Risk-Mapping Terrorism and Political Violence

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As more companies conduct global business, the need to monitor global risks rises.

Aon's 2011 Terrorism and Political Violence Map shows:

• Increased risk of political violence in the Middle East and North Africa;

• Ongoing terrorism risks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as well as parts of Nigeria and the Sahel region; and

• A growing likelihood of civil unrest and labor disputes arising from austerity measures in Western European nations such as Greece, France, Spain and the UK.

Neil Henderson, the head of terrorism in Aon Risk Solutions' crisis management team explained why his firm began tracking political violence this year, in addition to terrorism risks, and why this is notable from a risk management perspective:

Eric Krell: Why did you begin tracking political violence in addition to terrorism risks?

Neil Henderson:

While terrorism remains a very real and serious threat across the world, Aon's clients are also facing equal threats to their sustainability and future growth from political violence, strikes, riots, civil war and war. The new risks on the map also are a direct reflection of the different insurance policies available to Aon's clients through the crisis management team.

Eric Krell: I was surprised to see a higher level of risk in certain Western European countries. Can you explain the nature of the risk in these and other Western European nations?

Neil Henderson:

Austerity measures in Western Europe have led to civil unrest, affecting countries like Greece, France, Spain and the UK. Both France and the UK face threats from terrorism and civil commotion and as such have been given these two icons.

Eric Krell: What do you see as some of the most notable findings -- from the perspective of a CFO or chief risk officer with a global company -- within this year's Threat Map?

Neil Henderson:

The most notable findings relate to the introduction of Political Violence to the map. Businesses with global operations need to ensure that they have adequate cover, which may mean extending their terrorism & sabotage policies to include perils such as insurrection, rebellion or civil war.

Eric Krell: Among the many risks you monitor, which are some that pose the greatest business continuity threats?

Neil Henderson:

All of the risks on the map pose a threat to business continuity and growth, and organizations with operations throughout the world need to ensure they not only have a comprehensive risk transfer programme in place, but also crisis management plans to protect their assets and people. The threat level of the countries indicates the severity of the threat.

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