Archive for the ‘Intangible Assets’ Category

Is a Second Opinion Worthwhile?

November 18, 2010

It is possible that, with age/maturity, I have learned a few things in my life but I’m slowly losing my tolerance for others’ stupidity or lack of knowledge when they should (because they’re professionals) know better. Why do I feel this way? To begin, I enjoy learning – profusely learning – through reading, whether it be online, books, periodicals, etc. and attending seminars, speeches, etc. I hope you do too because learning should never stop, especially for professionals – experts in their fields of practice.

Last week, I had the pleasure of identifying several weaknesses in our own firm’s marketing by listening to Faith Seekings, an online connection of mine on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., while attending the AGM for the Canadian Institute of Management’s Toronto Chapter. I will be the last to admit that our firm is not without fault but we are always searching for ways to improve.

Last night, I attended a joint dinner meeting of the CIM/CMA/CGA Grand Valley in Kitchener and listened to Eugene Roman, in charge of New Product Development for Open Text, one of the numerous success stories of “Canada’s Technology Triangle”. Eugene spoke on issues that directly impact my own industry and attract my attention – risk, compliance, records retention, etc.

So how does this relate to my lack of tolerance then? For anyone who doesn’t know me, I have worked in the “insurance field” for 20+ years, including Risk Management, following a lengthy banking career in both Canada and the USA. I have seen much and I am constantly “shaking my head” at others’ lack of understanding of our business but this week…it was the “icing on the cake”.

For years, I have been in the minority when suggesting that if an insurance broker does not understand the business you, the client, operate, either learn it very fast or suggest that you deal with someone who has the level of expertise required to adequately protect you and to offer you advice.

Now…the rest of the story, as one of my favourite radio phrases goes…A residential builder that I have known for several years and pursued for most of that time has provided me with copies of the firm’s insurance policies – a shambles due to anyone’s lack of insurance understanding (so I am not blaming or placing fault on him) and having many different policies all due at different calendar dates. I know the insurance brokerage well and this client is one of that firm’s largest clients – and surprisingly, does not receive anything special in the area of service (possibly because the brokerage is afraid of the builder learning how inept their firm is).

One project that is currently under construction has 2 phases – with a total “insured value” of $500,000. The problem only begins when I questioned the builder as to his cost and am told the 1 townhouse structure is $800,000. The worst part of the problem is that the 1 building is nearing completion and won’t finish for another 4-5 weeks while the other building is framed and roofed and ready for the exterior to commence.

If a fire occurs and demolishes both structures (likely to happen with high winds and very frequent in the insurance industry), he is required to insure to 100% of his final cost and is penalized for every dollar of loss, except that he only has $500,000 TOTAL when he may lose $1,000,000+.

Will he be bankrupt, at that point, due to the insurance professional’s lack of business acumen? I hate to imagine anyone ever losing their business because they relied on professionals who were less than that. What might my recommendation be? For anyone without a sufficient understanding of risk management and insurance, never rely on anyone for too long without obtaining a second opinion – it might be the difference between success and failure for your company.

Brand Reputation – How Important to you is Managing Media Risk to prevent the damage from Negative Press?

December 2, 2009

I won’t take credit for this since my morning e-mail from RightNow Technologies is a promotion of their upcoming webcast and their firm’s services but…do read.

It is a very interesting article re Media Risk and much of what I have been recently stating on my various WRiskManager platforms on Plaxo, Facebook, etc.  I know that a market capitalization reduction of $180 Million caught my attention – how about you?  It could be a much smaller business but how much effort will now be required to rebuild the reputation you have lost?  How much revenue and profit has been foregone by some needless act?  How will your bankers react?

RightNow Webcast: United Breaks Guitars with Dave Carroll

Dave Carroll’s story depicts the value of great customer experience and illustrates that spending a little can save millions when it comes to your brand’s reputation.

In 2008, Dave was flying United Airlines with his band Sons of Maxwell when a passenger sitting next to the window exclaimed that the baggage handlers were “throwing guitars out there.”

Carroll’s guitar was broken. He spent the next nine months in a service maze pursuing compensation. Eventually, customer service at United Airlines told him they were closing the incident and would not respond to any further emails.

Carroll vowed to write three songs about the experience and post them on YouTube, hoping to achieve a million views with all three combined. But he did much better. He hit one million on the first song within one week, and is at six and a half million views at last count. A media frenzy ensued and United’s market capitalization dropped $180 million over the next three weeks.

Register for this live webcast and hear Dave Carroll tell his remarkable story. He will be joined by Jason Mittelstaedt, RightNow’s CMO and Bruce Temkin, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, for a discussion on customer experience in the age of the social web.

There’s no better way to understand how powerful the voice of the consumer has become than to attend this webcast.

View the United Breaks Guitars video.

Join us:

Thursday, December 10, 2009
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Register Now!

See you on the 10th,
RightNow

136 Enterprise Blvd. | Bozeman | MT | 59718 | 866.630.7669 |

http://www.rightnow.com/summit/Americas/2009/presentations/dave_carroll_tues.php

What else can I say about managing media for both positive and negative reaction – the value of ensuring positive images will definitely outweigh the negative as seen here from the views of YouTube and what someone has now done.  Am I not correct in emphasizing managing positive media as opposed to the damage done from something like this?

There are countless examples of companies who do not emphasize the importance of “perception” and how the public perceives their image of one’s business.  Not training your staff to contemplate the damage that can be done by one little act will cost so much more in lost revenues and profits than any employee will ever realize.  Can this cost be managed?  You bet!  But not by standard Risk Transfer – Insurance!  Only by better training, support, etc. can you ever manage media risk which, in my mind, is a very worthwhile investment in your business.

Use expert Risk Management to reduce the consequences of a similar occurrence happening to you!  Contact the WRiskManager today – larryewinsurance@gmail.com 

RISK – My 1st Post! – Well, at least it is #1 for here (and maybe better than my other attempts)

October 22, 2009

This is my first blog attempt here and I hope better than my previous efforts 🙂 .

I have just had the most amazing week in so many ways that my excitement is bubbling over, hehe.  Reason for this is that I wished one of my many online friends a Happy Birthday on Friday last week and he (Craig, you know who you are) then proceeded to offer me immense advice on blogging and setting-up my blog on this site 🙂 .  He explained that I should be blogging every time I see, meet or hear something about “risk” since that is my expertise.  Well, here goes my effort then.

So, what else made my week so spectacular?  Well, one call to a friend of mine (Mike B.) that led to a request to speak to a group of bankers, accountants, advisors, etc. and then an e-mail from another good friend of mine (Mike A.) to gauge my interest to speak for 1.25 hours early next year to a group of Managers and then a follow-up Skype message (Andy – No, not another Mike hehe) re another speech to a group of independent management advisors – this all on Friday!

I then proceeded to mentor another online friend (Victoria) who is making a career move from agent to commercial broker and I offered my years of experience and continuing guidance to assist her.  Even in the same geographic area, it is much easier to use phone/computer communication than managing the headaches derived from fighting traffic to meet face to face.

What else has happened since Friday, then?  Well, I’ve been working with a management consultant friend of mine on his one client’s insurance requirements and ensuring that they’ve been met at affordable premiums.  I’ve provided two contacts’ names/info to another contact of mine who is in need of their services, been provided a list of 50 lenders by a new online connection (sure is nice to share contacts who can recommend me) so that my work during the next week will be quite busy in prospecting.

Well, you can see where my excitement originates from, correct?

What do I do, though?  I work in Risk Management – identifying and analyzing risks, controlling and financing risks.  My expertise is derived from nearly 20 years of Retail Commercial Banking and 20+ years of Insurance/Risk Management.  I work in the realm of Legal Contracts & Leases to Financial Statements through the spectrum of Property, Liability, Income and Human Resources and include Currency, FX, Interest Rate (yes, I did work in Banking), Employee Dishonesty, Media, Trade Credit, Business Continuity and Continuation Planning, Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health & Safety – a broad spectrum.

Where do I spend the bulk of my time?  I review various Lenders’ Loan Agreements and Borrowers’ Insurance Policies for compliance with the terms/conditions of a Loan, recommending improved security where appropriate and knowing when a particular condition may be waived, as needed.  I even was called upon by a Lender during this week to recommend whether a loan condition for a “seismic report” be required or not – the Borrower already had Earthquake insurance and was located in a zone known to have activity so that I recommended the file be notated to never allow the Borrower to not include “quake” coverage on the policy.

As you can see, a busy and interesting week.  Not knowing when to curtail my comments, I will sign off now and be back later in the week to add something new.