Posts belonging to Category 'Business Risk'

Awareness Of Rising Cyber Risks Need Managing

Cyber fraud is the biggest type of fraudulent activity. The techniques are devious and criminals do not discriminate between targets. Hackers simply launch a hostile missive onto the web to attack and plunder any system that lacks sufficient defence. They spend months studying virus protection systems so they can exploit their weaknesses. This is why commentators say it is not if any given business will suffer, but when.

Then there is the threat of destructive malware, which is growing in potency and frequency of use. Symantec reports that a PC somewhere in the world is infected every 4.5 seconds. Such events bring the risk of transmitting the virus onto a third party, precipitating a claim for damages.

Read more about Rising Cyber Risks

Marsh Buys Alexander Forbes Brokerage For The Fast-Developing Sub-Saharan Market

“Marsh recognizes the tremendous potential of the African continent as a major market for insurance and risk management services. In Alexander Forbes Risk Services, we will acquire a highly regarded firm, greatly strengthening our immediate presence and providing us with a powerful platform to deliver value to the fast-developing sub-Saharan region,” said Peter Zaffino, President and CEO of Marsh Inc.

Read More on Marsh Risk Assesment

Sarah Palin on Twitter – They’re polluting our oil?

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, a net oil producing region, is a big believer in oil and its benefits. What does she mean when she says as well as caring deeply for the sea life and wildlife threatened by the oil disaster, she says “they’re polluting our oil”. A Freudian slip, I suspect. It would have been more appropriate to focus on their polluting our water, landscape etc. Oil slick in Gulf of Mexico (BBC Science and Environment).

Like millions of others around the global I share her concern. BP is a multi national, but one of the UK’s star performers, despite employing many US citizens. According to excellent British daily, the Daily Telegraph, it turns out her husband worked for BP for 18 a production supervisor, and only left the company last year to spend more time with his family. The Telegraph comments that Sarah Palin is attacking the British oil giant over the recent Deepwater Horizon spill and a previous one in her state in 2006. There seems less of her time spent on the tragic loss of 11 lives in the disaster, is this less worthy of her attention? Mrs Palin, promoted the slogan “Drill, baby, drill,” said she continues to support offshore drilling but the US should not rely on foreign countries for oil.

BP has some serious explaining to do too.

In 2006, a BP pipeline in Alaska spilt 200,000 gallons of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Analysts who investigated the disaster blamed the spill on corrosion. BP paid £12m in compensation and fines. These cases can often lie outside business risk insurance and marine consultant business risk insurance boundaries.

Apparently, many months before the Deepwater Horizon tragedy 2 US Congressmen raised serious concerns about BP’s operations in Alaska. Since there had been four major incidents in just 24 months any proposed budget cuts may well seriously compromise safety. Events have proved them to be correct.

My question to Sarah, who like most educated Americans, seems a decent sort, is have US Oil companies a better track record? If so,why did the contracts go to we globally respected market leader like BP? Future contracts should go to US Oil companies with better credentials, and in order to build solidarity and goodwill the best practice shared with BP. From a financial perspective what would a UK Accountant make of the BP Gulf of Mexico metrics? Is BP trying to cut corners?

renew your business professional insurance despite the downturn

Julian Rowe – Business Correspondent – Business Service Finder
Be sure not to forget to renew your business professional insurance despite lower consultancy earnings and fewer business clients wishing to investment in performance improvements and business growth.

It may be tempting not to renew till one secures a large contract. Worse still one loses confidence, or focus, and the professional indemnity policy expires.

This exposes the professional to undue risk, and in a worse-case-scenario might mean that the consultant would lose everything he owns (house, assets, even possible his pension etc) in a case of unsuccessful defence of a damages claims by an ex-client. Another description for this kind of circumstance is moral hazard, which can be found in Wikipedia, with specific reference to principal-agent situations which is not dissimilar to that of a consultant and client.

What kind of business consultants and business support professionals are more at risk and more vulnerable to litigation? I am not trying to answer specifically, but if we examine some customer segments we might say that certain sectors could be marked with a ‘higher risk rating’:

Start-ups and

Small businesses (borderline profitability),

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with inexperienced or weak management.

Recovery situations – i.e. SMEs in heavy debt

SMEs already in litigation

So business management consultants and business start-up advisers are probably more vulnerable categories of business support professionals.

Whatever category of professional business insurance you are concerned with, the message is the same, i.e. not to cut corners especially when the economy is in turmoil.