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“Be the Risk Sherpa” XL Group’s Mike McGavick tells Risk Managers at Airmic


At a gathering of the UK’s leading risk managers, Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Group, told Risk Managers “it’s a great time to be in your jobs, there is great opportunity for you to lead your organizations’ thinking about risk.”

Speaking on a panel debate focused on The State of the Insurance Market, at this year’s Airmic Conference, Mr. McGavick said: “Excess capital, the low interest rate environment and the mutation of risk means insurers have to dig deep, working harder to find differentiating solutions and services.”

“This environment provides risk managers with the opportunity to ask, what are we getting from you?  And these searching questions are challenging insurers to innovate and stay relevant.

“And, if we are not innovating we are not working,” he said and went on to outline his key do's and dont's when pursuing innovation:

1 - Don’t expect to make judgments on today’s risks based on long data sets – the pace of change means the industry can’t afford to collect ten years of data before providing a solution. Whole industries will come and go in that time.

2 - Don’t leave your best people on the most profitable business. Get them on the challenging business, stretch them and stretch the business to go beyond. 

3 - Do accept and expect failure – there is a cost to innovating and it’s a cost we are happy to ring fence and bear. 

4 - Do look for partnerships. Specialist, intellectual horse power can come from outside the industry - use consultants and seek expert advice.

In line with the conference theme: the future of risk, Mr. McGavick said: “If we are going to successfully advance into the future, the risk management community must  continue to work closely with insurers to develop the new insurance products needed to support businesses as they progress.”


About XL Group plc’s Insurance Operations

XL Group plc’s insurance companies offer property, casualty, professional and specialty insurance products globally. Businesses that are moving the world forward choose XL as their partner. To learn more, visit

About XL Group plc

XL Group plc (NYSE:XL), through its subsidiaries, is a global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world. XL is the company clients look to for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward. To learn more, visit

XL Group is the global brand used by XL Group plc’s insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries.