February 27, 2013
Insurance is all about the trust established when two parties sign on the dotted line, one promising premiums while the other promises coverage. In this business, your word and reputation is everything.
Not surprisingly, the importance of managing a brand has been echoed in many of my conversations with CLM’s risk managers. Whether it’s the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s director of risk or Family Dollar’s divisional vice president of risk management, these savvy professionals know that their biggest exposure is their reputation.
Look no further than Lance Armstrong’s prolonged tumble from the peaks of the French Alps. On his way down, Armstrong not only imploded his own image but also that of his Livestrong foundation’s brand. As part of an attempt to wash itself from Armstrong when things began to unravel, Livestrong urged him to step down as chairman, installed a new marketing chief, and formally renamed itself, having previously been known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
One has to wonder: What took them so long? In an age in which risk managers think years, not months, in advance—and given the rumors and accusations that dogged his career for years—Livestrong needed a solid risk management team to anticipate what seems like some fairly obvious exposures, not a post-disaster cleanup team.