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Barney Students Visit FM Global

Posted 04/07/2014
Submitted by Dana Wilkie
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

Enterprise risk management is the primary focus of students studying insurance and finance at the University's Barney School of Business. They recently got to experience how companies and their insurance partners assess best practices in risk prevention and determine the underwriting needs to assure proper risk coverage for their property assets.

In March, nine Barney undergraduate students spent the morning at FM Global’s Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I. FM Global provides comprehensive global commercial and industrial property insurance, engineering-driven underwriting and risk management solutions, groundbreaking property loss prevention research and prompt, professional claims handling. With over $5.6 billion gross premiums in force, FM Global provides large-risk property insurance solutions to customers in more than 130 countries around the world.

FM Global hosted the students, along with Insurance Professor Yu Lei and Barney Dean Marty Roth, at its Research Campus, a 1,600-acre center for scientific research and product testing. The Research Campus is a resource for manufacturers seeking third-party certification of their industrial and commercial products, and for helping them prevent and reduce their property risk exposure.

Students began their visit with an overview of property risks manufacturers face such as damaged inventory, equipment, and facilities. The four main laboratories where FM Global scientists and engineers work with clients were described: Fire Technology, Natural Hazards, Electrical Hazards, and Hydraulics. Then they visited each laboratory, seeing how property damages occur, and more importantly, how such risks can be reduced. Risks included a warehouse fire, wind damage, inventory breakage due to natural disasters such as an earthquake, and a chemical explosion. The visit concluded with a lunch hosted by FM Global.

Throughout the trip, students talked with a number of Barney School alumni about their roles at FM Global. Duncan Reid (AVP Client Services) met the students at their arrival and Kyle Parsons (Account Manager) accompanied them throughout the tour. John Lawless (President, Corporate Insurance Services) joined the group for lunch. Parsons, who helped to coordinate the tour and alumni connections, explained, “Given its location, the Barney School of Business is uniquely positioned to tap into the knowledge of some of the area’s leading insurance companies and professionals.”

“During their visit to the Research Campus,” said Parsons, “the students were able to see and feel some of the research that goes on at FM Global. Ultimately, this research is used to help our clients better understand their property-related exposures and make informed decisions on risk transfer options and risk improvement activities. Upon completion of the tour, the students walked away with a better understanding of FM Global’s business model and role within the commercial property insurance market. We couldn’t be happier to have had the business school students visit with us. It was a wonderful day for all and we look forward to our next opportunity to interact.”

The FM Global visit is part of the Barney School’s ongoing efforts to provide students with career preparation in and outside of the classroom, and to partner with firms whose talent needs align with student strengths. “Companies are continually interested in partnering with us when they see how our students can add value to their organizations,” said Roth. “I look forward to bringing more of our insurance students to FM Global for this amazing learning opportunity, and to growing our partnership with the company.”

As did his colleagues, Barney senior Ben Patterson found the experience invaluable. “While loss control is a topic covered in insurance coursework, seeing the engineering in motion was great to experience firsthand. I was amazed by the accuracy and forethought that went into the covered loss tests that the company performed at their facility. What I found even more interesting is the theory that most losses can be prevented — FM Global’s expertise is in their engineering, not actuarial science. It is opportunities such as visiting FM Global that enable me to discuss insurance and risk management with industry professionals.”