List of Insurers and Brokers

As noted elsewhere, the PRI market is a great place to start a career if you are interested in political risk. While a Euler Hermes may not be as much of a household brand as some of the advisory firms, at such a firm you do gain hard business insight into how companies value political risk, and a breadth of different industry exposures to different political events.

If you are not from London with some kind of connection to Lloyds, then this path might be a tough one to navigate at first. To streamline this process, I provide a list of U.S. carriers that provide PRI “lines” who more likely than not are hiring. Note that some of these units do not make a firm distinction within their teams between “political risk” and its cousins “trade credit” and “terrorism” (a discussion for a forthcoming post).

Private Carriers’ political risk divisions:

Note, these are all private insurers, and despite the cuts in funding related to Ex-Im Bank, the public-sector side of insurance is alive and well (chiefly through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which hires dozens of summer interns).

Advertisements

Suggested Reading

Timely:

Timeless

  • Peter Schwartz’s The Art of the Long View, Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World (Doubleday, 1996). Amazon listing here.
  • Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat’s The Fat Tail: The Power Of Political Knowledge in an Uncertain World (Oxford University Press, 2010). Amazon listing here.

Political Risk Defined

While there is no settled definition on political risk, the literature typically identifies political risk as any action or behavior from a state actor that can affect a corporation’s financial or economic well-being. For example Skipper & Kwan’s International Risk textbook identifies political risk as “Any governmental action that diminishes the value of a firm operating within the political boundaries or influence the government.”[1] Similarly, the CEO of one of the leading geopolitical risk consultancies Ian Bremmer defines political risk as “The probability that a particular political action will produce changes in economic outcomes.”[2] Note also that these definitions include “sovereign” risk, which describes direct government interventions in business outcomes, but also other political, economic, and local impact beyond just the state.[3] With such sweeping definitions, it is a wonder that political risk does not get more attention from a business as well as a purely risk management perspective.

*********

[1] W. Jean Kwon and Harold D. Skipper. Risk Management and Insurance: Perspectives in a Global Economy. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing; Malden, MA (2009).  Page 431.

[2] Bremmer, Ian. The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge in an Uncertain World. Oxford University Press (2010).

[3] Kesternich, Iris and Monika Schnitzer. “Who Is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and Their Choice of Capital Structure.” Journal of International Economics, Vol. 82, Iss. 2 (Nov. 2010> Available here (Links to an external site.).