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Highlights of the conference.

These days, business professionals must take every opportunity to pursue excellence in their chosen field of endeavor and keep on top of industry trends. In the discipline of risk management, the annual RIMS Conference provides the ideal opportunity to acquire new knowledge about important issues that are shaping the field.

This year, the theme of RIMS 31st Annual Conference is Risk Management: The Leadership, The Strategies, The Vision. "The focus is on how to bring risk management into the upper echelons of the corporate business culture," says Susan Meltzer, vice-chair of the 1993 Conference Programming Committee. "The goal is to make risk management a major part of corporate strategy."

In addition to the forward-looking theme of this year's Conference, the planning strategy for the event was also a little different from previous years. "A large number of RIMS delegations wanted to play a role in planning for the Conference," says Ms. Meltzer. "As a result, we encouraged risk managers to submit suggestions on sessions, Many risk managers and RIMS chapters responded to the planning committee's call."

This active involvement resulted in several sessions on the pressing issues facing risk managers in the 1990s. Among some of this year's sessions is "Risk Management and the Boardroom -- Integrating Risk Management and Corporate Strategy," which aims to arm risk managers with the knowledge to align the risk management discipline with corporate strategy. "With the potential greater than ever for debilitating financial loss for companies, risk management leadership is absolutely essential," says Thomas Ealy, vice president of Alexander & Alexander Inc. and a speaker at the session. Also speaking will be Donald J. Sullivan, director of corporate risk management for Baxter International Inc.

The session "Coping With Disaster -- Can You Ever Really Prepare?" will be presented by the South Florida Chapter of RIMS. It will address the effects of Hurricane Andrew on the South Florida business community. "We're going to discuss disaster recovery strategies and the impact of Andrew on both insureds and insurers," says Ron Fort, vice president of underwriting and corporate risk management at American Bankers Insurance Group.

The sessions' other speakers are Scott B. Clark, supervisor of insurance management at the Dade County School Board, and Don Herbstman, vice president of safety and risk management for Burger King Corp. "Representing three of the largest companies in the region, we will be able to give some perspective on Andrew's effects on area businesses," says Mr. Clark.

Is U.S. litigiousness spreading into other countries? In "Is the U.S. Legal Virus Spreading?" speakers Jetold Oshinsky, managing partner of Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky, and Michael Wilmot, Alexander & Alexander's director of global business units in the United Kingdom, will analyze the litigation trends occurring outside the United States. "Our presentation will describe the history of litigation and attempt to determine the extent to which other nations are adopting the U.S. litigation system," says Mr. Oshinsky.

However, risk managers overseeing projects in nations such as Nepal, Burundi, Uganda and Saudi Arabia face a broad array of problems that can make U.S.-style litigation issues seem trivial by comparison. In "Managing Risk Where They Don't Play by Your Rules," speakers Len Battifarano, Pierre Boudreault and Marion Gallis-Ouednau will examine the difficulty of implementing a risk management program in countries where the concepts of insurance and loss control are either underdeveloped or nonexistent. "We plan to review the assumptions U,S. risk managers make about the legal, regulatory and cultural environments in these nations," says Mr. Battifarano, vice president of global business development at Alexander & Alexander Inc. Mr. Boudreault, director of risk management and insurance at The SNC Group, will offer case studies on setting up and protecting operations in countries with unusual or deficient insurance infrastructures, and Dr. Gallis-Ouednau, officer-in-charge of the insurance programme at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, will discuss her work with developing countries in establishing a commercial and regulatory structure for insurance programs.

Since the issue of environmental liability is a perennial concern for risk managers, a session entitled "Environmental Risk Management -- Beyond Compliance" will focus on the steps risk managers can take to ensure that a corporate strategy is in place for compliance with environmental regulations. The session, featuring presentations from David M. Einolf, senior environmental consultant at Kemper Risk Management Services and Win Person, director of regulatory affairs for the Henkel Corp., will suggest methods for educating plant-level employees to carry out compliance measures. another session, "Special Events - Practical Considerations Behind Buying an Ambulance or Building a Fence," wilt be "a hands-on guide to special events planning, ranging from the company picnic to sporting events," says David L. Mair, one of the session's speakers and risk manager for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Mr. Mair and co-speaker Gregory F. Hidden, risk manager for the U.S. hockey team, will use their expertise in the area of sporting events planning to educate their audience on this complex topic. "The presentation, which wilt take a case study approach, "emphasizes the pre-, during, and post-event planning process, as well as the use of effective risk transfer techniques, including the purchase of insurance," says Mr. Mair.

Speakers for the session entitled "The Fortune 500 - Risk and Financial Management Leadership" will discuss how Fortune 500 risk managers utilize finite risk programs in order to help the corporation achieve its financial objectives. The speakers include Lloyd Kelly, coordinator of the session and senior vice president of advanced risk management services for Willis Corroon; Steve Lawrence, director of risk management and insurance at Pepsico; and J. Scott Bradley, vice president at Centre Reinsurance.
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Title Annotation:supplement: RIMS Annual Conference 1993
Publication:Risk Management
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Words:930
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