Risk in Focus: Keith Tracey Managing Director Aon Professional Services Practice, London
How did you get your job?
I re-joined Aon in 2011 when an opportunity arose to work again with former colleagues on an interesting challenge that the company faced.
Before that I had worked in London, Canada and USA. My first job was with the then Sun Alliance & London where I received an excellent start, with a very broadly scoped training plan that covered all aspect of the business. Soon after that I left for Canada and spent 22 years in North America where I worked on large corporate accounts and then specialised in the risks of professional service firms. I returned to London in 2000.
What’s a typical day like as in the Professional Services Practice
My role includes client work, where we provide both advisory and insurance placement services. I am also part of the team that is transforming our website and changing our approach to marketing materials. I am heavily involved in a thought leadership plan to deliver insights to our clients on topical risk issues.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I have always found interactions with clients to be the most challenging and rewarding part of the job. That is where one acquires the most valuable learning.
Recently our thought leadership initiative has led me to think in-depth on several issues, and to create analysis and practical suggestions that can be valuable both internally and to our clients.
What are the challenges?
The risk landscape is changing and keeping abreast of those changes and their consequences is an interesting challenge. Technology is creating new complexities, and while some risks are decreasing, new risks are being created, the consequences of which are unknown.
Systems thinking is required to grasp the nature and the range of risks faced by organisations today.
What would you say to others thinking about taking the Digital Risk Management Certificate?
This is an excellent course covering digital transformation, risk management applications and the new risks presented, including security and data protection. It provides an excellent framework to approach those subjects with access to extremely valuable reading materials.
What have you been able to put into practice in your job as a result of what you have learnt?
This is a swiftly changing environment requiring continuous learning. The course is a great way to start, or to consolidate existing knowledge. The content gives me the confidence to speak and write about these subjects, and to have dialogue with clients in the technology sector.
How do I succeed as an insurance broker? What advice can you give to others?
My major tip is to establish a strong base of knowledge and continue to build on it. The qualifications offered by the IRM are an excellent base. The three areas that anybody working in risk or insurance needs to have a firm grasp of are, in my experience, risk management, finance and negotiation.
Insurance is a branch of finance and understanding the fundamentals is vital to understanding how the industry works. At a personal level, understanding the dynamics and structure of successful negotiations seems to me to be a vital skill. Improving one’s own skills in this field will repay the investment multiple times.