12 Questions with Ken Radigan
Welcome to 12 Questions, a Q&A series where we pose the same set of 12 questions to intriguing folks at the intersection of insurance, risk management, commercial real estate, and digital innovation.
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This week, we chat with Ken Radigan, CEO of the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA).
1. What is the most interesting idea you’ve encountered in your world lately?
Staying at home during Covid-19 feels like an important interim step to reduce transmission and get our society back to normalcy. At the same time, future pandemic risk is not going away and ideas related to prospective resilience and responsiveness are quite interesting to me.
2. Where do you think no one is looking right now?
Given all of the focus on disaster recovery and stimulating economies, I fear not enough focus is being placed on the complex and long-term implications of country-level debt and its ripple effects related to inflation, resilience to future uncertainties, and other priorities.
3. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry?
Risk management is a relatively new profession--20 years ago there were not many designated or dedicated professionals in the roles of risk managers. In my proverbial wave, I would want young professionals and top collegiate minds to see risk management as a core discipline of modern business akin to accounting, law, and marketing. I also want them to know about the systemic and societal benefits associated with thoughtful and strategic risk management. One recent example is related to how robust business continuity plans expedited the recovery of companies with foresight in the midst of the pandemic.
4. What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
Teaching. Seeing the maturation of the profession, as well as the progression of my students and colleagues in their careers, is very rewarding. Further, seeing how PRMIA facilitated our profession to work together, share information, and collaborate over the last year has been a point of pride as well.
5. What do you envision the next 12 months will bring?
As vaccinations continue to allow a return to the office and to business travel, I think business leaders will be thinking about how to return to offices safely (including how to configure space and invest in technology to accommodate more work from home than pre-pandemic), how to resume mentoring and professional development of their early and mid-career employees, and how to forecast and plan in the face of uncertainty.
6. What’s your favorite building?
The new airport in Bermuda, the L. F. Wade International Airport. I was on the last flight out of Bermuda just as the pandemic began to limit travel. The building combines new-age architecture and amenities with Bermuda's old-world charm.
7. Please dispel a myth or misconception about your work.
Risk management is a field of professionals with analytical backgrounds, and while much of the work is done with data and models, the impact is very real, pro-social, and makes a demonstrable difference to businesses and society.
8. What are the tools, apps, or gadgets that you just can’t live without?
While I love my iPad and mobile phone, I recently bought a sailboat and the navigation apps are amazing. They measure currents, course, identify boats in the vicinity, and massively improve boat safety!
9. What’s your biggest pleasant surprise related to remote work?
While I don't miss the Long Island Rail Railroad (LIRR), my biggest surprise has been the increase in demand and loyal sponsors related to PRMIA's virtual meetings. We've hosted about 20% more meetings in response to the risk community's increased demand for shared learning amidst the pandemic.
10. What’s your favorite productivity tip for staying motivated and getting work done?
While my first response is avoiding the LIRR, I have been very disciplined about my email inbox rule. I never end the week with more than 30 unanswered emails in my inbox. Promptness is a virtue and discipline drives action.
11. What or who do you read/watch to keep informed?
BBC, WSJ, and background materials related to PRMIA events.
12. Nominate two people who should answer this next. Why?
I am pleased to nominate two former colleagues at AIG and true ambassadors for the property and casualty insurance industry: Peter Eastwood at Berkshire Hathaway and John Doyle at Marsh.
Thank you to Fred Kipperman, Managing Director of Archipelago, for inviting Ken to answer 12 Questions.
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Written by Ken Radigan
CEO of the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA), a non-profit organization with over 50 local chapters worldwide. Ken has more than thirty years of professional experience in insurance, catastrophe modeling, actuarial science, and risk management at AIG and Aspen.