Managing risk

Brian Hann, the university's risk and loss control manager, has joined an elite group of professionals across the country. Hann has completed coursework and certification as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, a designation obtained by only a small percentage of executives in the insurance and risk management industry.

Additionally, Hann obtained the Associate in Risk Management – Enterprise Risk Management certification. @UofSC Today asked Hann, who began working for the university in 1999 and began leading the risk management area 11 years ago, about his achievement.

How difficult was it to earn the CPCU and ARM-E certifications?

It took about four years of studying and examinations — it was a long process. The certifications are considered the gold standard in the field of risk management and insurance and the coursework was immediately applicable to my work here at USC.

Has risk management changed much in the 15 years you've been at the university?

Risk management used to focus primarily on risk financing and purchasing property and liability insurance. The problem is that insurance doesn't prevent losses or ensure that you are managing your risks effectively. You need to also engage in risk assessment and risk control, which could mean, for example, auditing activities and implementing policies and procedures to reduce risk exposure. I work in partnership with the university's internal audit office and many USC groups to identify and evaluate the risks facing the university.

What does that kind of enterprise-level risk management look like?

Enterprise risk management integrates the management of risk across the entire university system and attempts to answer two basic questions: What are the top risks facing the university and how can we manage them effectively? Due to the wide variety of activities undertaken by the university, these questions can be difficult to answer. Enterprise risk management also considers the opportunities or the upside of what we can gain by pursuing a particular activity. The idea is that as much as possible we're looking ahead strategically and taking into consideration the positive and negative scenarios that might result from a particular action or policy.

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