The successful collaboration between Certus and Riskonet
July 19, 2022
Riskonet’s partner in the UK discusses the skills drain among insurers, their increased dependence on risk-management professionals, and the cost-effectiveness of face-to-face contact in a network.
Realise common goals
Malcolm Aspley is one of three directors of Certus Risk Management, which has been the UK-based partner of the Riskonet network since 2016. Certus partnered Riskonet to develop strong relationships with like-minded organisations, as well as the opportunity to share knowledge and realise common goals, he assures. “During the past six years we have worked together on several projects in which we have shared expertise, which has been to the benefit of both parties. The work we do in the UK for CBRE, for example, perfectly illustrates the successful collaboration between Certus and Riskonet and this has helped us to grow the relationship.”
Complex risk-management issues
Certus typically specialises in serving UK-domiciled Insurance companies and brokers that provide underwriting surveys, marketing reports and risk-management consultancy, across most insurable disciplines. These disciplines include fire, security, liability, and business continuity. “It all relates to an evaluation of the risks and hazards that are present, and we provide risk-mitigation advice and solutions, where necessary. Competency led, we use a team of multi-discipline and specialist consultants across the globe to ensure that our clients and their policyholders receive the best service possible, irrespective of where they are located. Partnering with Riskonet has helped us to further strengthen our offering outside of the UK.”
The risk-management sector has, unfortunately, seen a lack of investment in training and development for many years and this, as Malcolm explains, means that the insurer network has become somewhat resource challenged. By way of example, he reveals that about 15 years ago the insurance company he worked for before joining Certus used about 300 employed risk consultants, but reduced this number to just 15 at one point. “This lack of resources has made insurers more reliant on independent external providers like ourselves. But there are exceptions of course, a modest number of insurers have retained their own risk-management team.”
Looking to the future
Certus appreciated that this resource-challenged situation needed to be addressed, which is why the company started the Certus Training Academy in 2019, investing in the development and support of new risk consultants into the sector. “The academy has been a great initiative,” assures Malcolm, “it’s a brilliant opportunity for our new risk advisors and a fantastic way for the team to share their knowledge and insights.”
“My experiences during that week, as well as meeting the people, underscored my belief that collaboration is the perfect way to utilise everybody's strengths, to the greater good of all”
Malcolm Aspley, director Certus Risk Management
The recent RISKOMEETING in the Netherlands was Malcolm’s first face-to-face experience of the collaboration between Certus and Riskonet and it certainly made a good impression on him. “It was a very positive exercise in terms of how things are going to develop. The network clearly has a good and broad range of skill sets, covering a wide geographical area.”
On the subject of geography, Malcolm believes that the international nature of the network is a key advantage for all Riskonet partners. “From time to time we might need to serve a client in Asia, or perhaps the USA, for example. Being part of a network of trusted partners that understand ‘how we work and what we do’ provides us with the necessary level of confidence to ensure that we can deliver a seamless service to our customers.”
Malcolm sees the RISKOMEETING in May as the perfect example of the fact that there is no substitute for face-to-face contact every once in a while. “Granted, the cost of meeting in person is proportionately higher. However, given the obvious benefits I think it’s something that will be very cost-effective if it’s done on, say, an annual basis, possibly supplemented with regular Team Call sessions. And, of course, even with the best will in the world, the IT systems that support video conferencing can drop in and drop out, which is something that just doesn’t happen face-to-face!”
Before attending the RISKOMEETING, Malcolm expected it would be the perfect opportunity to reinforce relationships with Riskonet partners and get to know and have real conversations with individuals he’d so far mainly communicated with virtually. On reflection, he enthuses, the meeting actually exceeded his expectations. “I’ve got to know and better understand my colleagues in the network. My experiences during that week, as well as meeting the people, underscored my belief that collaboration is the perfect way to utilise everybody's strengths, to the greater good of all.”
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