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Building Resilience in Times of Crisis

A podcast interview with
A crowd of women and children wearing winter clothing and masks, and carrying bags group together outside as they wait for a train.

Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast series helps listeners better understand key risks, build more effective insurance programs, and think creatively about risk.

The unprovoked conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a major humanitarian crisis, and created one of the most significant geopolitical crises of our time — with substantial risk and insurance implications. Pat Donnelly, president of Marsh U.S. and Canada, and Michelle Sartain, head of Marsh Specialty for the U.S. and Canada, discuss the implications of the Ukraine crisis on businesses and some of the persisting challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the rapid impacts of a new risk:

“The crisis in Ukraine really underscores how quickly a new risk may arise, with repercussions around the world that impact both people and businesses.” – Michelle Sartain

On communication during times of crisis:

The way businesses manage and communicate with their people is critical, including providing a clear understanding of the organization’s position and what is being done to support those impacted. Lead with empathy even when you don’t have all the answers.” – Pat Donnelly

On the importance of building resilience:

The pandemic in this current crisis emphasized the importance of long-term resilience strategies. And resilience needs to be seen as a continual process. Building resilience — or the practice of resilience — rather than achieving resilience.” – Pat Donnelly

On the impact of the Ukraine crisis on supply chains:

The pandemic showed us the fragility of modern supply chains, which are also being threatened by the current conflict, and that fragility can impact both businesses and people.” – Pat Donnelly

Pat Donnelly

President of Marsh US & Canada

Pat Donnelly is President of Marsh US and Canada, where he oversees insurance brokerage and risk advisory businesses throughout the region. He is a member of the Marsh Global Executive Committee. With more than 20 years of experience in risk management and insurance, Pat previously served as the Head of Marsh Specialty for the US & Canada. Prior to joining Marsh, Pat served as the Chief Executive Officer of JLT Specialty US, where he led the buildout of the US retail business — and the integration of JLT into Marsh in 2019. 

Michelle Sartain

Head of Marsh Specialty, US & Canada

Michelle Sartain is the regional specialty leader for the US and Canada division, responsible for delivering specialization to clients in the construction, energy and power, private equity, transactional risk, credit specialties, marine, aviation, and FINPRO businesses. Michelle is also a member of the US and Canada executive committee. Prior to her appointment, Michelle was the FINPRO Practice Leader for the US and Canada, responsible for building resilient teams, driving growth and client innovation in the management liability and cyber business. 

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