This fall, the Risk Management and Insurance Society (RMIS) had the opportunity to engage in discussion with Leslie Lamb, Director of Global Risk & Resiliency Management for Cisco Systems. With previous experience as both a broker and underwriter, she has a well-rounded perspective of the risk and insurance industry.
The presentation focused on the risk management program at Cisco Systems. Leslie made the point that insurance is not always the answer to addressing risk. For instance, she noted that Cisco Systems does not purchase insurance for high frequency/low severity losses such as damage or loss to laptops. Instead, they allocate their capital to minimize higher-severity losses. As this approach is frequently discussed in RMI classes, I found that discussing how Cisco implements this strategy to be very practical.
Additionally, I learned that Cisco does not manufacture any parts they sell. This point led to a discussion about the company’s supply chain risk. Cisco outsources manufacturing, which makes them dependent on their suppliers. Leslie was able to provide an example when a weather incident halted a manufacturer’s production, and she elaborated on how Cisco’s risk management team handled this scenario.
I found this presentation to be especially interesting because it focused on how a risk management department functions within a company. Furthermore, since Leslie is a strategic thinker, the event was a great opportunity to ask questions and be introduced to new ideas. The opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to an actual company’s risk management program is always a productive discussion!