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Importance of Reputational Risk

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Published on Feb 2, 2011

NACD Three Rivers' Event Emphasizes Importance of Reputational Risk
Contact: Lynn Mcmahon McMahon & Cardillo Communication Office: 412-921-6222 ext. 2
Mobile: 412-287-6751 lynn@mcmahon-cardillo.com

Pittsburgh, Jan. 12, 2011-Earlier this month, the National Association of Corporate Directors Three Rivers Chapter hosted "Importance of Reputational Risk." Aimed at corporate management and board members, the symposium addressed in part:
• Sources of reputational risks
• Board's measurement and monitoring of reputational risk
• Impact of new trends such as mobility and social networking on reputational risk • How much value is at risk
• How high in the organization responsibility rests when it comes to managing reputational risk

While the word "reputation" carries varies meaning depending on the context, participants worked with the idea that reputation is an impression held by stakeholders that creates a future expectation and a present behavior. Those impressions arise from how well a company fosters an ethical environment, promotes innovation, conforms to standards of quality and meets expectations for safety, security and sustainability.

"You need to constantly communicate with stakeholders, be present in the community," explained George Long, Chief Governance Counsel and Corporate Secretary, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. "You can't introduce yourself for the first time during a crisis and expect to be credible in the eyes of your stakeholders."

William Hernandez, Director, Black Box Corp., Eastman Kodak Co. and USG Corp. cautioned attendees that self-appointed stakeholders may not have the best interest of the company in mind. "As a Board member, you need to pick and choose who you listen to. All of these outside sources can affect your reputation, but not all of them can add value," he said. "While the CEO is the chief risk officer, the entire board is responsible for risk. The board needs to ensure that the
company can walk the walk and not exaggerate the reputation beyond what can be supported by actions. It is entwined with the corporate culture."

In addition to Long and Hernandez panelists included, The Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, Penn State University; and George Miles, Director, AIG; HFF, Inc.; Harley-Davidson, Inc.; WESCO International, Inc.; and EQT Corp. Dr. Nir Kossovsky, CEO, Steel City Re, moderated.

"The Importance of Reputational Risk" was the third program in the series "Governing in an Era of Rapid Change." For more information about NACD Three Rivers and upcoming programs, visit www.nacdthreerivers.org.

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