Matthew  Hooper

In an exclusive interview with LDaily, Matthew Hooper, Partner & Director, Risk Advisory at Inherent Risks, discussed typical...

In an exclusive interview with LDaily, Matthew Hooper, Partner & Director, Risk Advisory at Inherent Risks, discussed typical risks faced by companies, including road accidents, war-related injuries, and other challenges near conflict zones. Inherent Risks' approach to risk assessment and identification involves a surveillance network, on-site presence, and continuous contact with insurance policy holders. The interview also touched upon new trends and challenges in the dynamic business environment, emphasizing the focus on local business recovery and cautious optimism regarding foreign investments amid the ongoing war.

Matthew  <span>Hooper</span>

For local business leaders in Ukraine, they are focussed on recovering lost assets and revenue, and returning to normal as soon as possible

12.03.2024 (№ LDaily #21)

In an exclusive interview with LDaily, Matthew Hooper, Partner & Director, Risk Advisory at Inherent Risks, discussed typical risks faced by companies, including road accidents, war-related injuries, and other challenges near conflict zones. Inherent Risks’ approach to risk assessment and identification involves a surveillance network, on-site presence, and continuous contact with insurance policy holders. The interview also touched upon new trends and challenges in the dynamic business environment, emphasizing the focus on local business recovery and cautious optimism regarding foreign investments amid the ongoing war.

LDaily: Please tell us more about Inherent Risks company and how it is connected to Ukraine.

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks first entered Ukraine within 36-hours of russia illegally invading the country. Our primary role was to conduct emergency medical and crisis evacuations of insured people from Kyiv and further east. In addition, we focussed on conducting risk assessments and security support for global news agencies and humanitarian organisations to ensure they could enter a war zone.

LDaily: In the context of your industry, what are the typical inherent risks that companies face, and how does Inherent Risks address them?

M. Hooper: In any country in the world, road traffic accidents are almost always the primary cause of injuries and death. In Ukraine this is no different. The risk is amplified in regions due to poor road conditions and inclement weather. For journalists and humanitarians operating near the frontline, the risks of war related injuries and deaths increase significantly. Additional risks have included consumption of contaminated water and alcohol poisoning. We have also responded to kidnap, ransom, and extortion cases.

LDaily: How does Inherent Risks assess and identify potential risks for its clients?

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks has developed an excellent intelligence network of verified sources across Ukraine. This coupled with our continued presence on-the-ground in Ukraine, and our constant contact with thousands of insurance policy holders who move around the country each day, has enabled us to identify and comprehensively understand the risks that our clients may face.

LDaily: Can you elaborate on the key services or solutions that Inherent Risks offers to help companies manage and mitigate risks?

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks is what is known as a force multiplier. We bridge the gaps that our client organisations’ may have. This can range from providing supplying body armour, helmets, and armoured vehicles, to providing personal security services, to conducting specific risk assessments, intelligence briefs and incident alerts.

LDaily: In today’s dynamic business environment, what are the emerging trends or challenges related to inherent risks, and how is your company adapting to them?

M. Hooper: For local business leaders in Ukraine, they are focussed on recovering lost assets and revenue, and returning to normal as soon as possible. For foreign businesses, they understand that there are business opportunities in Ukraine, especially within reconstruction, but they are understandably cautious due to the ongoing war and therefore want to mitigate, manage, and transfer risk of their potential investments. Some of this will be achieved through specialist war-insurance policies which Inherent Risks are involved with developing.

LDaily: Could you share specific examples of successful risk management strategies or solutions implemented by Inherent Risks for its clients?

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks has enabled literally thousands of foreign people to safely enter and exit Ukraine, without incident. From journalists, humanitarians and war crimes investigators to insurance executives, high-net-worth individuals, and celebrities. Each individual task is assessed for risks on its own merits. Then, working with each organisation or individual we mitigate as many of those risks as possible.

LDaily: What role does technology play in the risk management solutions provided by Inherent Risks, and how do you leverage it to enhance your services?

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks developed the Ukraine Risk Map, in partnership with Lloyd’s of London insurers, to provide an interactive and easy-to-use Risk Matrix that designates risks into Red, Orange and Green Zones, and enables underwriters to quickly price individual and group risks for medical and security evacuation insurance cover. It has since been adopted by brokers and insurers across the globe to assess travel risks and determine rates in low, medium, and high-risk regions. It is also widely used by foreign governments, multinational corporations and international non-governmental organisations as a trusted travel risk management and journey planning tool. To date it has been viewed over 20,000 times.

LDaily: London’s insurance execs launch sleep-out initiative in Ukraine. Can you please provide more details about this initiative and where the funds collected will be allocated?

M. Hooper: Taking place over two-nights from the 23rd to the 25th February, this sleep-out will signify the two-year anniversary of when russia illegally invaded Ukraine. The experience will serve to raise awareness of the struggles that thousands of civilians continue to face by being forced from their homes, in the dead of night, in below freezing temperatures. 100% of the funds raised by Inherent Risks will go directly to REACT Disaster Response and will be used by them to help the most vulnerable and desperate people in Ukraine. Inherent Risks are raising funds via a Go Fund Me page. While the 24th February is the day that Ukrainians will never forget, the 25th of February for us signifies the second anniversary of when Inherent Risks first entered Ukraine, an experience none of us will forget. When we first arrived desperate people where fleeing the country as humanitarian organisations were entering. At that time we promised to do as much good as possible while we are here, and with this initiative we are just continuing on that promise.

LDaily: Lloyd’s-backed Inherent Risks wins USAID emergency response contract in Ukraine. What will your company be doing under this contract?

M. Hooper: Inherent Risks is supporting several organisations under US Government funding, including USAID awarded contracts and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalists. We have developed a fully indemnified Emergency Medical Evacuation and Crisis Response Membership under the brand of UkraineResponse.com which provides 24/7 on-the-ground medical and security advice and support, evacuation services, pre-travel safety briefing, itinerary tracking, risk maps and incident alerts. This membership is available for a low price, per person, per day, and provides the essential duty of care and travel risk management services that all organisations require in Ukraine.

LDaily: Looking ahead, what are the strategic goals and plans for Inherent Risks in terms of expanding its offerings or reaching new markets?

M. Hooper: The strategic goals and plans for Inherent Risks are to expand our intelligence-led and data-driven services in Ukraine. This will be to enable mitigated risk solutions for maritime operations, for the export of agricultural products and the import of essential reconstruction materials. In addition, with a new partnership in the Ukraine insurance market, we intend to expand our specialist insurance offerings to provide more comprehensive and cost-effective solutions to multinational organisations (re)entering and (re)establishing operations across the country.