Risk Factors for Technology Industry Changing with the Economy

April 20, 2009

Today’s technology leaders face challenging times in unprecedented circumstances. Many of the risk factors that topped the list of greatest concerns for tech companies — foreign competition, intellectual property infringement, development of new products and services and talent attraction and retention — have not changed “But new risks are topping our clients’ list of concerns,” according to Julie
Davis, of Aon Corp.

Speaking in Silicon Valley, Calif., Davis outlined new risk factors and trends for technology firms managing risks, gathered from a survey Aon conducted. New concerns include: changes in economic conditions, growing concerns about product liability, changes in technology risks, changes in liabilities to board members, exposures associated with international alliances and joint ventures, ability to drive strategic plans, executive compensation tied to stock prices, competition from other countries, and the need for continued reserach and development investments.

“Clearly, our clients had a lot on their minds over the past six months,” Davis said. She further commented that the changes in risk factors should be powerful incentives for technology firms to broaden their view of how they manage risks.

Michael Flanagan, managing director of Aon’s National Technology Practice, added that in response to the shifting climate, the industry practice has launched a number of new insurance products and risk services to respond to the changing needs of our clients. He cited two examples, which included the recent announcement of a suite of insurance coverages for middle market technology firms and the expansion of the company’s “TechAudit” diagnostic program.

Davis received standing ovations after her keynote speech. Anna Smith, President of California Women’s Network, concluded that their study and new suite of insurance products and services clearly distinguishes Aon from their competition.

Davis has served as executive vice president in Aon Technology practice group. She has a significant background in risk management experience for private and publicly traded companies and is responsible for the contribution to the growth of the practice in California. The event attracted more than 100 professional women in various leadership positions and attracted professionals extending to Sacramento, Calif.

The California Women’s Network is a women’s association designed for leaders of new or rapidly growing companies with less than 1,000 employees and leaders of autonomous business units in larger organizations.

Source: California Women’s Network

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