Financial R&R: Alliant Welcomes David Finz
Ron Borys and David Finz, Alliant, discuss cyber risk, the current market and how his extensive experience resolving complex claims will benefit clients.
Welcome to Financial R & R, a show dedicated to financial insurance and risk management solutions and trends shaping the market today. Here are your hosts, Ron Borys and Ryan Farnsworth.
Ron Borys (00:14):
Well, welcome, everybody. This is Ron Borys, with the financial institution's vertical here at Alliant. I’m thrilled to be here today, announcing another new team member to Alliant, David Finz. David, why don't we hand things over to you, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself for those who may not know you, and most importantly, why did you choose to join our team here at Alliant?
David Finz (00:36):
Thanks, Ron, for introducing me, and also for those wonderful words of welcome. I am thrilled to be here. Coming to Alliant after 15 years in the industry is really a landmark opportunity for me to work with some great talent. As you know, from prior business relationships with me, Ron, I have worked both on the claims side and the client advisory side. So, I've helped to structure programs and negotiate coverage enhancements for clients. But I've also seen how the policy wording plays out in the context of an actual claim, and I think having the benefit of being on both sides of that transaction gives me some insight into how we need to continue to innovate and have the cyber coverage respond to the evolving threat environment. When I started in the insurance industry, cyber risk, basically, was associated with data privacy, and it is so much more multifaceted than that now. We have ransomware to deal with, business interruption and soon, on the horizon, the internet of things and the connectivity of devices. So, the policy wording is going to need to continue to respond to those changes so that the coverage is relevant to our clients and is there for them when they suffer a loss. And I'm excited to be working with the talent that you've assembled here, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of my colleagues and the clients that Alliant services as well.
Ron Borys (02:09):
Certainly, I know in speaking with you in the conversations that we've had leading up to this, certainly well positions us when going out and demonstrating to clients and prospects and, quite frankly, to other partners, whether it's on the carrier side or on both underwriting and claims, how well-positioned we are to be that advocate. And to be that representative for our clients both on, when it comes time to renewing and negotiating their insurance policies, educating their team and their management on various cyber risk emerging risk issues and also, most importantly, making where this policy responds in the event of a claim. David, why don't you share with us a little bit about what you've been seeing in the world of cyber over the last six to twelve to eighteen months. We've heard a lot about COVID, and the impact that this work-from-home environment is having on cyber liability. A lot of folks have had to go into a virtual environment without a whole lot of advanced notice. Certainly, people had plans like this in place over the years to respond to business continuity and other types of issues, but I think nobody expected this pandemic to take the shape that it has - and we're certainly hearing a lot from folks about what it's doing, with regards to both cyber risk and potentially cyber claims. So, can you share with some folks what you've seen or what you've been experiencing over the last six to twelve months?
David Finz (03:34):
Sure. So, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely accelerated the trend of working from home. I think most companies had, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, begun to use virtual private networks and multifactor authentication in various ways to try to secure client data and to secure network connections when people were working remotely, but this has accelerated that trend and it put a strain on IT networks. It has also increased the points of entry and vulnerability for insureds, and for companies who are trying to manage their network security because hackers have more opportunities now to simply get in. Ransomware has been top of mind for companies, it has been in the news quite a bit. There are some recent announcements from the Department of Treasury, from the Office of Foreign Assets Control with respect to steps that insurance companies need to make in order to comply with guidelines around payments to countries or entities that might be sanctioned. Premiums are going up, carriers are paying losses and we, as the brokers, need to continue to advocate for clients to make sure that the coverage they obtain is fit for purpose; that it responds to the threats that are developing and that when they do have a claim that they can make the most of the coverage that they have paid for.
Those are all great, great points, David, and we're going to do plenty of these. There's going to be plenty of opportunity in situations and forums like this, to just continue to get that word out, make sure people understand the emerging trends, the risk issues, the market dynamic, because we certainly know that going into the new year things aren't going to get better rapidly; if anything, we probably have a little bit longer of a period to kind of get through what we're getting through in the area of risk, in the area of cyber before things start to normalize a little bit. So, with that, we can sort of wrap this up. David, we are thrilled to have you here, I am thrilled to welcome you, I'm thrilled to call you a colleague again. And I think without a doubt, our clients are going to find that Alliant just continues to be the place that offers clients an opportunity to find a more rewarding way to manage risk. So, I encourage all of you out there to stay tuned and for those of you who are looking for more information online, you can visit our website at www.alliant.com. Thanks again for tuning in and we'll talk to you again soon.
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