In the latest in a series of interviews with the chairs of Airmic’s special interest groups (SIGs), Airmic News talks to the chair of Airmic’s retail SIG, Lisa Meredith, group head of risk and insurance for Selfridges Group.
How long have you been involved in the Airmic SIGs and as Chair of the Retail SIG in particular?
I’ve been involved with the Airmic retail SIG over many years. Starting in 2008 when I moved into an insurance role and needed to broaden my peer network, and more recently in August 2020 as co-chair.
What are the hot topics of recent Retail SIG meetings and (if possible) what’s on the agenda for the next meeting?
Over the last year it’s no surprise that navigating Covid-19 has been the primary area of attention. The pandemic has affected the sector in a myriad of ways, from food retailers who have been on the front line throughout, to the seismic shift in customer mindsets which has led to the acceleration of online and new ways of working.
Our discussions have therefore focused on the key challenges and what we can learn from each other; sharing solutions for the benefit of all.
We’ve covered everything from reputational risk and managing an effective renewal when future trading is uncertain; through to manging the risk of employment and discrimination claims and navigating effective Covid controls as government restrictions are dialled down.
Looking ahead, retail insurance and risk managers continue to be concerned about pressure on global supply chains, cyber risk and resilience, and culture mental health and wellbeing. ESG is also an increasing area of focus.
As chair, what have been some of the challenges posed / opportunities provided by the SIG meetings in the context of the past year?
Airmic provides many opportunities for members to learn and develop, but the SIGs provide something in addition; they offer a support network and safe space to openly share challenges, seek advice. There’s no such thing as a stupid question and everyone is welcome!