FM Global’s EVP Says to Watch These 3 Things in 2019: Predictive Analytics, IoT and Big Catastrophes

FM Global’s Malcolm Roberts sets his 2019 priorities.
By: | December 24, 2018

When he looks around him, Malcolm Roberts sees a global economy that is humming along, but showing some signs of fraying around the edges.

Specifically, attritional losses with big manufacturers and other industries reliant on industrial machinery are starting to add up. Plants are operating at full capacity, trying to feed a world that runs on just-in-time inventory in many cases.

When equipment breakdowns happen, and they do happen, they end up costing more than they used to, because the inventory is not there to make up the difference while repairs are made.

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“It’s kind of a double whammy that when the machine breaks, there is a repair and less make up in the system,” Roberts said.

For 2019, Roberts and his team are focusing on three big buckets. One is bringing FM Global’s predictive analytics capability to bear in helping clients get the most bang for their buck with their capital expenditures.

“We are going to be doing a lot of work with our own loss prevention engineers, working with our new tools, to help identify those risks and drive them out,” Roberts said.

The second bucket is the role of industrial control systems and the Internet of Things. That means working with FM Global’s cyber experts to minimize the threat that a cyber attack presents to vital internet-connected processes. The third is recognizing the big catastrophes are back with a vengeance, as exemplified by hurricanes Maria and Harvey in 2017 and Florence and Michael in 2018. “Business leaders have very short memories when it comes to property risk,” Roberts said, referring to that four- to five-year period pre-2017 when there were no major hurricanes.

“The phone is ringing again with clients wanting solutions,” he said. &

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

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]