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Willis Executives Clinch Risk Innovator Award by Risk & Insurance Magazine

Posted on 05 Oct 2010

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Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, announced today that two of its executives, Alex Fairly, Senior Vice President and Leader of the Global Sports Practice and Partho Ghosh, Managing Director, and Global Head of Financial Products, Willis Structured Risk Solutions, have each been named a 2010 "Risk Innovator" by Risk & Insurance magazine.

The award recognizes insurance professionals in several categories who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in risk management in the past year. Fairly and Ghosh are among a group of 33 talented individuals recognized in the September 15, 2010 issue for leading the way in risk management.

Amarillo, Texas-based Alex Fairly, recognized in the Sports/Entertainment category, is a leading authority in handling the evolving risks of the sports industry. When the National Football League and its member teams recently found themselves ill-prepared to handle an uptick in permanent disability claims, known as “California Cumulative Trauma” claims, Fairly found an innovative solution to the emerging issue.

Fairly and his Willis team worked to identify the underlying liabilities and devised a system to locate past policies, some of which were decades old. Fairly also created a comprehensive risk management program, including a set of best practices aimed at helping NFL teams mitigate future risk. Fairly’s plan also ensures that players get the best medical care possible.

New York-based Partho Ghosh, recognized in the Utilities category, applied his financial expertise to help a major energy supplier with operations in the Gulf Coast manage its windstorm risk. After a series of severe weather events produced business interruption losses and steep fines for the energy supplier, Ghosh worked with the client to devise a ground-breaking solution to reduce volatility in the providers’ balance sheet. Ghosh and his Willis team developed the Willis Hurricane Load Protection, or WHIP, a risk management vehicle designed to offset the potential financial impact on the utility if a hurricane were to affect its business in the Houston area. The solution uses an index-based trigger with imbedded variables in the payout formula. Ultimately, the vehicle enabled the utility company to reduce its hurricane risk hedging costs, because it no longer had to maintain lines of credit and other costly backups for business interruption.

“It’s a fantastic honor for Willis to have our great industry experts given the prestigious recognition of Risk Innovator,” said Don Bailey, Chairman and CEO of Willis North America. “Alex and Partho demonstrate Willis’s dedication to clients and the success that can be achieved by using innovation and expertise to deliver the best solutions possible,” he said.