In an interview with Parima, David Jacob, CEO of Marsh Asia, said the spotlight would remain on risk managers moving into 2021

On the eve of Parima’s Resilience Week, Steve Tunstall, general secretary of the risk association, spoke to David Jacob, CEO of Marsh Asia, about some of the lessons from 2020. 

“2020 is a year like no other,” said Jacob. “It quickly taught us that a health crisis can quickly turn into an economic crisis with massive effects on health, mental wellbeing and personal psyche.”

“At Marsh our call was to be creative around how we care for clients colleagues and communities… when you care for your people they in turn care for their clients.”

There is no doubt the COVID-crisis has catapulted the role of the risk professional, thought Jacob. He said risk managers would have a much stronger voice than ever before in influencing the enterprise strategy of their firms moving forward.

“I believe risk will become even more interconnected and traverse the traditional silos of people, property and financial risk.”

“I do encourage all risk managers to understand the human capital strategy of their companies and learn about all the risk tools that are available in what is going to be a very difficult marketplace in 2021.”

Looking ahead he acknowledged the world was becoming more complex and risky. Macro-trends, including digitisation, climate change and the “proliferation of intangible assets” are adding to this complexity, said Jacob.

“These trends are driving global losses and changing the insurance market landscape and creating unique challenges for our clients, our insurance partners and the broking community,” he said.

MMC president and CEO Dan Glaser will be speaking during the closing plenary session of the virtual conference on some of these themes.

Jacob added that the onus was on risk managers to “bring together big data, analytics and technology to help their firms strategically assume more risk and succeed”.