Roads to ruin - how insurance companies fail

Leeds Town Hall, The Sullivan
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Case studies on Independent Insurance, Equitable Life and AIG

The Insurance Institutes of Bradford, Halifax, Leeds and York are delighted to welcome Professor Alan Punter to present this unique afternoon CPD seminar for our members.

Roads to Ruin, a study of major risk events: was a research report aiming to investigate the impact of major corporate crises, and the lessons that can be learnt from these events.

Professor Alan Punter, one of the authors of the report, will focus his presentation on two of the Roads to Ruin case studies, Independent Insurance and AIG (plus an additional case study on Equitable Life), to discuss how the experiences of these insurance companies illustrate the seven key factors that emerged from the research:

  • A. Inadequate board skills and inability of NED members to exercise control.
  • B. Blindness to inherent risks, such as risks to the business model or reputation.
  • C. Inadequate leadership on ethos and culture.
  • D. Defective internal communications and information flow.
  • E. Organisational complexity and change.
  • F. Inappropriate incentives, both implicit and explicit.
  • G. ‘Glass ceiling’ effects that prevent risk managers from addressing risks emanating from top

The value of the report and its findings have been endorsed by risk managers and others, as the following quotes show:

“Required reading for all my risk assurance and risk management staff” – Head of Corporate Assurance, FTSE100 company

“It is currently the most important book on my desk” – UK Audit Committee Chair of a large international insurer

Who should attend?

This lecture is relevant to anyone working within the insurance and financial services industry who would like to develop their understanding of how and why insurance companies have failed in the past.

Learning objectives:

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Outline why the Roads to ruin report was commissioned
  • Discuss the key findings and implications of this report
  • Discuss what can go wrong and why
  • Describe the key role Non Executive Directors have to play in the success of a company

To book your place

Book your place via the Insurance Institute of Leeds website!

Please advise if you have any additional requirements when you register.

Speaker's biography

After leaving university in 1972, Alan started his career lecturing statistics at The Hatfield Polytechnic before entering insurance broking in 1983. He spent 25 years in a succession of technical and managerial roles with Sedgwick, and then Alexander & Alexander (A&A), before its acquisition by Aon. When he retired from Aon in 2008 he was a Managing Director in the Chairman’s Office of Aon Limited in London, working with senior Aon Management internationally on a wide range of operational and strategic, client and market issues, and also the CEO of Aon Capital Markets Limited.

Alan has written widely in the professional trade press and academic journals, and spoken at over a hundred international conferences and seminars on risk financing and risk management issues. He was awarded the inaugural Lumina Award for outstanding research in reinsurance in 2001, and wrote the Institute of Financial Services textbook on “Risk Financing and Management”. He has written two case study based research reports for Airmic: he was a co-author of “Roads to Ruin” on corporate business failures, produced by Cass Business School for Airmic, and the sole author of “Supply Chain Failures”. Alan was also Deputy Chief Examiner for the Institute of Risk Management Certificate and Diploma qualifications for many years.

In association with:

  • Leeds Town Hall, The Sullivan
  • The Headrow
  • Leeds
  • LS1 3AD
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CII Accredited

This demonstrates the quality of an event and that it meets CII member CPD scheme requirements.

2 hours' CPD can be claimed for this event if relevant to your learning and development needs.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the CPD activity you have completed and upload copies to the recording tool as the CII may ask to see this if your record is selected for review. Details of the scheme can be viewed online at