Managers, concerned about the consequences of decisions made in a pandemic

The study ‘Management Liability’, of QBE, explores the evolution of the professional responsibilities of senior managers, concerns derived from decisions made during the Covid-19 pandemic and complaints, as well as the environmental initiatives of companies and cyber risks.

One of the most outstanding data is the increase in responsibilities and competences in 7 out of 10 respondents (69%). In contrast, 5% of managers responded that their responsibilities have decreased in recent years, along with a quarter (26%) who stated that his responsibilities had not changed. The increase in responsibilities has had a negative impact for the majority (86%), with stress being the most common effect detected (48%).

Of the most common concerns expressed by respondents, financial uncertainty (42%), competition and profitability (33%) as well as health and safety (28%) stand out.


Regarding the effects derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, more than a quarter of those surveyed (28%) claim to be concerned about possible consequences and problems derived from decisions and actions taken during the pandemic.

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Only a tenth (12%) of those surveyed stated that their risk profile had not changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 5% said his risk profile had improved, while for 4 out of 5 (82%) their risk profile had worsened.

42% said the pandemic had increased your financial / economic risks, and the same proportion said that concern for the health and safety of employees in the workplace has increased. Additionally, 28% explained that they believe it has caused a potential increase in employee safety concerns due to hybrid work environments.

Complaints to managers

The study highlights that one in six executives affirms that they have received a complaint individually, as a member of senior management. Along the same lines, three out of 10 respondents affirm that they would like there to be more processes that protect them over your liability for a hypothetical claim.

Recent changes in Spanish law have increased the responsibilities and accountability of senior managers. As a result of these changes, half (48%) are more concerned for a lawsuit against them, while a third (34%) do not understand how the changes will affect their role.

As a result of recent changes in legislation, two-fifths (39%) say their company has not reviewed the number of D&O insurance policies purchased, while 44% say their company has and 17% have not. Are you sure.

Environmental initiatives in companies

The study also explores the importance of environmental initiatives in companies, and one of the conclusions in this area is that three out of five managers surveyed are concerned about the possible responsibility of not complying with the initiatives or report on weather-related exposures. In addition, the larger the company that the managers who participated in the study work for, the more likely they are to worry about possible liability for not complying with these measures.

On the other hand, only 13% of those surveyed affirm that the ESG initiatives They are a top priority for their company, while 35% said it was important, but they are not a top priority for their company. At the other extreme, 7% said they have some initiatives in place, but they are not of great importance, while 9% said that environmental initiatives were not important in their company nor did they have any in progress.

Some of the managers surveyed are aware that other competitors are doing better in this area, and a quarter (25%) believe that it is necessary to do more to keep up with the competition on environmental initiatives.

David Gimeno, Senior Underwriter of Financial Lines of QBE has highlighted: “Faced with the complex and changing legal, economic and social environment in which companies operate, the study allows us to see the diversity of opinions and situations that managers are experiencing. The impact of the pandemic is being asymmetric and unpredictable, but we can already see more clearly some sectors that have weathered the storm with more solvency and better results, and others that, on the contrary, are having a hard time getting ahead.

Cyber ​​risks

In terms of cybersecurity, two-thirds state that they use external providers to manage the cybersecurity of their data. Analyzing the data in detail, four-fifths (80%) of the respondents say that their company depends to some extent on third parties for the management of cybersecurity and / or data management. On the other hand, more than a third (37%) outsource part of this task, a quarter (26%) outsource most of it and 17% totally trust external providers.

Of those who trust third-party providers to some extent, 9% say they do not know whose responsibility it is in the event of a security breach in which a provider is involved.

Luis Alonso, QBE Cyber ​​Risk Subscriber, has indicated: “The percentage of respondents who consider that employee security problems have increased due to the pandemic and the new remote work environment, seems low since the reports that reach us mark a clear upward trend in cyber incidents . Hackers mainly focus on unauthorized penetration of poorly protected communication channels that have been created to connect employees from their offshored environments to the networks and central systems of their companies ”.

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