By MATTHEW BRODSKY, senior editor/Web editor of Risk & Insurance®
RADNOR, Pa.---Supporting the next generation of risk professionals has always been on the docket for the national Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. (RIMS), with its support of the Spencer Educational Foundation and the Anita Benedetti scholarships just but two examples.
But now the Delaware Valley RIMS chapter has not just supported but has put the spotlight on a few of the best and brightest in tomorrow's generation. On Apr. 13, the chapter concluded a first-ever competition for its more than 150 student members. Titled "Bridging the Gap: A Strategic Competition for Tomorrow's Leaders," the competition began with contestants submitting an essay answering the following question:
"What do you perceive as the greatest challenge facing risk and insurance managers over the next three to five years?"
Three finalists were then asked to present their answers at Tuesday's chapter meeting. On the line was up to $1,750 in scholarships.
The contest was in large part a response to the growing number of student members in the Delaware Valley chapter, according to Malika Adams, a director of the chapter. It was a great way to involve students in chapter activities and give them an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge, said Adams, who also is a risk administrator for content and technology at Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp.
"We had a very successful meeting, bringing together risk management professionals with the students who are the future of the industry, for three timely and informative presentations," Earl Varney, president of the Philadelphia area chapter, told Risk & Insurance®, referring not just to the contest finalists but also to the dozen or so other students who attended the meeting to cheer on their peers.
And just who were these presenters? And who earned top honors already, right?
Farah Khan and Payal Patel, both from Temple University, gave the winning presentation. The biggest challenge facing in the industry, in their eyes, is its "inconsistent reputation."
With a slide show that included images of Tiger Woods and the AIG logo, they discussed the still prickly topic of broker contingent commissions (and how the big three brokers lost $25 billion in market value the day that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced his investigation into the practice), and the massive reputational exposure all companies have?as much as 75 percent of company value, by some estimates.
To tackle the industry's inconsistent reputation, Khan and Patel offered up the AICPCU code of ethics and transparency in dealings between brokers and risk manager clients.
Coming in second in the competition were Mike Talotta and Mike Roth, also from Temple, whose top challenge was terrorism risk. In third place was Zuleyha Yilmaz of Drexel University, who presented on cyberrisk.
Varney, who is manager of corporate insurance at The Vanguard Group Inc., was pleased that the event was "quite a success."
"Well done by all of our presenters," he said.
Perhaps the competition could serve as a blueprint for other local chapters? The only needed ingredients are the encouragement of the local risk management community and a nearby crop of highly motivated, well educated risk and insurance students.
April 14, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications