The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marsh & McLennan (MMC), Dan Glaser, believes that the risk transfer industry has never been so important or relevant.
Addressing delegates at the opening of the MMC Rising Professionals Forum 2019 in London, Glaser stressed that there is no better time to be in the risk transfer industry than right now.
He explained that the world is now in a constant state of VUCA (vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). Unlike the past where it might have just been a country or industry in a state of VUCA, Glaser said that now it is the whole world.
“Every single company is in a state of VUCA – there is no sense of security anymore,” he said.
Since the creation of the risk transfer sector the risk landscape has dramatically changed and continues to do so at an unprecedented rate. New technologies, growing urbanisation, climate change and other factors, both of a micro and macro nature continue to push the boundaries of risk transfer as the industry looks to remain relevant and meet the changing needs of clients in all parts of the world.
According to Glaser, the “Age of Risk” has only just started, and the increased state of flux has ultimately raised the importance and relevance of the risk transfer industry to levels higher than any point in its existence.
“The risks in front of us are profound. Climate change, unfunded social liabilities, religious fragmentation, water scarcity, cyber securities, AI, robotics – these are the risks of our age,” said Glaser.
While it might well be the Age of Risk, the MMC President and CEO also told the audience that it’s also the Age of Possibility and the Age of Disruption. Ultimately, Glaser concluded that these developments are more of a positive than a negative, adding that the balance will depend on how the risk transfer industry decides to address them.
“There is no industry that benefits society more than the insurance industry. If insurance did not exist, few people would even leave their houses. There would be no investment, no movement, no advancement without insurance.
“But as an industry we oversell the protection element of what we provide. Yes, insurance is about protection and offering freedom from the emotional and financial burden of loss. But it is also about enablement and creation. That is the purpose of our industry. We each have a great opportunity within our own careers to promote that industry purpose even more,” he said.