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2013 RIMS Special Section

2013 RIMS conference overview

A plethora of opportunities for risk management professionals

By Michael J. Moody, MBA, ARM

The Risk and Insurance Management Society's (RIMS) annual conference and exhibition is scheduled for April 21-24, 2013, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As always, it will provide risk management professionals with an opportunity to receive recent and relevant information over a myriad of topics. This year there are more than 100 sessions that cover 11 categories. Sessions are typically coordinated by a topic expert and include two or three experienced practitioners and a risk manager.

However, prior to the educational sessions, there are several options for networking on Sunday, April 21. As has been the case in recent years, RIMS and Zurich sponsor a Community Service Day. This year's program will benefit the Child Care Resource Center. The Center's mission is to provide a positive experience for children because our future depends on the quality of a young child's experiences. Volunteers will assist the center by stuffing backpacks, creating storyboards, putting together bookcases, and sorting books. Additional network occasions will occur at the Spencer Golf Tournament, as well as the NAPCO "Spencer Cup" Hockey Tournament. The final networking event of the day is the opening reception at L. A. Live.

Sunday also affords participants the choice of several educational sessions. This year, there are four Associate in Risk Management (ARM) exam review sessions. Each session covers one of the ARM exam areas (ARM 54, 55, 56 and 57). In addition, RIMS also will be offering several pre-conference workshops on Saturday and Sunday as well. Yes, we said Saturday for those who wish to get a head start on the educational programming. The sessions include Risk Assessment Methods, Developing a Risk Management Program and Harnessing ERM to Tap Risk Appetite. Two of the sessions are heavily involved with critical information on enterprise risk management and how it can fit into organizations' overall risk management programs.

The more traditional educational sessions will begin on Monday and continue through Wednesday. As noted earlier, there are more than 100 sessions to choose from. Sessions cover the waterfront with categories that range from traditional insurance and loss control programs to the more advanced, cutting-edge sessions that include enterprise risk management and strategic risk management sessions. There should be adequate selection for the more than 9,000 participants who are expected at this year's conference.

Also of interest are what RIMS calls its "Hot Topics" sessions. These include several extremely topical sessions about areas of the business that have all been in the news recently, and include:

Surviving the Next Superstorm: Lessons Learned from Sandy—Many businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy were challenged to quickly recover and resume operations. There were many businesses in areas with limited power, water, and/or transportation, or whose facilities had been compromised by wind or water damage. In addition, they needed to manage employee resource issues, quantify significant property damage and interruption losses, as well as determine whether and/or how to maintain their businesses and cash flow. During this session, attendees will have an opportunity to explore the lessons learned, the impact the event had on risk management practices and risk transfer opportunities, and the processes and procedures that should be considered and implemented to mitigate the impacts of a similar natural or human-caused event in the future. Among the specific topics to be discussed are:

• Best practices in claim management and recovery following a highly destructive event

• Best practices in business resiliency and maintaining competitiveness

• Relevant market and risk management trends for 2013 and beyond

Implementation of the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act (SMART Act)—While the industry applauds the 2012 passage of the SMART Act, work is far from done. Several issues remain relating to ultimate implementation of the legislation's reforms, including questions regarding safe harbor, the appeals process, and penalties for noncompliance. Topics discussed will include:

• The implementation process and regulatory next steps

• How risk managers can influence regulations related to the legislation's implementation

The Impact of Health Care Reform—Employers are scrambling to implement health care reform regulations by the end of 2013. At that point, employers must be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act. But several aspects of the law are only now being defined by the Department of Health and Human Services, including the minimum essential benefits employers must cover, which employees must be covered, health care exchanges, etc. These legal changes will significantly impact the cost, structure and availability of workers compensation insurance and other employee benefits in the second half of 2013 and into 2014. Health care will be changing in dramatic ways in the next few years and some of the topics addressed will be:

• Gaining an understanding of the complications involved in the act and the data underlying its impact.

• What risk managers can do to minimize their exposure and identify the employer advantages of this legislation.

When Your Worst Nightmare Becomes Reality: Addressing the Threat of Acts of Mass Violence—Acts of mass violence in the United States have dominated the headlines in recent months. Risk managers can no longer live under the premise that it will "never happen to us." As we have so recently—and unfortunately—learned, schools, universities, shopping malls, movie theaters or anywhere else people gather are all potential targets for acts of mass violence. It is a reality of today that risk managers must prepare as if their businesses could be the next target for such actions. In this session, three risk managers representing universities, school systems and property management companies will discuss strategies for preparing for the unthinkable. Topics include:

• Strategies for reacting to a mass act of violence, should it ever happen to your organization.

• Ideas for preventing such events from occurring.

Supplementing the formal sessions, RIMS will also include what they call their "Thought Leader Theater," which will be located at the RIMS Hub in the Exhibit area. These are short learning opportunities which cover a wide variety of important topics. Scheduled topics include doing business in China, reputation risks, communications with the board, medical marijuana, global D&O coverages, and updates on Solvency II, to name just a few.

RIMS has also scheduled two keynote presentations, which are quite different from each other. The first keynoter is Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Described as "a visionary thinker with a rare intellect," Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

The finale to the conference includes a visit from comedian Howie Mandel. While Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for more than 30 years, he has been thrust back in the spotlight as the host of what has become a national phenomenon—"Deal or No Deal." The show has become an instant hit and is consistently one of the most watched programs each week. He has recently added "Howie Do It," to his list of television accomplishments. A Canadian comedian, listed on Comedy Central's list of the top 100 comedians of all time, he has had roles in comedy and dramatic TV and movies. His versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning "St. Elsewhere," to the international (and also Emmy nominated) "Bobby's World," Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene.

The RIMS annual gathering of more than 9,000 participants gives any professional a great mix of exceptional educational sessions and ample opportunities to network with colleagues. The risk management profession is evolving rapidly as more and more corporations see the value proposition that enterprise risk management can bring. One of the best methods to keep up with the changes and remain ahead of the curve is attendance at the RIMS annual conference.


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