and, most importantly, a result of our committed and dedicated membership.
As President, I am committed to paving the way for this Society’s growth, our membership’s success and the advancement of the risk management profession, and will focus on developing RIMS’ key resources that help organizations not only manage today’s risks, but prepare for those of tomorrow.
I’ve put a lot of thought into what I’d like to accomplish in 2013 and have divided those goals for myself and the Society into three categories: creating value, thinking globally and developing leaders.
As the role of the risk manager continues to evolve, new value propositions within organizations are created. We will concentrate our efforts on supporting all risk professionals to strategically implement, maintain and advance their risk programs to capture that value. Offering resources for traditional risk management methods has always been a staple of this Society and will continue throughout my presidency. I will also ensure that we continue to focus the Society’s resources on helping all risk professionals achieve their goals.
Technology has enabled organizations to transcend borders, making it effortless for business to be conducted on an international scale. As our membership becomes more geographically diverse, RIMS too must think globally and take advantage of the many viable opportunities to expand the Society’s footprint, making our resources and network accessible to risk practitioners all over the world.
The future of risk management hinges on the next generation that has chosen or will choose to pursue careers in this discipline. During my presidency, RIMS will demonstrate its commitment to this aspiring group by providing educational programming, networking opportunities and volunteer positions at the Society’s national level to further attract their participation in the many significant RIMS initiatives that year-after-year play an integral role in shaping the future of the profession.
Started not too long ago by RIMS President Scott Clark, these President Corner Messages are an effective way to get the word out about the many RIMS initiatives and updates impacting our global membership.
Building on this momentum, in the upcoming year we are going to increase the frequency of these messages and enhance their content. Now on monthly basis, I plan to include updates from our Committees and Councils, our Chapters, our Strategic and Enterprise Risk Practice, Professional Development and Government Affairs departments, and, of course, include news about our conferences. Also, to ensure that our members have access to this information and know that it’s available to them, we will also deliver these messages through our eGroups, as well as our social media outlets.
As I prepare for my Presidency, I can’t help but think of the upcoming year, the opportunities, the connections, RIMS’ bright future and the future of the industry. I look forward to continuing in the footsteps of my predecessors and am truly excited for the year ahead.
John R. Phelps, ARM, CPCU
RIMS 2013 President
John Phelps Named RIMS President for 2013 -- Board of Directors Announced
Wed, Jan 02, 2013 -
JOHN PHELPS NAMED 2013 PRESIDENT OF RIMS
Society Introduces 2013 Officers & Board of Directors
NEW YORK (January 2, 2013) — RIMS, the risk management society, today announced that John Phelps, ARM, CPCU, CBCP will lead the Society as president for the 2013 term, effective January 1.
Mr. Phelps is the Director of Business Risk Solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. He has been a member of RIMS for almost 33 years and on its Board of Directors for nine years. Previously, Mr. Phelps served as vice president and board liaison to the Society’s External Affairs Committee and RIMS Canada Council. He is a member of RIMS Northeast Florida Chapter where he served as president in 1997.
“For far too long, the mention of ‘risk’ has struck fear in board rooms around the world,” said Phelps. “As President of RIMS I want to focus on the resources and services that will better equip our members to demonstrate how a more comprehensive understanding of risk can help straighten the path for an organization’s success and exploit the opportunities risk offers every company. I sincerely look forward to the year ahead and to helping our members advance their organization’s risk management capabilities in all business disciplines.”
Phelps added, “The future of the profession is also a priority for my presidency. We, at RIMS, are determined to remain the ‘go-to’ resource for all risk practitioners, helping them to better define future risks, connecting them with the latest technologies and service providers and, most importantly, delivering opportunities for the next generation of risk professionals to develop and excel within the industry.”
Officers on RIMS 2012 Board of Directors:
- President: John R. Phelps, ARM, CPCU; Director, Business Risk Solutions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc.;
- Vice President: Dan H. Kugler, ARM, CEBS, CPCU, ACI; Assistant Treasurer, Risk Management, Snap-On Inc.;
- Treasurer: Nowell R. Seaman, CIP, CRM; Manager, Risk Management & Insurance Services, University of Saskatchewan;
- Corporate Secretary: Carolyn M. Snow, CPCU; Director, Risk Management, Humana Inc.
New Board Members:
- Gordon Adams, Chief Risk Officers, Tri-Marine International, Inc.
- Grace M. Crickette, ARM, SPHR, CCSA, CSHM; Chief Risk Officer, University California
Incumbent Board Members:
- Robert Cartwright Jr., CRM; Loss Prevention Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC;
- Al Gorski, Chief Risk Officer, Orange County Transportation Authority;
- Kim Hunton, MPA, FCIP, RF; Corporate Risk Manager, City of Ottawa;
- Leslie Lamb, Global Risk Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Deborah M. Luthi, ARM; Enterprise Risk Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; (Ex-Officio);
- Julie C. Pemberton, ARM; Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management, Coinstar;
- Michael D. Phillipus, ARM; Director, Insurance and Risk Management, ATP Oil & Gas Corporation;
- Richard J. Roberts, Jr., ALCM, ARM, CPCU, RF; Corporate Risk Manager, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc.;
- Frederick J. Savage, FCII, ARM; Director, Risk Management (San Ramon), Chevron Corporation;
- Lori Seidenberg, ARM, RF; Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Centerline Capital Group.
For more information about RIMS leadership, visit www.RIMS.org.
Farewell Message from Deborah Luthi
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 -
It has been an honor to serve as RIMS 2012 President.
As I’ve traveled far and wide this year on behalf of RIMS, I’ve been so impressed with the individual and collective power of volunteerism exhibited by RIMS members and Chapters. With the push, pull and pressures of our day jobs and personal lives it, indeed, takes an above and beyond level of commitment to further and mature this business discipline we practice.
Our Chapter Officers’, active members’ and our industry partners’ invaluable dedication to RIMS, combined with RIMS exceptionally talented and supportive staff, is what makes this Society great and empowers us to achieve our goals and advance risk management for you and your organization’s success.
I strongly believe that RIMS is moving in the right direction to shape the risk and insurance profession in an advantageous way for all practitioners. RIMS leadership and staff stand ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We will continue to address issues most relevant to the industry; ensuring that RIMS provides the best service and cutting-edge knowledge for our members.
Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this year so special for me. I wish you all a happy holiday season and a successful – and prosperous – 2013.
Deborah M. Luthi
Tue, Nov 06, 2012 -
Power. Lately, this word has been thrown around when referring to electricity (or the loss thereof) but I would like to use it as a sentiment of encouragement for the countless families who have been afflicted by the superstorm known as Sandy. We at RIMS wish you the power and strength for a speedy recovery, health and safety.
RIMS headquarters in New York was unaffected by the storm but the lives of our dedicated staff and our valued chapter members in the region have been turned upside down. Please bear with us during this recovery period. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Just this past week, while chaos ensued in the Northeast, we held our second annual RIMS ERM Conference in San Antonio. The conference was a glowing success and delivered an outstanding program designed for risk practitioners at all levels.
The winner of the ERM Award of Distinction – presented at the conference – was the YMCA of Greater Toronto whose sophisticated risk intelligence program demonstrated its value through a suite of strategic risk tools and techniques. Their program included a collaborative project risk assessment, aligned with the organization’s mission, vision and strategic plan objectives. In its early stages, the program’s success contributed to an average 25% growth in monthly membership sales at one of its Health, Fitness and Recreation centers. And, its success quickly became a model for other communities.
The honorable mention, Sysco Corporation, also has a dynamic ERM program. With the difficult task of coordinating the work of 185 distribution facilities that serve more than 400,000 customers, the company’s powerful ERM program was instrumental in supporting a business transformation from a culture of siloed businesses, to a cohesive, interconnected, and better informed network of companies focused on uncovering untapped opportunities.
RIMS is powered by the collective knowledge of our membership and I want to thank both organizations for sharing their stories.
This September, RIMS released an executive report entitled the “Evolving Role of the Risk Professional” that explores the history of risk management, from its evolution from a traditional or defensive approach, to a more advanced, integrated approach, and then to the contemporary risk management discipline that we refer to as ERM. The report also takes an in-depth look at the responsibilities of today’s risk professional, potentially helping others better understand what they can expect from and how best to position risk management within their organizations.
And, this week RIMS unveiled a new publication, the “Strategic Risk Implementation Guide” – a 68-page book designed to walk organizations through a strategic risk management framework and give them an inside look at how some of the world’s leading organizations have developed a balanced risk-taking approach. This guide was created by members of our Strategic Risk Management Development Council.
This week, I will represent RIMS on a President’s Panel at the Enterprise Risk Forum in Bellevue, Washington exploring with the Financial Executives International and the Institute of Internal Audit the challenges that will test our governance, risk and compliance capabilities. In December I will participate in another panel at the Business Insurance Women to Watch Leadership Workshop honoring women doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, reinsurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields, such as law and consulting.
Finally, it’s that time of year. Registration for RIMS ’13 – our Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for April 21 – 24 in Los Angeles – will open December 3rd. We look forward to, once again, offering you a powerful lineup of risk practitioner presenters representing all aspects of the risk management discipline to comprise a comprehensive and thought-provoking program. I hope to see you there.
Over the course of the upcoming months, RIMS is positioned to provide you with top-notch professional development opportunities and, as always, is proud to be your go-to source for the latest in risk management.
Deborah M. Luthi
Off To The Races...
Wed, Sep 05, 2012 -
It feels as though someone has waved the white flag to indicate the last lap to the end of my presidency. Aside from the couple of months leading up to the Annual Conference, I’ve quickly learned that, by far, September and October are the busiest times of year for RIMS.
This well-oiled machine continues to move along, providing outstanding thought leadership pieces and professional development opportunities for our members. In fact, this summer, we’ve had tremendous success and attendance at our workshops and webinars that can probably be attributed to the evolution of our profession.
As more and more organizations realize the value of risk management, and as our members continue to demonstrate a real desire to advance their risk programs and their careers, RIMS will be leading the way to provide them with the resources to get to that next level.
Yearly, RIMS holds conferences, summits and participates in events around the world to share our Society’s collective knowledge and experiences.
In September RIMS will host a handful of regional events including: the RIMS Canada Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on September 9 -12; the Western Regional Conference that will be held this year at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs on September 17-20; and REBEX in Chicago on September 20-21. I always found RIMS regional conferences to be highly informative and interactive. And, perhaps more importantly, intimate venues to meet your fellow colleagues who might be working on similar projects in offices around the corner from yours.
Mid-September I will be headed to Panama for the ALARYS Conference where I will speak to over 100 risk and insurance professionals from the region about challenges and strategies to implementing a risk management program in the public sector.
Following ALARYS, I will hop on a plane to Mexico City for the Risk Mexico Conference scheduled for October 4-5. Organized by the members of our RIMS Mexico Chapter, I will have an active role on the program delivering speeches on “10 Easy Steps to Implement ERM”, “Developing a Risk Management Program for Your Organization”, as well as participating on a panel titled “Lessons Learned” that will include myself and panelists from other industries who will share their experiences implementing risk management programs.
At the end of the month, RIMS will host the 2nd Annual ERM Conference from October 29 – 30 in the beautiful city of San Antonio. The two-day conference will explore a spectrum of organizational risks that industry professionals are currently encountering, best practices for creating value through an interrelated risk portfolio, as well as strategies for communicating that value to senior leadership. The conference will feature keynoter Robert Stevenson, author of the best-selling book 52 Essential Habits for Success, who will offer tips to help attendees be successful, beat their competition and remain highly competitive in the marketplace. Once again this year, we will present the ERM Award of Distinction to an organization that has proven its commitment to ERM and that has been able to create value for itself as a result of the program’s existence.
Finally, but certainly not least, I wanted to remind everyone that the Spencer Educational Foundation Gala will be held on September 12 at The Waldorf Astoria New York. This year we will honor risk management stalwarts Seraina Maag, chief executive – North America property and casualty for XL Insurance, and David Zuercher, retired head of insurance for Wells Fargo and Company, for their contributions to the advancement of risk management and insurance educational opportunities.
I personally hope that everyone has had a wonderful summer, is well-rested and ready for the 2012 home-stretch.
Deborah M. Luthi
Transcending Boundaries: One State, One Country at a Time
Thu, Jul 05, 2012 -
The theme of this past RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition was “No Boundaries.” If we take that at its most literal, to mean state lines and international borders, in the last two months, RIMS has crossed many, continuing to share its collective knowledge to advance the risk management profession.
A recap of our travels:
In May, RIMS sent two representatives – former RIMS President Christopher Mandel and former member of RIMS ERM Committee Dr. Joseph Milan – to Dubai to deliver keynote addresses and facilitate workshops at the 2nd Annual Enterprise Risk Management MENA (Middle East Northern Africa) 2012 Conference. In front of a crowd of about 80 business leaders and risk decision-makers they presented RIMS “Strategic Risk Management – Integrating ERM & Strategic Planning” and “ERM Implementation – Accelerating ERM Theory into Practice” professional development workshops.
Also in May, Carol Fox, RIMS Director of Strategic & Enterprise Risk Practice, spoke at the ISO 31000 Conference in Paris, France where she gave a presentation titled, “Raising Awareness About ISO 31000: A U.S. Perspective – Adopt or Adapt?” Later in June, Carol presented “The Tipping Point of Risk Management” webinar as part of the first-ever World Risk Day.
On June 3-5, RIMS hosted its 14th Annual RIMS on the Hill in Washington, D.C. that featured remarks by Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith and well-known pollster and political pundit, Stuart Rothenberg. Our attendees also had opportunity to meet with more than 70 congressional offices to discuss important federal issues such as National Flood Insurance Program, Insurance Regulation Modernization and the SMART Act or “Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act.”
I’ve personally have had the privilege and pleasure of facilitating a brainstorming session on “The Intersection of Risk and Quality” at the American Society for Quality Conference in Anaheim; as well as participating in a panel discussion on the “Future of Risk Management” at ISACA’s World Congress in San Francisco. ISACA, the worldwide association of Information Security professionals, is dedicated to the audit, control, and security of information systems
And, at Insurance Day Summit 2012 my remarks on “The Better Risk” were very well received and sparked further discussions throughout the conference on the importance for insurers and reinsurers to understand their clients’ enterprise risk management programs.
Just as important as sharing our perspective at venues around the world, we strongly believe that meeting and collaborating with RIMS dynamic members – a group of talented and knowledgeable professionals at all stages and levels of their risk management careers – is essential to expanding the Society’s reach and to increasing membership numbers. Within the next month, RIMS will unveil a new membership incentive program to reward members for introducing new risk professionals to RIMS. Details will be available soon and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on this initiative.
Another successful offering that has really taken off recently has been RIMS Professional Development “In-Company Training.” Member and non-member companies – from insurance brokerage firms to casinos to banking institutions – have saved on their travel expenses and have had RIMS experts come to them. All of our professional development topics are offered in this format. For more information, please contact our Director of Professional Development Kate Powers to see how you can arrange for a RIMS professional development workshop at your office.
Before I sign off, I want to remind everyone that RIMS is now accepting submissions for program suggestions for RIMS 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles. If you’re interested in submitting a session, visit www.RIMS.org/2013PSF. The deadline is July 23.
On behalf of RIMS, I’d like to wish you all a fantastic summer, be mindful of those summertime risks, but leverage them for lots of wonderful summer opportunities. We’ll see you back here in the “Corner” in the Fall and thank you for your continued support.
Deborah M. Luthi
No Boundaries & No Slowing Down!
Thu, Apr 26, 2012 -
As I’ve stated before, I have been a member of RIMS for 32 years and have had the privilege of attending many RIMS conferences – the exact number, well, I've lost count. This year was, for obvious reasons, extremely special and memorable for me.
In addition to the many advantages of attending this world-renowned event (that for many includes meeting with business partners, reuniting with old friends, making new ones, benefiting from the outstanding educational sessions and enjoying the evenings at one or more of the social get-togethers) as President this year, I had the opportunity to experience the conference from the inside, out.
The work that goes into hosting an event of this magnitude, and making it flow so seamlessly, is truly a testament to the invaluable efforts of all RIMS Staff and your risk management colleagues on the Conference Planning Committee. Congratulations to you all and I sincerely thank you for allowing me to be a part of this spectacular event.
For our members and, soon to be members, who were unable to attend, pick up your favorite risk and insurance trade publication or online journal and read or watch the more than 150 articles and video interviews about the conference. If traditional media isn’t your thing, do a little back tracking and check out the tweets featuring #RIMS2012 or download our mobile app to get a glimpse of some of the conference highlights.
And, just when we thought the hard work was over, planning has already begun for 2013 in Los Angeles (actually, since there are no boundaries, planning is underway for our next five conferences!)
In the next couple of months, we will be preparing for our annual RIMS on the Hill (ROTH) event scheduled for June 3-5 in Washington, DC. This will mark RIMS 14th ROTH conference – a fantastic forum to discuss the most pressing legislative issues relevant to the risk and insurance profession with nationally recognized government affairs experts. Our featured speaker this year is Stuart Rothenberg, one of Washington’s most highly respected political analysts and the editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. Details for the conference can be found in the External Affairs section of our website. I'll be there, so I hope to see YOU in Washington D.C.
After visiting our nation’s capitol, I will hop on a short flight to Bermuda where I'll be the keynote speaker at Insurance Day Summit 2012. At this conference -- primarily attended by insurance executives, underwriters and reinsurers – I will focus my remarks on ERM and its propensity to help insurers more accurately evaluate their client’s and their potential client’s current exposures…as well as facilitating risk practitioners and insurers to collaboratively and creatively explore underwriting new and emerging risks identified through the ERM process.
Speaking of ERM, a few professional development workshops are on the horizon in May including "Enterprise-Wide Risk Management: Developing and Implementing" in Atlanta, as well as “Risk Assessment Methods” in Ottawa; “Mergers and Acquisitions and Risk Management” in New York and “Techniques of Risk Management” in Denver. Registration is open – for members and non -- so sign up now.
It’s safe to say that our post-conference “break” is way over. We have a lot in store for you this Spring and we’re excited to continue to provide you with the opportunities and resources for your - and your organization's - success!
Deborah M. Luthi, ARM