Are we prepared for a new Black Swan?
Six months ago, coinciding with the publication of our magazine´s previous edition, we awoke with the news that had seemed very improbable only a few hours earlier and which was beginning to materialize: The result of a referendum in which the United Kingdom voted in favour of leaving the European Union (so called Brexit) after obtaining 52 % of citizen support opposed to 48 % from the “remain” group. Many analysts coincided in qualifying such an unpredictable result as what Nassim N. Taleb called metaphorically “The Black Swan theory”.
What we call a Black Swan here is an event with the following three attributes: First of all, it is an atypical case, because there is nothing in the past that makes one imagine that it could occur; secondly, it has serious consequences and, thirdly, despite being very rare, it is explicable and predictable.
After Brexit, many are puzzled over the result of the U.S. presidential elections and it leads us to think about a world that is becoming more and more turbulent, uncertain and unstable and, therefore, the capacity to recover and adapt is repeatedly put to the test.
Our responsibility as risk managers not only obliges us to keep our head above water, but also to be able to act quickly in times of crisis, to manage unexpected scenarios and to reduce as much as possible any damage that they could cause.
We begin the section with an interview, with the Regional CEO of MAPFRE for North LatAm, since last January, Jesus Martínez Castellanos. He states that the company is in the best corporate position to be the top insurer of Global Risks in each of the countries in the Region and aspires to be one of the top three insurers in each of the eight markets in the region.
With over eight decades of experience and constant growth, Telefonica is the leading integrated telecommunications operator in Spain and as their Risk and Insurance Manager, Augusto Pérez Arbizu highlights, the staggering acceleration of the changes that we are living makes the profession of risk manager more challenging than ever.
After the Agenda, in the News section, we present some of the main activities undertaken in the second half of 2016 by the two Spanish risk management associations, AGERS and IGREA, the Federation of European Risk Management and the Inade Foundation, Atlantic Insurance Institute. In the same section we refer to the international presence of MAPFRE GLOBAL RISKS at several events during past 6 months.
The section with Opinion Articles contains three different contributions; the first two are academic articles. The first one, by Eliseo Sierra Noguero, Associate Professor of Mercantile Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, analyses the insurance of liabilities arising from the navigation of vessels.
The author of the second article, Xavier Baraza Sánchez, Director of a Master’s Degree in Prevention of Risks in the Workplace, from the Catalonia´s Open University, analyzes the impact of different leadership styles on the exposure to psycho-social risks for workers in virtual environments, using data supplied by a university institution based on teleworking.
Finally, a contribution of the Engineering Department of MAPFRE GLOBAL RISKS (ITSEMAP) looks into the identification and analysis of the main factors that affect the risks for “contingency business interruption” covers and identify possible action plans that can help to manage the risk.
In the following section we present the twelfth edition of the “Ranking of the Largest European Non-Life Insurance Groups” prepared by MAPFRE´s Study Services and which, on this occasion, is for the 2015 year.
Under the heading ‘Regional Opinion’, we present an audio-visual summary on the NORTH LATAM region.
This number concludes with the Claims Observatory that describes the accident simulation exercise carried out last October in the Airport of Bilbao where the established reaction and coordination procedures in its emergency Plan were evaluated.
Before the New Year begins we must attempt to be creative and dream of new and exhilarating projects that will enable us to overcome the absence of colour in any “Swans” that appear.