In Centuries to come people will no longer talk about Pandora’s Box and how the furies a little girl unleashed visited pandemonium upon the ancient world.
They will, instead, talk about “Boris’ Brexit” and how it unleashed furious Farage upon the world, thus paving the way for a society in which we have a PEOTUS (that’s President Elect of The United States ICYDK) who divides his time between engaging in Twitter spats with actresses over his abuse of a disabled journalist, and appointing his son-in-law as his chief advisor.
Is there a precedent for that – well, the Emperor Caligula is alleged to have made his favourite horse a senator; historians (the media?) told of his “cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant”, says Wikipedia. Plus ca change, eh.
Whatever you think about the likely ramifications of the UK’s decision to quit the EU (and it is worth bearing in mind that a/ it might take 10 years, b/ many other countries may also quit the EU and c/ this does not necessarily make them separatist or bigoted, merely concerned that the EU as an organisation had become out of touch, bureaucratic and unfair), it’s as well to have a coping strategy.
After all, hindsight may be a wonderful thing, but foresight is even better.
Step forward then AON. The US headquartered insurance giant has announced today that it has launched an initiative called the Brexit Navigator, “a bespoke and proprietary three-step solution designed to help organisations quantify the impact of Brexit risk exposures, and redesign risk management and risk financing structures.”
The Navigator is also “supported by an interactive tool that presents scenario-based insights for each of the EU Four Freedoms: Goods, Capital, Services and People, which help assess the impact of Brexit.”
So, What Are The Three Steps?
It starts with the “Baseline”, which “evaluates just how Brexit-ready an organisation is, mapping out the potential risks and opportunities.”
Step two, named “Balance”, aims to realign the risk management and insurance programme to adapt to the new organisational risk tolerance and appetite.
And finally, “Horizon”, applies a series of tests to the changes “introduced to an organisation’s programme to help ensure resilience for the future.”
“Brexit Navigator is a great example of what we do best at Aon; an innovative solution created by experts who have listened to what our clients need”, says Eddie McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Officer EMEA at AON Global Risk Consulting; “Like all emerging risks, the sooner an organisation can plan for an eventual outcome the better. Brexit Navigator will help clients measure and respond to risks and opportunities created by Brexit.”
An accompanying video released by AON goes into more detail about how the Brexit Navigator can help companies establish how the cost and availability of goods might affect their business dealings with UK based (or even European) enterprises, how cross border services may be affected, whether capital mobility may be restricted, and whether to expect changes to workforce management protocols and procedures.
Brexit Spells Opportunity For Consultants
What is becoming increasingly clear as we are reminded almost daily that “Brexit means Brexit”, and there is no turning back (despite the best efforts of Remainers to co-ordinate legal challenges and mount tangible resistance to an eventuality many are finding it almost impossible to confront), is that there is a rich vein of opportunity to be mined amongst the confusion, to anyone who can start of make sense of the ramifications of this “conscious uncoupling”, for want of a better expression, between the UK and Europe.
Will the UK pitch itself as a tax haven, or heavily incentivising top American, Chinese, and Indian firms (for example) by reducing red tape and making VISA application for non-EU citizens more straightforward?
Will the UK experience a “brain drain”, with top European talent, particularly entrepreneurial talent, opting to base themselves in emerging start-up hubs such as Paris, Berlin, or Lisbon, rather than London or Leeds?
Will the UK be able to cope without the ability to reach out for guidance to the only body capable of applying checks and balances to powerful government figures and business leaders, or will it become the ultimate Darwinian business environment, protecting the rich, and punishing the poor for their reliance on a shrinking state.
Much depends on whether Brexit happens in 1 year, or 10, and at this stage in the negotiations, (Theresa May’s governing party have still not even invoked Article 50 yet), it is not at all clear which is the more likely.
Firms Must Avoid Creating A Self-fulfilling Prophecy
Suffice it to say, when it comes to Brexit negotiations, patience may be firm’s biggest virtue. “let’s just get it over with” represents the worst kind of muddled, rabbit-in-a-headlights reaction to an event that hasn’t happened, and one whose outcome we can still influence at that.
That said, every business will want to have some kind of contingency plan in place – the question is more “how much time, energy and resource should we devote to putting plans in place.”
Any consultancy firm that can answer these kinds of questions with the minimum of fuss will be worth taking a look at, and AON’s effort certainly feels streamlined.
Request the demo, by all means, but don’t lose your heads, founders. The implications of Brexit are troubling, but ultimately, they will be determined most of all by how we engage with the process. Contingency planning will be essential, just as long as firms don’t go overboard.