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Erwann Michel-Kerjan    

Risk Management Expert & Partner at McKinsey & Company

Dr. Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan is an authority on managing the risks, the financial impacts, and the public policy challenges associated with catastrophic events. At Wharton he is the Executive Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, which for thirty years has been at the forefront of research and discoveries into how better manage extreme events; he teaches Sustainability and Value Creation in the Wharton MBA program.

Large-scale risks are reshaping the future of our increasingly interdependent world and risk management is becoming an integral part of the strategy of any organization. Dr. Michel-Kerjan actively works with top decision makers helping multinational corporations, governments and rulers address this new risk landscape and create sustainable value. Since 2008 he serves as chairman of the OECD Secretary-General Board on Financial Management of Catastrophes which advises Finance Ministries of the 34 OECD’s member countries on these issues.

Dr. Michel-Kerjan was honored by the World Economic Forum (Davos) as a Young Global Leader, a five year nomination bestowed to recognize and acknowledge the most extraordinary leaders of the world under the age of 40. In 2011 he co-led the YGL G20 Paris initiative on Global Risks under the High Patronage of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2013-2014 he served as advisor to the Chilean Presidency. He currently serves of the World Economic Forum GRR Advisory Board.

Recipient of the prestigious Kulp-Wright award for the most influential contribution to the literature on risk management (At War with the Weather, MIT Press, 2011, with H. Kunreuther) and of the 2014 Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize, Dr. Michel-Kerjan has authored or coauthored more than 100 publications on catastrophe risk management and disaster financing, and given over 150 public speeches. He has testified on several occasions before the US Congress as a subject matter expert and his views regularly appear in leading media. He has studied at Ecole Polytechnique (France), McGill (Canada) and Harvard (USA).

Speech Topics

Dealing with the Extraordinary: Environmental Catastrophes

Imagine a scenario where a massive flood or earthquake takes out the supplier of one critical widget needed to build your company's highest selling product. All of a sudden you've lost weeks of revenue while finding an alternate source for a part that only represents a fraction of the cost of your product. This kind of situation is one, says Erwann Michel-Kerjan in this forward-thinking talk, that many companies simply don't prepare for. Yet, in an increasingly disaster-ridden world, it's an issue that will separate the companies that prosper from those that stumble. While growing globalization of social and economic activities worldwide has brought many benefits, its flip side is that the risks you face are becoming more global too.

Interdependency is the defining element of the 21st century. Some companies are now competing with one another on an engagement and stewardship level that remains uncharted for many other major players. Michel-Kerjan outlines the ways companies can lead in a modern marketplace that includes re-evaluating global business change and interdependent risks, and innovative plans for catastrophic what-if scenarios.

Dealing with the Extraordinary: Financial Catastrophes

Large-scale financial risks are reshaping the future of our increasingly interdependent world and this new era calls for a new model. In this talk, world-renowned catastrophic risk speaker Erwann Michel-Kerjan helps organizations find their way through an array of black swan nightmares. What separates Michel-Kerjan from the pack is his knowledge on value creation--how public and private organizations can design blueprints that allow them to flourish and actually increase value in tough times rather than static as innovators pass them

The New Risk Architecture: Welcome to Risk Management 2.0

Not very long ago, extreme events were considered to be low probability events because they simply did not occur often. In a sense, that was reassuring for many top decision-makers who might not have to face them during their term of office. But in just the first few years of the 21st century, the world has faced a string of catastrophes of a totally new dimension on almost every fronts: large-scale natural disasters, global climate change, mega international terrorism, energy crises, technological accidents, major corporate failures, and, of course, an historical financial crisis with ripple effects world wide. In fact, there has not been a 6-month period in the past few years without a major crisis that simultaneously affected several countries or industry sectors. Those have seriously challenged the old risk management paradigm.

In this groundbreaking talk Erwann Michel-Kerjan will introduce the key pillars of our new architecture using concrete examples. He will also demonstrate how you can change your organizations so it is not only better prepared, but can also take advantage of a more chaotic world.

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