“It takes 20 years to build a reputation
and five minutes to ruin it.
If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”
Reputability LLP specialises in reputation and crisis risk and strategy. We help leaders to find the widespread, but hidden, behavioural and organisational risks that lie at the root cause of most reputational disasters. Our insights will bring you foresight.
These hidden risks are found everywhere in businesses, right up to the board, yet they often remain unrecognised and therefore hidden from view. Unseen, they remain unmanaged and a constant source of danger.
We use our expertise and specially designed tools to identify these hidden risks. We then share our deep and diverse experience with you to assess them. The understanding that follows is the starting point for mitigation.Please contact us for a preliminary discussion in complete confidence
“We can afford to lose money.
We can afford to lose a lot of money.
But we cannot afford to lose one shred of our reputation.”
Warren Buffett, biennial letter to top managers
The main drivers of reputational risk - behavioural, organisational and board risks – are not found by conventional risk analysis, so they do not feature in risk maps. Yet they can be lethal to the whole business.
As a result, the opportunity to manage potentially catastrophic risks is missed by many large organisations.
Why are these risks not found? It’s partly because standard risk techniques were not designed to find them.
However, there are two deeper problems. Behavioural, organisational and board risks are particularly hard for insiders to recognise; and they are often dangerous to discuss internally.
The result is that directors are often in the dark about what could cause or exacerbate the next reputational crisis.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
'Roads to Ruin' is a Cass Business School report for Airmic, the UK risk managers’ professional body. Two of its authors were Reputability's Anthony Fitzsimmons and Professor Derek Atkins. You can download a copy here.
Based on 18 case studies, the report shows how behavioural, organisational and board risks both cause crises and tip them in to reputational catastrophes.
The problem for leaders is that it is particularly difficult for them to uncover these destructive risks.
It is common to find that vulnerabilities which have the potential to threaten the longevity of the firm are well known to individuals or teams within the firm - whilst the leadership remains in the dark. Internal politics, hierarchies, taboos, culture and glass ceilings often obscure these risks, yet they threaten the very survival of the organisation
We call this the ‘Unknown Knowns’ problem.
Since ‘Roads to Ruin’, the Reputability team has analysed dozens more corporate crises and catastrophes, to find their root causes.
Strong patterns have emerged, reinforcing the findings of ‘Roads to Ruin’. It is now even clearer how behavioural, organisational and board risks drive reputational risk and lie at the root of most reputational disasters; and why Unknown Knowns are such an important problem.
“Plan for the difficult whilst it is easy.
Act on the large while it's minute.
The most difficult things in the world begin with things that are easy.”
Laozi, third century BC Taoist text
We tailor our pioneering techniques to the needs of each client. These combine confidential peer review and the know-how we have gained from extensive research into reputational risk and its behavioural drivers. We add the experience gained in diverse roles over many decades to bring you insights.
The result of our work is a succinct, systematic analysis of reputational, behavioural, organisational and board risks.
How long does it take? That depends on the task you set; but half a day’s collaboration between us and your board will bring you deep, systematic insights into these dangerous risks and how they may be at work in your organisation.
In a crisis, these risks can be like a tsunami. But given the foresight of our analysis, you can mitigate them while they are quiescent.
The result is you set your company’s reputation on strong foundations.
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1852)
Our team shares deep and broad know-how gained over lengthy careers and through thought-leading research. Each of us comes with a lifetime’s expertise and a different perspective. Together we shine brighter.
Working side by side, our experienced team combines many perspectives to bring you clear insights.
Anthony read engineering at Cambridge, then he 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.
As well as Chairman and founder of Reputability, Anthony is a member of the Editorial Board of the Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance. He was a co-author of ‘Roads to Ruin’, the Cass Business School report for Airmic.
Professor Derek 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’. 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 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 Trial 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.
Embattled bank's troubles far from over
London Evening Standard 3 July 2012
Catastrophe Risks - the Boardroom Perspective
Governance December 2011
How 'Soft' Issues Can Cost Hard Cash and
Top Jobs: the Risk Managers' perspective
Geneva Association Risk Newsletter November 2011
Common Core of Corporate Culture Risks
BBC Today Programme 23 July 2011
ContactPlease get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to discuss – in confidence, of course.
You can call us on +44 20 7812 6690 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amadeus House, Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DP
T:+44 20 7812 6690
© Reputability LLP 2013
Reputability LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England.
Registration Number: OC371538.
Registered Office: 14 Westmead, London SW15 5BQ.
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