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Coping With Disruption

In their new paperback edition of Mastering Catastrophic Risk; How Companies Are Coping With Disruption, the authors suggest several courses of action for decision-makers as they face the current pandemic.
  • November 2020
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Mastering Catastrophic Risk: How Companies Are Coping With Disruption

Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem

The newly released paperback edition includes a preface highlighting how well-established cognitive biases such as focusing on short-term horizons and being too optimistic have had a serious impact on the pandemic and other low-probability high-consequence events.

Based on interviews with C-suite executives of over 100 S&P 500 firms before the pandemic, the authors suggest courses of action for decision-makers facing COVID-19 challenges to undertake. The actions are premised on helping firms to focus on their risk appetites and risk tolerance, so they think more strategically about preparing for disruptions to their enterprises. By taking steps now to address these eventualities—rather than assuming they will not happen—managers are more likely to reduce their potential consequences. Included in the book are 15 steps for mastering catastrophes that have direct relevance for coping with the coronavirus and future calamities.

Kunreuther is co-director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center and Useem is faculty director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 2020)

It's Not the Score, It's the Trip: One Man's Journey to Building A Global Franchise

Brian O'Hara

Brian O'Hara, the founding president, former CEO and chairman of XL Capital, now AXA XL, was one of the forces that helped establish Bermuda as an international insurance hub. In his memoir, he shares stories from his career.

O'Hara also expounds on his serendipitous “Spartacus moment.”

After learning of an adverse development with his company, he assured executives that their compensation would not be affected and paraphrases the iconic movie quote by saying “You are not Spartacus.” Later that evening he was introduced to the son of the actor who played Spartacus, Michael Douglas.

Publisher: Advantage Media Group (June 2020)


AM Best Trilogy

AM Best details the history of AM Best, credit rating agencies and the life of Alfred M. Best.

The Company—A History of AM Best

The Industry—A History of Credit Rating Agencies

The Man—A Biography of Alfred M. Best


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