Society of Actuaries (SOA) Annual Meeting, 2012

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Enterprise Risk Management –
Small Businesses
2012 SOA Annual Meeting
Session 21
Jay Vadiveloo, Towers Watson
Dr. H.G. Parsa, University of Denver
© 2011 Towers Watson. All rights reserved.
Outline

Motivation for Enterprise Risk Management for Small Businesses
(ERM-SB) initiative

Why ERM-SB does not exist?

Similarities and differences between ERM for large corporations and
small businesses

ERMSB initiative at the Goldenson Center, Univ. of Connecticut

Case study – ERM analysis of the Restaurant Industry

Where do we go from here?

Conclusion
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Motivation for ERM-SB Initiative

Small businesses are the largest, fastest growing and most
important segment of the American economy

Small businesses experience one of the highest failure rates
compared to large corporations

Lack of any institutional or formalized risk management for small
businesses

Small businesses do not practice risk management in a formalized
or organized manner.

Enterprise Risk Management is a comprehensive approach
addressing risk in all functional areas

ERM is an effective proactive prevention tool for small businesses
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Why ERM is not popular with Small Businesses?

Small Businesses do not use ERM frequently for

Lack of familiarity

Cost of implementation

Fear of change

May be financially unable to do so

Unaware of benefits of ERM
— ERM as a prevention tool
— ERM as an early ‘wake up’ call
— ERM as a comparative analysis tool
— ERM as a financial tool
As a consequence, ERM principles and literature are tailored
primarily to large corporations
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ERM for Large Corporations Vs. Small Businesses

Fundamental Steps are Similar

Identify and prioritize risks

Model and quantify the risks

Customize the model for the industry / firm

Create risk-mitigation strategies

ERM as an ‘exercise regime’ for healthy operation of a small business

ERM reduces insurance costs

ERM lowers workman compensation costs

ERM lowers potential risk in financial matters

ERM helps in identifying operational risks and the associated costs
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Differences with ERM for Large Corporations

Needs to incorporate business growth strategies as well

Need to focus on reasonably likely risks with serious consequences
versus low likelihood events with serious consequences

Business owners are very knowledgeable about risks and business
growth strategies

Easier to assess and manage risks of a small business, but
consequences of a risk shock are far greater

Qualitative Risks Vs. Quantitative Risks

ERM analysis covers shorter time periods (one to three years) and
should be revisited periodically to remain relevant
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Differences with ERM for Large Corporations: continued
A well defined ERM analysis, which incorporates business
growth strategies, can materially improve the sustainability
and profitability of a small business
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ERM Initiative at the Goldenson Center,
Univ. of Connecticut

Successfully operating for the past three years

Numerous success stories of helping small businesses with ERM

Students are funded by the Goldenson Center to undertake ERM-SB
projects in the region

Service offered free-of-charge to small businesses

Students work in teams and provide a formal written ERM report and
any software tools at the end of each project

It is a win-win situation

Small scale operations are in progress and on-going

Restaurant industry is the ideal choice for testing ERM-SB model,
towerswatson.com
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Enterprise Risk Management –
Restaurant Industry
© 2011 Towers Watson. All rights reserved.
ERM IN SMALL Businesses

Service Economy

Restaurants as a Case Study

One of the largest service industries in US

Over $640 Billion in annual sales

Nearly 13 million employed in this industry

Americans eat 1 in 3 meals at restaurants

A classic small business industry
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses

Failure Rate in Restaurants

Over 30% of restaurants fail in the first year

Nearly 60% fail in 3 years

Survival rate dramatically increases after the 5th year

Independents have higher failure rate than chain restaurants

Failure rate depends on various factors
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Factors in Restaurant Failure:

Macro Factors
 Economy, Legislation, Tourism, Food Trends, Technology, Demographic
Shifts

Micro Factors
 Prime Costs, Management, Working Capital, Quality of Life, Entrepreneurial
Incompetence, Control Systems, Cash Flow Mgmt.
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses

Factors in Restaurant Failure:
1.
Size of a Restaurant: Small vs Large
2.
Ownership: Franchised Vs Non-Franchised
3.
Concept: Regional preferences
4.
Location: Downtowns Vs Suburbs
5.
Location: Zip Codes
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses

Factors in Restaurant Failure:
6. Demographics – Study from Boulder, CO
7. Working Capital Vs Investment Capital
8. Cost Structure – Prime Costs
9. Economy – Tourism in particular
10. Legislation – National, Regional and Local
11. Legislation – Calories – Study
towerswatson.com
from Denver Univ.
ERM IN SMALL Businesses


Restaurant Failure Studies –

Columbus, Oh - Ohio State University

Atlanta, GA

Los Angeles, CA

Boulder, CO
Case Studies – Cornell
towerswatson.com
University Report
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Risk Metrics and ERM in Restaurants

Financial Metrics

Operational Metrics
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Financial Risk Metrics in Restaurants
1.
Sales per Unit
2.
Sales Growth in Dollars per Unit
3.
Sales Growth Rate over 1, 3, 5 years
4.
Ratio of Food to Beverage Sales
5.
Prime Cost (Food / Labor Cost)
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Financial Risk Metrics in Restaurants
1.
Gross Margin
2.
IBITAD
3.
Cash Flow Analysis
4.
Debt to Income Ratio
5.
Current Asset Ratios
6.
Fixed Costs and Long term Commitments
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Operational Risk Metrics in Restaurants
1.
Guest Check Averages
2.
Number of Seats
3.
QSC Scores
4.
Level of Ambiance
5.
Employee Turnover Ratios
towerswatson.com
ERM IN SMALL Businesses
Operational Risk Metrics in Restaurants
1.
Management Turnover Ratios
2.
Number of Seat Hours
3.
Number of Transactions (Covers)
4.
Number of Transactions per Ops. Hour
5.
Longevity of the Business
6.
Terms of Lease
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Risk Metrics and
ERM in Restaurants
Expected Outcomes

Lower Failure Rates

Improved Success Rates within a System

Caution Notice for Potential Failures

Proactive Strategies when at Risk

Comparative Analysis

New Market Analysis for Risk

New Location Analysis for Risk
towerswatson.com
Risk Metrics and
ERM in Restaurants
Expected Outcomes

Lowering of Financial Risks

Improved Investment Decisions

Improved Operations

Good Public Policy –

Good Private Decisions – financial & operational
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helping small businesses
Where Do We Go From Here?

Need to expand the Goldenson Center’s ERM-SB initiative in order to
make an impact in the Restaurant Industry or other business sectors

Any large scale implementation should be supported by a large
organization, corporation, private foundation and government agencies
and not necessarily by a small business

Most cost-effective way to undertake these projects is to partner with
academic institutions and engage students at universities all over the
country
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Where do we go from here cont’d
ERM text for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME’s)

Approached by Actex publishers to write text

No such text currently exists in the ERM literature

The SOA has expressed an interest in funding this text from their 2013
research budget

Articles will be contributed by experts in the field, both practitioners
and academicians

If properly designed, this book could become a required text for
students following the SOA ERM track
towerswatson.com
towerswatson
©
2012
Tow
ers
Where do we go from here cont’d
Potential Topics for text on SME’s

Underlying principles governing ERM for SME’s

Overview of SME’s in the US



Differences/similarities between ERM principles for start-up SME’s, SME’s
in business for a few years and established SME’s
In-depth ERM analysis of some key SME business sectors based on
actual case studies
Regulatory environment for SME’s and impact on failure rates of SME’s

Steps involved to undertake an ERM analysis for a given SME sector,
including measuring and tracking results

General ERM principles and methodologies for large corporations which
can be adapted for SME’s

Best practices to create a vibrant and growing SME environment in the
US and the value of establishing a risk management culture for SME’s
towerswatson.com
towerswatson
©
2012
Tow
ers
Conclusion

The Goldenson Center has just scratched the surface in showing how
an effective ERM culture can be created with small businesses

ERM-SB is a form of micro-risk management and can be replicated
globally with funding from large corporations and other entities with
university students doing the projects

To have an impact, ERM-SB should analyze and monitor an entire
small business sector (e.g. restaurant industry, retail drug store
industry, independent marketing organizations, etc) versus individual
small businesses

Huge payoff since any reduction in the failure rate for small businesses
would be a boost to the overall economy
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Contact Information
1. Jay Vadiveloo, Ph.D, FSA, MAAA, CFA
Professor-in-Residence & Director
Janet & Mark L. Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research,
University of Connecticut &
Senior Consultant, Towers Watson
[email protected]
2. H.G. Parsa, Ph.D., FMP
Barron Hilton Chair in Lodging & Professor of Hospitality Mgmt.
Associate Editor, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research (JHTR)
Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Mgmt.
Joy Burns Center
2044 E. Evans Ave
Daniels College of Business
University of Denver
Denver, CO 80208-2100
(303) 871-4791
[email protected]
towerswatson.com
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