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Archive for the ‘Property & Casualty’ Category

The importance of workplace and personal safety programs

police_tapeThis week’s tragic shooting in Roanoke, Virginia evokes many emotions and serves as a reminder of the importance of workplace and personal safety. As people were starting their day, many witnessed the shooting on live television of WDJB-TV reporter Alison Parker, and photographer Adam Ward by a former employee of the station who was fired in 2013. Unfortunately, workplace violence is a much more common occurrence than you may think. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries’ most recent statistics show that there were 518 workplace homicides in 2010, with shootings accounting for 405 of them. In regards to nonfatal violent crimes in the workplace, the National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, published in 2011, reported a total of 572,000 incidents in 2009 alone.  Read more…

Concerns after hackers target corporate data to commit securities fraud

August 21, 2015 Leave a comment

stock_arrowsOn Wednesday August 12, both The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported on what most believe is the first case in which hackers used stolen corporate data to initiate securities fraud in conjunction with stock traders. More troubling are concerns that it’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, and that it came from a five-year long “unholy global alliance” between overseas hackers and U.S. based traders.

As Paul Fishman, the U.S. District Attorney for New Jersey notes, “This is the intersection of hacking and securities fraud. The hackers were relentless and patient.” It’s estimated that 32 traders and hackers took in over $100M in illegal proceeds via this highly sophisticated and bold scheme. Those involved gained a big advantage over others in the stock market by securing access to news releases, then trading on their information before they hit the wires.  Read more…

Court approves Vascepa® for off-label use despite pushback from FDA

pill_bottlesOn Friday August 7th, the Southern District Court of New York permitted Amarin Pharma to promote certain off-label uses of its 2012 FDA-approved drug, Vascepa®. The FDA has made it known that promoting uses of drugs that are not on FDA-approved labeling violates the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). This means that a manufacturer can promote its drug for its approved intended use, but a true and non-misleading promotion of an off-label use is considered misbranding. Doing so is prohibited conduct, and could result in penalties and criminal prosecution. Read more…

The rapid growth of the U.S. solar market and the associated risks

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment

solar_sunsetDespite the northeastern states getting hit by one of the worst winters on record, the residential solar market had its best quarter ever. The first quarter, typically the slowest of the year for the solar market, grew 11 percent over the previous quarter and 76 percent over the first quarter of 2014.

Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, stated that, “Q1 2015 provided a clear glimpse into the role that residential sector will play as a primary driver of not only solar market growth, but the overall electricity generation mix. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. installed more residential solar than natural gas, and solar on the whole accounted for 51 percent of all new electric generating brought on-line. We expect more than 3 million residential solar installations over the next five years, marked by a broader trend toward customer engagement in energy usage, generation and management.” Read more…

Increasing support of activist investors is cause for concern

August 12, 2015 Leave a comment

agreementA Wall Street Journal article published on Sunday August 9th referenced the subtle backing by large institutional investors of small activist investors to invoke change within large U.S. companies. Activist investors are prevailing frequently and targeting even larger companies, usually as a result of private support from mutual funds. This partnership is altering how U.S. businesses deal with challenges from activist campaigns – if they resist they risk losing shareholder votes. In a 2015 survey of over 350 mutual-fund managers, Rivel Research Group discovered that half had been contacted by an activist in the past year, and 45% of those contacted chose to support the activist. According to FactSet, activists acquired board seats at 107 companies last year, 91 of them through pacts negotiated with the companies. In the first half of 2015, activists are on pace to surpass that mark after acquiring seats at 86 companies. FactSet also reported that activists won a record 73% of battles for board seats in the U.S. in 2014, a 21% increase since 2012. Read more…

Emerging encryption matters are the next wave of cyber concerns

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In a day and age when hackers are persistently attempting to break into networks, an organization that fails to encrypt its sensitive data is taking a huge risk with both its financial resources and reputation. Unprotected data is a legitimate business problem that is no longer confined to IT, especially when it comes to healthcare organizations where the loss of sensitive unprotected data can result in fraud, identity theft, and stolen financial resources from employees and customers. In these cases the burden or blame ultimately falls upon the most senior executive leaders at an organization. And when it comes to the senior teams knowing their areas of risk, encrypting data and building protections have become the latest concern in evaluating them.  Read more…

Avoiding loss and business interruption during a pandemic

pandemic

For organizations with businesses in areas of the world with a higher risk of pandemic, particularly West Africa, contingency planning is a crucial element.  While there are certain industries that are more predominantly impacted, all businesses which rely on raw materials and commodities can be affected. The most important thing for Risk Managers to focus on during a pandemic is that companies must maintain  “business as usual” conduct, while at the same time taking a realistic approach to addressing concerns about the situation and its potential impact on the organization. This requires identifying exposures at home and abroad so that ongoing business is minimally impacted. Read more…

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