Dealing with Downturn: Jeffrey Burchill, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at FM Global, Discusses How the Economic Downtown Is Affecting Risk Managers-And How the Insurance Industry Can Help Provide Peace of Mind

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Interview by Morgan O'Rourke What is the most important thing for risk managers to keep in mind as the financial markets--and the economy at large--begin to rebuild?

It's going to be a long-term recovery. There's not going to be any quick fixes. There's going to be a lot of government intervention as the new administration informs policy. It's not going to be a first or second quarter recovery. This is a pretty deep recession and it's going to take some time to recover from it.

Will the financial crisis drive a convergence of financial risk management and operational risk management?

It's already started. There has been some convergence in the enterprise risk management discipline. There has been a lot of volatility in the insurance markets, specifically with AIG, and we've seen a lot of committees and boards of directors tell risk managers and treasurers that if it can happen at AIG, what about the rest of our portfolios? And they're not just looking at insurance risk--they're looking at financial risk. If they do have an event, will that carrier be able to respond? They are looking at more of the traditional transfer of risk than some of the convergent issues of credit risk and liquidity risk about carriers. And they're looking at more financial risk on their own balance sheets--supply chains, things like that.

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What regulatory developments are most likely? …