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RIMS Conference in NYC

By Madison Wescott

December 8, 2021

Andrew Shaw and I had the amazing opportunity to head to New York City in November for the Risk and Insurance Management Society Conference. The conference theme was “ERM in an ESG World.” The topics focused on ESG, and how risk managers can leverage and understand ESG topics to make better-informed risk decisions.

portrait of Madison Wescott
Madison Wescott

We were lucky to be able to watch one of our advisory board members, Christy Kaufman from Zillow Group, speak on the topic of understanding how to best utilize an Enterprise Risk Management framework in the corporate setting. I had a few main takeaways after watching her speak. We need to look at companies like a map. How does the board/supervisor see the risk management process? What do they really care about? Because ERM is such a journey, we need to ensure that we clearly and articulately represent the strategic value in our actions. The presenters questioned the time spent on risk assessments, wondering how we can better use our time as risk managers.

Action was a big theme throughout their very causal yet informative discussion. Actionable reporting is key to a forward-looking ERM system, focusing on measurements that signal a potential risk instead of ones that use historical data once a risk has already manifested. This directed the focus to leading indicators that could assist with the action plan. Christy wrapped up with recognizing that we need to discuss our work with risk holders who may not be as well versed in risk lingo, prompting visualization to be key for proper communication. Christy and her co-presenter Michael Yip from Marsh Advisory walked us through a captivating discussion to ensure that risk managers are better equipped to provide value with tangible, actionable items to implement into our own risk frameworks.

Besides the thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating conversations at the conference, Andrew and I were able to explore NYC and all it had to offer. We spent time networking post-conference with many of the industry’s risk management leaders while building genuine friendships with other students. The RIMS conference was an experience that we will not forget.