Final Days in Vietnam

By Sara Smith

I spent my final days in Vietnam working with BaoViet insurance. I had a very formal meeting with about 18 staff members about the practice of Enterprise Risk Management. BaoViet had used many consultants in the past, but the actual implementation part has been very difficult. I walked them through how we practice ERM at ALPS. We have a committee that meets quarterly that looks at all of our risks. I showed them how we stress tests the risks and the power of the heat map as a way to quickly identify and quantify risks. I think we both learned a lot from the meeting. I was provided a sample of their quarterly reports so I could make comments and get a strong understanding of how they looked at risk. I suggested some thoughts and ideas about to look at operational risks, an area they are not focusing on very much. We exchanged information and we will be continuing to communicate.

I also met with BaoViet’s Chief Actuary, Mr. Dung, and his team. We discussed some of the challenges at BaoViet from gaining a rating from AM Best. By just being in Vietnam, the company faces many headwinds and challenges. At the moment, the market is not competitive on ratings so the push to achieve a rating with Best is not a priority. However, as the market develops, the rating process is something BaoViet has the time to work and focus on.

I had the opportunity to also meet with many of the past and future fellows in the program. I also met Tuyen Pham and his wife ShuShu, who actually live in Missoula. Nothing makes the world the seem smaller than forging a connection with people in your hometown when you are half a world away!

I am so incredibly grateful to this experience. I’m especially in debt to Thao for opening so many doors for me, and finding me Tu, who led me through the streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, teaching me how to cross the street as well as what food to eat.


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