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77 percent of global executives ‘not confident’ in their company’s Reputational and ESG approach

New Reputational Readiness Survey launched by WTW

February 10, 2022

WTW launches Reputation Risk Readiness Survey
Casualty|Property Risk and Insurance Solutions

ASIA PACIFIC, February 10, 2022 –There is considerable lack of confidence on the part of global executives in their own organisations’ approach to Reputational and ESG ‘risk readiness’. Many believe that only a moderate amount of assessment has gone into these areas states a report published today by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company.

The survey was undertaken with 500 global executives from 250 top companies across 20 countries in retail; manufacturing; leisure and hospitality; transportation; non- government organisations (NGOs) and charities. In Asia Pacific, senior executives responsible for risk strategy across their organisations are based in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Singapore.

In other key findings, the survey demonstrated:

  • More than four-fifths (83%) of senior executives say they take reputational risk seriously and place it in the top five risks across their company.
  • Survey findings reveal 77% of senior executives are not fully confident in their company’s reputational and ESG risk readiness. Positive strides are being made but more can be done - only a moderate amount of assessment has gone into analysing the risk or putting in place a formal process to ensure governance, accountability, monitoring and reporting.
  • Despite formal teams being in place, around 75% of companies do not hold their board members accountable for reputational and ESG risks – creating a negative perception amongst staff of a lack of commitment.
  • 70% of senior executives focus more on the risk of reputational damage caused by an internal event (e.g. customer /employee abuse or ESG) and less so on an external event (e.g. cyber crime) – what looks like an oversight on an important external risk could be the result of a board that is not perceived to take the matter seriously.
  • 74% of senior executives are aware of the potential cost of damages caused by a reputational event, and as a result 86% have reserved budget to cover the costs and 84% have a contingency budget for marketing and communications. However, these costs might not be completely accurate given 87% do not forecast frequency and severity of potential damages exposing a significant risk of misallocated budget.

Simon Weaver, Head of Corporate Risk & Broking, Asia and Australasia, and Head of Australasia said, “In an increasingly digital, service-oriented economy, reputational risk is firmly on the corporate agenda. However, our findings also suggest that organisations may have failed to accurately assess the length and severity of a potential crisis – or the scale of the financial impact. Most organisations appear to view reputational crisis as a short-lived media event. Few appear to have the level of modelling that would enable them to quantify the scale of financial losses. This means they may not be prepared for the full impact on their business if a damaging reputational event occurred which is why it is critical to look at reputational crisis insurance to mitigate potential reputational risk. It takes decades to build corporate reputation but takes minutes to ruin it.”

For more information and to access the survey – please visit Are businesses reputation risk ready?

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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