Reputability is the leading consultancy for educating Boards and senior leaders about the importance of behavioural, organisational and reputational risks, and guiding them in how to respond to these issues. Reputability is outstandingly effective in this because of our unique blend of research, experience and expertise.
We believe that the most important lesson from corporate catastrophes is that most big problems ultimately emerge from human frailty. This key factor both precipitates crises and tips them into reputational disasters. The more influential the individual, the greater is their potential to precipitate a crisis. Yet human frailties are particularly hard for insiders to see.
Many future crises are predictable and avoidable, particularly to well-informed outsiders. This is where our insights will bring you valuable foresight.
Our research shows that the ultimate drivers of most reputational damage and many corporate failures are behavioural, organisational and board risks. Long-term success depends on leaders who understand and deal with these risks.
The Financial Reporting Council’s new approach acknowledges these risks. It is valuable to all organisations as it addresses fundamental vulnerabilities that evade conventional risk analysis.
Recent FRC guidance means that the Annual Reports of UK listed companies are expected to disclose and describe Principal Risks arising from behavioural and organisational risks. The FRC now expects companies it regulates to give specific emphasis to behavioural risk, organisational risk and reputational risk.
The FRC also expects boards to consider whether they, board committees and management have the skills knowledge and experience to assess the risks the company faces.
Since behavioural and organisational risks are not covered by classical risk analysis or board evaluation, we believe that most boards are currently unable to comply with the FRC guidance.
Boards need tailored education together with dispassionate help to see what experienced outsiders would see if only they knew what insiders know. Done well, this can reveal unrecognised strengths as well as areas of vulnerability.
It is common to find that vulnerabilities with the potential to threaten the survival of a firm are well known to people within the firm - whilst the leadership remains in the dark. Internal politics, hierarchies, taboos, culture, incentives and glass ceilings often obscure these risks. This situation is made worse by the inability of people and organisations to see themselves as others can – what psychologists call cognitive biases.
We call this the ‘Unknown Knowns’ problem.
Our latest report, ‘Deconstructing failure – Insights for boards’ confirms that previously unrecognised classes of behavioural and organisational risks both cause crises and tip them into reputational catastrophes. The report goes further, finding patterns and concluding that these potentially lethal risks typically have their origins in the board.
It is especially difficult for boards to uncover these destructive risks because classical risk management hasn’t evolved far enough to find them. That is how boards find themselves with a dangerous hole in the risk management systems for which they are ultimately responsible. And it is why the widely promoted 'Three Lines of Defence' risk management model gives boards a dangerous delusion of security.
Board Vulnerability Evaluation is a new tool designed to help boards to see into this foggy area.
Our approach is individually tailored to the needs of each client. Nothing is assumed and nothing is ignored.
We combine confidential peer review with the know-how we have accumulated from extensive research into reputational risk and its behavioural and organisational drivers. We add the experience each of us has gained in senior roles, in diverse fields over many decades, to bring you fresh and compelling insights.
We use two main approaches. First, we provide tailored education for boards and risk professionals so that they gain the skills needed to meet the FRC’s expectations.
Second, we help boards to see what experienced outsiders would see if only they knew what insiders know. This ‘informed outsider’ perspective is vital to appreciating vulnerabilities to reputational and other damage resulting from behavioural and organisational risks. It can also reveal opportunities.
Our multi-disciplinary team shares deep and broad know-how which has been accumulated through diverse careers and thought-leading research. Each partner brings to bear a lifetime's experience and a different perspective to consideration of your issues.
Together we can offer clear insights and an attractive and persuasive proposition to all those who are seeking protection from, and mitigation of, reputational risk.
View the biographies of our partners to see more:-
Anthony read engineering at Cambridge, then became a solicitor specialising in international liability and insurance law.
During two decades as a partner in one of the leading legal specialists in the handling of international disasters, he refined strategies to prioritise and reconcile the reputational, humanitarian, commercial, legal and insurance issues arising in crises. He also advised major brands in the wake of severe adverse events.
Following his retirement from the law, Anthony founded Reputability, of which he is Chairman. Anthony is a co-author of ‘Roads to Ruin’, the Cass Business School report for Airmic.
Professor Derek Atkins has 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Formerly UK Strategy Director for Royal and Sun Alliance, he has co-authored many books on risk analysis, risk management and insurance, notably ‘Reputational Risk: A Question of Trust’ and the Chartered Insurance Institute textbook on insurance company management. He was a co-author of ‘Roads to Ruin’.
He currently teaches risk management, reputational risk, and insurance on the Cass Business School MSc course. Derek is chairman of the Board Risk Committee for Trust Re and a partner at Reputability. He was also a member of two UK government working groups on risk related issues, and was awarded the Exceptional Service Medal of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
After graduating as an aeronautical engineer, Mike flew fast jets for the RAF and went on to become the UK’s Chief Test Pilot.
As Group Safety Director and Executive Board Member of the Civil Aviation Authority, he was responsible for all safety regulation in the UK aviation industry and built a global reputation for aviation and safety assessment. He also worked in the design of safety cultures and implementing design changes with aircraft manufacturers worldwide.
A partner at Reputability and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Mike was awarded a CBE for services to UK civil aviation.
Rob Haslam spent 40 years as a Government Communicator. After graduating, his varied career included spells at the Department of Health, the DTI, Health and Safety Executive, Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet Office and the Central Office of Information where - as Director of the Government News Network - he was a member of the national media emergency forum.
He was part of the Gold Command response team after the London bombings, having previously been involved with media handling at the scene of events such as the Lockerbie disaster and the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy.
After graduating in economics from the LSE, Jane joined a team, which sold into Saatchi and Saatchi. She went on to head the Leedex PR Group, joining the board of its parent company, Birkdale plc.
One of only a few Chartered Communicators, Jane has 30 years’ international and award-winning experience. Republic, the corporate communications business she founded was sold to Engine, the UK’s leading independent marketing services consultancy.
Jane is a partner at Reputability, a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations, a founding Fellow of the Public Relations Consultancies Association, a trustee of Fair Trials International and a Quantum NED.
After leaving Manchester University where he was a Research Fellow in Monetary Economics, John trained as an equity analyst at Philips and Drew, which later became UBS.
He has dedicated most of his working life as an investment analyst covering banks and financial companies. He was a partner at Laing and Cruickshank and was appointed as Head of European Research at Nomura, before moving on to Société Générale as senior bank analyst in London.
Today John is a partner at Reputability and Chairman of Blue Planet European Trust – a quoted Scottish Investment trust.
A Professor of Psychology at City University, Peter’s research centres on the psychological theories of judgement and discusses how people make decisions and judgements. His published books include ‘Subjective Probability’ and ‘Judgemental Forecasting’.
A member of the European Association for Decision Making, Peter has been a visiting Professor at the Anderson School of Business UCLA, Princeton and Carnegie-Mellon universities in the USA, as well as the Max Planck Institute in Berlin.
Educated at Harvard, Rick went on to become a Director and Executive Committee Member at the IMD Business School in Lausanne.
Later he was first Chief Claims Strategist at Swiss Reinsurance Company, one of the world’s leading reinsurers, General Counsel and COO of Touche Ross, and Global Director of legal and regulatory affairs for Deloittes.
Richard is currently Chairman of the Board of the Center for Capital Markets at the US Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation and Director of Liability Research for the Geneva Association.
Our services are designed to help boards of UK listed companies to meet the new Financial Reporting Council requirements and to help all leaders to promote the long term success of their organisation.
Introduction to behavioural, organisational and reputational risk
This short seminar and discussion draws on topical case studies and the latest research to reveal the ways in which behavioural and organisational risks can inflict lethal reputational damage.
Behavioural, organisational and reputational risk workshop
This module combines the introductory seminar with an in-depth case study. Working in small teams, participants deconstruct and consider the root causes of a real reputational crisis, and gain deeper insights into why corporate disasters happen. It fits comfortably within a morning.
Governance, Resilience and Reputational Risk Evaluations
Our evaluations are designed to help boards and leaders to recognise and assess strengths and vulnerabilities from behaviour and organisation, before evaluating and improving resilience and governance. Reputational risk is an integral part of our evaluations.
The key to success is our minimally intrusive process, which helps boards and leaders to see and appreciate what intelligent, experienced outsiders would conclude if only they knew what insiders know.
"Quite superb. You packed a great deal into the short period available."
''It exceeded my expectations and we now have something to build upon. As I said, the timing could not have been better''.
''Let me thank you cordially for your excellent workshop [for Chief Risk Officers] on organisational and behavioural risk management. We had planned your contribution to be the climax of the event, and so it was.''
''Many thanks again for your presentation.......we got very positive feedback from the Committee members, who found your presentation highly interesting, relevant and well presented.''
''I thought it was a (well moderated!) fascinating discussion and it was great to get so many different perspectives. ..This topic is obviously relevant to a large number of boards and I suspect we're at the beginning of a significant change in the way they address their duties''.
''Your presentations were uniformly well received and highly valued. We are most grateful to you all for making this event such an unqualified success......The feedback from delegates was uniformly positive. ''
Martin Wheatley’s FCA exit raises questions
London Evening Standard July 2015
The ‘devil’s advocate’ directors who could wake up boardrooms
London Evening Standard July 2015
Give the Devil a Voice in the Boardroom
Financial Times July 2015
Learning from Mistakes
Financial Times April 2015
Time for a clean boardroom sweep?
Financial Times March 2015
Learning right lessons from FCA’s own goal
London Evening Standard December 2014
With great power comes great responsibility
Financial Times November 2014
"It is the board’s job to monitor behavioural risk"
Financial Times November 2014
Too Big to Jail
Evening Standard October 2014
Boards will Struggle to Manage Hidden CEO Risks
Financial Times October 2014
Boards need Trust
Financial Times May 2014
Big bonuses bring risks
Evening Standard April 2014
Getting real on reputation protection
Evening Standard January 2014
PR is not always the best response
PR Week 26 July 2013
Reputation at risk
Ace European risk briefing 2013 July 2013
There's no strength in ignoring flaws
London Evening Standard 17 July 2013
The risk of boards
Financial Times video June 2013
A new tool to sniff out boardroom risk
London Evening Standard June 2013
Deconstructing Failure - Insights for boards
Better Boards by Peter Whitehead
Financial Times June 2013
Embattled bank's troubles far from over
London Evening Standard July 2012
Common Core of Corporate Culture Risks
BBC Today Programme July 2011
Whitehall's neglect of people risks is wasting public money
Civil Service World April 2015
- Reputability Submissions to OECD Consultation on Corporate Governance January 2015
- Reputability Submissions to Basel Committee Consultation on Bank Governance January 2015
Behavioural and Organisational Risk: The New Frontier for Boards
EY Independent Intelligence November 2014
Risk for Chairmen, Chief Executives and Boards
International Corporate Governance October 2014
Behavioural Risk in the UK Government Service
Civil Service World October 2014
Behavioural and reputational risk for insurers
Journal of the Insurance Institute of London September 2013
Deconstructing failure - Insights for boards
Download the report by Reputability June 2013
Roads to Ruin, the Cass Business School report for Airmic
Download the Analysis July 2011
Roads to Ruin
Full Report by the Cass Business School for Airmic July 2011
Catastrophe risks - the Boardroom perspective
Governance December 2011
'Soft' risks - the risk managers' perspective
Geneva Association Risk Newsletter November 2011
Reputational Risk for Chairmen and Company Secretaries
ICSA International June 2010
- Policy and Governance for Risks to Reputation November 2009
Reputational risk - A question of trust
Professor Derek Atkins, Ian Bates and Lynn Drennan 2006
Reputability LLP are pioneers and leaders in the fields of behavioural, organisational and reputational risk. We help business leaders to find the widespread but hidden behavioural and organisational risks that regularly cause reputational disasters. Our process also helps them to find unrecognised strengths.
Here are our thoughts on some recent stories which have captured our attention. We are starting to include views from guest bloggers. We are always interested to know what you think too.
ContactPlease get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to discuss – in confidence, of course.
You can call us on +44 20 3755 3309 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amadeus House, Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DP
T:+44 20 3755 3309
Anthony Fitzsimmons asks Questions at the Annual Public Meeting of the Financial Conduct Authority22. 07. 2015Anthony Fitzsimmons asked two questions at the Annual Public Meeting of the Financial Conduct Authority. these were:
- To what extent, how and to what standard (e.g. the FRC Guidance)
does the FCA ensure and test the effectiveness of its board?
- To what extent does the FCA apply to itself the criteria for board
effectiveness that it applies to companies it supervises?
The questions were answered by FCA Chairman John Griffith-Jones, who replied that:
The FCA follows the Nolan Principles and FRC corporate governance principles and is in the midst of its second, probably internal, board evaluation in part to capture the lessons of the Davis enquiry.
He added that the FCA does 'eat its own cooking' in that both the FCA and PRA are adopting the Senior Manager Regime for senior people at both organisations.
There was insufficient time to allow for a follow-up question.
- To what extent, how and to what standard (e.g. the FRC Guidance)
Stefan Stern quotes Anthony Fitzsimmons on Contrarian Directors09. 07. 2015Contrarian Directors were proposed in a prize-winning essay by Siobhan Sweeney, a MBA candidate at the Judge Business School in Cambridge, England. You can read about her ideas and Reputability 's comments on them here.
In an article about 'contrarian directors' Stefan Stern quoted Anthony Fitzsimmons:
"The concept will appeal most to companies whose self-critical leaders embrace success in the long term. It will be anathema to leaders who are insecure, egotistical, arrogant or dominant."
'Hard-to-Quantify' Risks: A difficult but important aspect of the ORSA08. 04. 2015Anthony Fitzsimmons, chairman of Reputability will give a public lecture to the Insurance Institute of London entitled "Hard-to-Quantify" Risks: A difficult but important aspect of the ORSA".
The lecture will take place on 29 April. Further details are available on the IIL website.Read more...
Reputability contributes to 'My Steam-Engine is Broken'30. 01. 2015Anthony Fitzsimmons has made extensive contributions to this new book, about how organisations have failed to adapt their management systems to an age in which employers employ more brain than brawn.
Anthony Fitzsimmons wrote:Read more...
"As the steam engine age progressed, the tendency grew to analyse business as a blend of mechanical and measurable factors. Reality is not so simple.
As individuals we are biological and we behave both rationally and with predictable irrationality. Since organisations run on people power, this applies equally to organisations.
Most leaders recognise that it is their people that make their organisations great. Few, however, recognise how easily undesirable human behaviour, including their own, causes catastrophic failure. The unwillingness to find, visualise and fix these unmeasurable, and predictable, behavioural and organisational risks leaves organisations - and their leaders - unnecessarily vulnerable.
Thus we see patterns of failure that are repeated again and again."
Reputability publishes Submission to OECD Consultation on Corporate Governance15. 01. 2015Reputability has published its submission to the OECD Consultation on the Principles of Corporate Governance.
Reputability commented that:Read more...
- Behavioural and organisational risks lie at the root of most major crises and the recent banking and financial crisis. They cause huge economic losses. Yet these risks are not recognised by classic risk management and only recently recognised elsewhere outside a few specialist fields.
- Other regulators have recognised the importance of behavioural and organisational risks. Governments should encourage their recognition by boards in this revision of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.
© Reputability LLP 2013
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