How ‘Champion of Risk Management’ Scott Ritto Builds a Strong Risk Culture Within Real Estate

A mall hostage situation turned into a large-scale fire that damaged several businesses, leaving Scott Ritto in charge of multiple business interruption losses.
By: | July 14, 2023

Scott Ritto is an industry veteran who has seen it all in his 35-plus years in the insurance business. After a yearlong stint in law school, he was introduced to risk management and never looked back. He’s worked in various industries, including retail, while managing risk for a group of shopping malls. Today he sits as VP of risk management at Kilroy Realty.

Ritto explained his philosophy of focusing on creating a risk culture so everyone in the organization understands how to mitigate risk: “One person can’t do it all or drive all change. I use a commonsense approach and explain risk management principles, make it so a hundred people are focused on moving the dial.”

Ritto likes to be closely involved with his clients and carrier partners, and his work at the retail shopping mall group was no different. He did contractual work with tenants, helped with risk transfer and handled general mall risk management issues, along with larger corporate challenges like managing risk for the corporate aircraft.

He faced a challenging situation when a mall in his group suffered a large-scale fire after a hostage situation inside one of its stores. The SWAT team was forced to fire tear gas into the store to rescue the hostage, which resulted in the fire.

Many businesses were completely destroyed, and others suffered major losses. Ritto worked closely with the tenants on their business interruption claims throughout a long and complex claims situation.

In addition to his day job, Ritto has been active in the local and national RIMS organization since the early 1990s. He currently serves as the president of the LA RIMS chapter, a position he has held twice before.

Ritto is also a mentor and guest lecturer. He has worked with local universities to help develop their risk management coursework and volunteers time with RIMS’ student advisory council.

Ritto has this advice for students and those just entering the risk management industry: “Find something you really enjoy and that’s going to make you more successful. You’ll put your full heart, mind and body into promoting what you’re trying to do.

“Risk management is a career where you’ll learn something new all the time — different exposures, new products in the marketplace and what the industry is doing. Risk management can make a difference and add value.”

One of Ritto’s colleagues, BBSI risk manager Dennis Healy, described Ritto’s work giving back to the industry over his decades-long career as “next level,” reflecting on the conferences Ritto has organized, his volunteer activities and the structured scholarships he has created for risk management students to attend the national RIMS conference.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Healy said, “and there’s no better champion or face of risk management than Scott Ritto.” &

Every year, Risk & Insurance selects deserving candidates to become Risk All Stars. These are risk managers who, through their perseverance, passion and creativity, make a big difference to the stability of their organizations.

See all the 2023 Risk All Star Winners here.

Abi Potter Clough, MBA, CPCU, is a keynote speaker, author and business consultant focused on Insurtech, leadership and strategy. She has over 15 years of experience at a Fortune 500 company with expertise in P&C claims operational leadership, lean management consulting, digital communications and Insurtech. As the past chair of the International Insurance Interest Group of the CPCU Society, Abi remains involved in many international initiatives and projects. She has published two books about change management and relocation. Abi can be reached at [email protected].

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