‘Gloomy Gus’ Would Make a Lousy ERM

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing an insurance company’s enterprise risk manager is how to do the job effectively without being dismissed as a “Gloomy Gus” by their growth-oriented colleagues.

In the dictionary, a Gloomy Gus is defined as a “sourpuss,” someone whose personality is habitually sullen. Each glass placed before him is not just half empty, but bone-dry. We’ve all probably encountered a Gloomy Gus or two in our lives—including at the office.

While most insurance companies have long since adopted some form of ERM, much work remains to be done at many carriers to increase the discipline’s breadth, depth and sophistication.

Let’s start with the leader of the pack. Those who direct an insurer’s ERM program can’t do much good if they are not invited to the table until well after the party has already started—or worse, only when it’s time to clean up the mess other department leaders have left behind.

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