Managing the Invisible: Measuring Risk, Managing Capital, Maximizing Value

20 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2006

Date Written: March 2006


Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a body of knowledge - concepts, methods, and techniques - that enables a firm to understand, measure, and manage its overall risk so as to maximize the firm's value to shareholders and policyholders. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate this often-asserted but seldom-described linkage between ERM on the one hand, and maximizing a firm's value on the other. In Part 1 I argue that ERM, by measuring the firm's aggregate risk exposure, enables the firm's managers to identify and choose value-maximizing combinations of risk and capital. In Part 2 I describe and critique the rules of thumb that CFO's typically rely on to make critical decisions concerning the firm's capital structure, and propose value maximization as an alternative. Part 3 describes alternative approaches to valuing a firm, and Part 4 presents a valuation model for a property-casualty firm. Part 5 shows how this valuation model can assist managers in making value-maximizing strategic decisions, and Part 6 emphasizes the substantial importance to insurance executives of value-focused ERM, which makes the value of the firm both visible and manageable.

Keywords: Enterprise Risk Management, ERM, franchise value, valuation, capital structure, optimization, property-casualty

JEL Classification: G22, G32

Suggested Citation

Panning, William H., Managing the Invisible: Measuring Risk, Managing Capital, Maximizing Value (March 2006). Available at SSRN: or

William H. Panning (Contact Author)

Willis Re, Inc. ( email )

1 World Financial Center
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
United States

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