Natural hazards pose enormous risks to modern businesses, primarily as a result of the business interruptions they cause. For international companies, a cohesive global approach to managing natural hazards risks yields the best results and is the most cost-effective. Most companies attempt to manage these risks locally or by using only catastrophe modeling, insurance and/or building retrofits. These approaches, while useful, yield less than optimal results. At Yanev Associates, the Yanev Strategic Natural Hazards Risk Management™ Process offers a comprehensive strategic approach to evaluating and dealing with a company’s global natural hazards risks.
Yanev Associates (YA), a global consulting firm, is focused solely on identifying and quantifying risks and helping clients develop strategies to manage them. YA does not carry out any physical improvements it recommends in order to avoid any conflict of interest, real or perceived. Peter Yanev’s personal experience visiting hundreds of natural disaster sites enables us to better understand what really happens in natural disasters versus the theoretical predictions of models. This unique advantage of Yanev Associates is something no technology can achieve.
Drawing on our unparalleled direct experience and extensive proprietary databases of what actually happens to businesses during and after natural disasters, we combine first-hand observations with advanced analysis to offer the most cost-efficient solutions for our clients.
We serve corporate clients worldwide with our proprietary Yanev Process, broken down into four key steps:
1. Risk Discovery
Develop a detailed understanding of the current natural hazards risk to our clients’ business operations as a whole. This includes earthquake, hurricane, flood, and tsunami risks.
2. Executive Review & Decision-Making
Present the Risk Discovery findings to the client’s key decision makers. Work interactively with them to establish corporate goals for Maximum Acceptable Risk™ (MAR) and provide strategy and options for cost-effectively reducing risk to the desired level.
Oversee planning and implementation of authorized improvements such as loss control measures, insurance, and/or targeted retrofits to ensure they are effective and meet the Company’s MAR objectives.
Complete annual or bi-annual reviews, as applicable, to ensure work is proceeding in accordance with Step 2 and that ongoing adjustments and additions to facilities are properly implemented to comply with the clients’ stated MAR.
A Better Business Model
During his tenure at The World Bank, Peter began to rethink the traditional risk management business model, finding three fundamental flaws:
- Business managers require clear, non-technical information for prioritizing issues and making decisions. While marshaling technical resources and interpreting technical results is important, it is essential that all client communications be in plain business language with strategic decision-making in mind. Consequently, our team members come from both the business and technical worlds, and effective communication is always a top priority.
- There is a potential conflict of interest when a single company makes risk improvement recommendations and also carries them out. This approach is not likely in the client’s best interest, is generally poor business management practice, and would be difficult to defend before any audit committee. It can result in unnecessary work, such as costly building retrofits that are not appropriately targeted to reducing the clients’ overall risk profile. Basic business principles dictate that firewalls should exist any place where there is a potential significant conflict of interest.
- Peter was a pioneer in creating risk modeling – he co-founded EQECAT, one of the three major catastrophe modeling firms – and therefore clearly understands the limitations, shortcomings, and strengths of that technology. While very progressive when originally created, these models are now frequently misused, giving clients false confidence and misleading results. This is especially true for complex industrial and commercial risks and geographically limited property portfolios. Using the models properly requires a level of technical expertise that few users have, especially in the insurance industry. The optimal approach to understanding the real risk from a client’s point of view is experience-based risk assessment and risk management. This process takes the modeling efforts of insurance brokers and engineering companies into account, when they are valid and relevant, but raises the sophistication of the analysis to a much higher level.