Global Cyber Risk, Global Risk Solutions: How Liberty Mutual’s Patrick Thielen Is Building Resilience in the Digital Age

Liberty Mutual’s Patrick Thielen has a strong team and a host of resources behind him. He’s going to need them.
By: | November 13, 2023
Portrait of Patrick Thielen

Being named the global head of cyber insurance for Liberty Mutual’s Global Risk Solutions business is a big job. But Patrick Thielen, a veteran of the Travelers and Chubb organizations, is primed and confident as he assesses the journey before him and his team.

For one thing, it’s a market that seems to be on an indefinite growth curve.

“The cyber insurance market has grown from $1 billion ten years ago to $15 billion today,” Thielen said.

“By some forecasts, it is projected to be in the ballpark of $100 billion in the next 10 years,” he added.

The market is growing, but so is the risk.

In terms of what keeps him up at night, Thielen had this to say:

“Number one is just the increasing global reliance on technology and data, and that applies to everybody, everywhere.”

Adding to the risk is the commonality in so many digital platforms and tools.

“When you look at the networks and the technologies that companies are using to drive these digital strategies, many of them are using similar software tools, similar technology environments, similar programming languages that power those tools. This means that while digitization can bring innovations and efficiency, it can come at the expense of resilience and, potentially, increased systemic risk,” he said.

“The industry has seen a lot of — I’ll call them ‘near misses,’ where widespread attacks impacted many companies at the same time who had no relation to each other apart from the fact that they happened to run the same type of software in their environment,” he added.

Still, he said, Liberty Mutual’s appetite and capabilities in this area are robust.

“We’re investing heavily in our brand, our technology, our capabilities and our identity from a practice perspective in terms of how Liberty Mutual views and manages cyber risk,” Thielen said.

“We’re going to the market with a very clear risk appetite. We’re going to have a very consistent global approach that includes dedicated underwriting, risk engineering, claims and incident response capabilities.”

Thielen will have a lot of resources at his disposal in this position. But he won’t have all the answers when it comes to cyber risk — because no one does.

“I think it’s increasingly true that there is no such thing as a person who walks around knowing everything there is to know about cyber risk,” he said.

“It’s about having the tools and the partnerships and the insights on how to use those tools and leverage those partnerships to position your organization and your clients in the best spot you possibly can.” &

Patrick Thielen has been selected as a 2024 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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