WHEN Is It Appropriate to Plan for Risk?

“I wish we had taken the time to plan for the unexpected and the ridiculous.” Mark R.

Just when I did not think it could get any hotter, it was. Phoenix, Arizona, would reach 45° Celsius today! I would use the heat, which Arizona natives are used to, as another lesson in enterprise risk management (ERM).

Plan for Risk before It Happens

Standing in front of PJ Investment’s (PJI’s) management team, I asked them, “How do you plan for this intense heat?” I received many puzzled looks, which was my intent.

“Let me restate this question. Imagine that a cousin of yours, Vanessa, who lives in Reykjavik, Iceland, announces she is moving to Phoenix and wants you to advise her on how she should adapt to the summer weather, something Vanessa has never experienced. Think about this question as I relate a story about a client’s pitfall.”

Mark’s Failure to Anticipate Risk

Mark and Mary had a passion for helping others. Early in their marriage, even though they were living pay packet to pay packet, they committed to one day starting a foundation to help children afflicted with Apert syndrome.

Mark’s younger sister was born with this rare disease. Catherine, or Cat, as her family called her, was never treated for it because her parents could not afford the expensive test and surgeries. At that time there was no funding or other form of support for young victims of this random disease. Cat’s life, as Mark saw it, was one misery after the other. Due to her ...

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