Have you ever wondered what’s on the minds of some of the top thought leaders in the world of Risk Management?
First in Line is a blog series featuring LineSlip clients who are regarded as some of the most forward-thinking leaders in the world of risk. Get to know these leaders, their organizations, and their thoughts on the ever-evolving world of risk.
This month’s featured First in Line is Jennifer M. Pack, Vice President of Hyatt Risk Management at Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Jennifer Pack is the Vice President of Risk Management at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. With more than 1100 hotel, all-inclusive, and wellness resort properties in 70 countries across six continents, Hyatt strives to be the preferred choice for its guests, associates, and owners. Jennifer has responsibilities for all aspects of Hyatt’s global insurance program, health, safety and security, workers compensation, and claims management functions. The Risk Management team includes 12 individuals in the U.S and 3 outside the USA, with another 60+ individuals supporting the team worldwide, reporting to the SVP Finance & Treasurer. Jennifer partners with a global team to support crisis management, and Board level Enterprise Risk Management reporting functions. She manages and is President of Xenia Assurance Company, Hyatt’s Arizona-based Captive Insurance Company. Jennifer has been with Hyatt for 14 years. She is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and has obtained her Associates in Risk Management (ARM).
LS: How has your thought process around risk management evolved through COVID and to where we are now?
TL: Historically, our risk management function focused on loss prevention as our tool to mitigate risk. This thought process is only effective in a stable or static environment. COVID 19 has demonstrated that our environment is anything but stable or static. In order to be successful, we need to partner or align ourselves with business operations to help us convert our risk insights into action. We are turning towards data & analytics to help us identify trends and risk insights that our operators can understand and use to take action. We have re-organized our department to align ourselves with this strategy. We have a technology, data & analytics risk team, and health, safety and security team that has indirect reporting into operations, vs. only reporting risk management.
LS: What trends have you observed over the past year and do you believe that they will have a lasting impact on the way that you and your peers manage risk?
TL: We have observed workers compensation claim trends change dramatically over the course of the last year. Historically, we have been able to predict liability and work comp claim frequency and severity within a reasonable amount. We are no longer able to use historical claim data to predict human behavior, especially during a period of unprecedented changes in our environment. We believe the increase is due to staffing shortages at the hotels, third party administrators and corporate office – less people to do the work leads to more employee injuries, and less people to manage the claims leads effectively to higher litigation rates. We will need to get creative on how we fill positions, and manage our workflow. We will need to introduce more technology solutions into our process to reduce workload, and use data & analytics more effectively to drive our decision making and resource allocation.
LS: What role does technology play in your department today and where do you see the opportunity for technology in the future?
TL: Technology has played and will continue to play a large role in our department. We have identified and introduced a number of technology solutions that will help us manage risk in the follow ways:
- Our Team went from 22 to 8 people at the onset of the pandemic, but our workload did not decrease as a result of the pandemic. We needed to find ways to reduce our workload without adding headcount. To solve for this problem we introduced automation solutions and conversational A.I. to provide automated responses to frequently asked questions, including COI (1500+/year) and claims reporting (10K+/year) inquiries and requests .
- We collect exposure, claim and incident data from 1100+ hotels in 70+ countries around the world. It is difficult to collect and analyze data from so many locations without a global easy to use platform. We continuously build out the platform to meet our hotel and reporting needs, including reporting to board of directors, hotel owners, actuaries, insurance underwriters, auditors, and our executive teams.
- My Team and provide our Executive Teams and Company Leaders with risk management data on a regular basis, and often time without little to no notice. We must synthesize our total cost of risk, insurance program, claim trends and hotel level risk analysis on a regular basis. We are able to respond to these requests much more efficiently and effectively using technology resources. We will continuously try to identify technology solutions that will help us visualize our trends, and explain our risk environment to our respective audiences and customers.
LS: What does the world of risk look like 10 years from now?
TL: I believe that the risk management world will be dramatically different in 10 years in many ways. There is a shortage of risk management professionals, and high demand for technology solutions. I believe the risk profession will always need people, but we will be support by technology solutions. I also believe that cyber liability, general liability, and property insurance claims will start to blend together and cyber security will be a more critical component to our loss prevention and mitigation strategy for not only cyber claims, but liability and property claim.
LS: What advice would you give to young professionals just entering your profession?
TL: I recommend that new professionals focus on building their network, get involved in the risk community and seek out mentorship. Building your network can impact you personally and professionally Also, asking for help or articulating what you want and need from an employer or supervisor to ensure they have an authentic and meaningful work experience.
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