Jean-Marie agreed to tell us a little about himself, as a risk manager and a long-time BELRIM member.
I am a lawyer by education (graduated in 1983 from the ULB) and I started my career as legal Adviser within the Casualty Underwriting Department of AXA, where I gained experience in underwriting (casualty, product liability, medical professional liability, workers compensation), claims handling, general and particular insurance terms and conditions
I joined UCB in 1989, and went through different functions.
My initial responsibility at UCB was the management of the Global Product Liability Policy of the UCB group.
The purpose was obviously to protect our group as producer or seller of pharmaceutical products, and to properly cover our research and development of new products (R&D). My main challenge in this role has been to obtain the agreement from the Product Liability Insurers to cover a class of products difficult to place, and traditionally excluded by insurers and reinsurers;
Also, I was managing the product liability claims from an insurance standpoint, which inevitably resulted in serious confrontation and conflicts with the big players on the market! I have positive memories of this experience, and I have even maintained privileged relationships with some of my interlocutors. I am certain that at least one of them will recognize himself….
In 2004 and 2007 UCB went through the acquisition process of 2 important pharma companies, and we successfully integrated these new businesses in the insurance programmes of the company.
From there I was asked to develop and put in place the Risk Management Policy of UCB, a very long but very exciting cross-functional activity. I respectively achieved the coordination of the definition (2007), setting up (2008) and implementation (2009) of UCB’s Corporate Risk Management Policy, ensuring compliance with corporate governance, legal and regulatory imperatives and stakeholder expectations. Also, I coordinated the creation of our corporate risk database, providing access to reliable risk data on intranet. In this role I acted as Secretary to the Corporate Risk Management Committee of UCB.
And in 2011 I was proposed to contribute to the creation of a new Ethics and Compliance team in our Company. Today I am heading the Corporate Data Privacy team in the group.
Data privacy and data protection has become very important for the companies, and even critical for organizations collecting and using health data like we do in Life Science.
Big changes will happen in this matter with the adoption of the new General Data Protection Regulation which will become effective mid-2018. My current priority is to formulate a game plan to address the transitional steps we need to take locally, regionally and globally to meet compliance when the GDPR comes into force.
There are still many connections to risk management in my new role, as we have to conduct data protection impact assessments
for high-risk processing activities, and the new regulation encourages a risk-based compliance approach.
I joined the Board of Belrim about 10 years ago. I accepted this mandate because I was one of those members who were considering at that time that Risk Management was not enough on the agenda of the Association. Our activities were too much focusing on Insurance and captive management only, and we were convinced that Belrim had to change this. So, progressively, step by step, with the support of colleagues who like me were convinced that risk management creates huge value for the Board and is a key component of the success of a company, we have organized more and more events where risk managers shared their experience, knowledge and tools. This is something which has really improved the professional life of some of us, because they simply did not know “how to start” a risk management program… Openly sharing good or bad experiences in this matter, success and failures, practices, tricks and ideas, is really critical in my opinion. For me, this knowledge sharing has to be the ultimate purpose of an association like BELRIM. I hope that I have somewhere modestly contributed to achieve this goal and vision.