Reputation Risk: time for a rethink?

Held on Thursday, February 23, 2017, 8.30-10.00am


  • Anthony Fitzsimmons (Reputability)

  • Stephen Haddrill (FRC)

  • Colin Melvin (Social Stock Exchange)

  • Philip Gawith (Teneo Blue Rubicon)

  • John Thirlwell (Institute of Operational Risk)



Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s what I was taught as a child. But then along came Gerald Ratner, and it became clear that reputations are fragile, and that damaging them costs money. Since then, BP, AIG, Volkswagen and many other firms have learned the same lesson.

That said, the management of reputation risk is an evolving discipline, and I am delighted that Anthony Fitzsimmons, the chairman of Reputability, has agreed to explain the thinking behind his latest book, Rethinking Reputational Risk (which he co-wrote with Professor Derek Atkins).

How companies live up to the expectations of both investors and customers is a serious issue, but I doubt that Anthony and Derek have had the last word. Indeed, I am delighted that we have been able to put together a distinguished panel that (I am sure) will take issue with at least some of their conclusions:

  • Stephen Haddrill is chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council. He is a former Director General of the ABI, and previously held a succession of senior posts at the DTI.
  • Colin Melvin is chairman of the Social Stock Exchange. He was chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk committee of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment, and previously global head of stewardship at Hermes and CEO of Hermes EOS.
  • Philip Gawith is a senior managing director at Teneo Blue Rubicon. He founded StockWell Communications in 2010 (acquired by Teneo in 2015), and was previously chief executive of Maitland.
  • John Thirlwell is a non-executive director at the Institute for Operational Risk and co-author of Mastering Operational Risk. He is a former member of the risk committee of the Lloyd's Market Association, and director of risk and regulation at the BBA.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join the discussion, please call the office on 020 7621 1056 or email Coffee, tea and buns will be available as usual.