How WTW Partnered with Oxford Analytica to Pinpoint Today’s Top Geopolitical Risks

WTW, the third largest insurance broker in the world, operates in more than 140 countries and has a workforce of more than 45,000 employees. They offer their clients data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk, and capital.

Starting in 2017, WTW has partnered with Oxford Analytica to conduct an annual survey report of top global companies to understand the key geopolitical risks facing large corporations, the size of impact on their businesses, and approaches to managing these risks.

Founded in 1975, Oxford Analytica is the pioneer of geopolitical risk analysis, and today works with the world’s most influential businesses, governments, and international organizations to advise on their strategies, operations, policies and investments. “We knew that Oxford Analytica’s reputation and expert analysis would help us produce a credible and useful report for our clients,” explains Sam Wilkin, Director of Political Risk Analytics at WTW.

For the fifth annual survey in 2022, Wilkin’s team at WTW worked together with Oxford Analytica to research and write questions for the survey that would be targeted at over forty major global companies. The process began with an online questionnaire followed up by more than 15 deep-dive interviews of executives across the participating companies to help contextualize the results. To encourage participation and protect confidentiality, the results were kept anonymous.

The survey targeted senior executives at asset intensive global businesses, including manufacturing, consumer products and extractives companies. The footprint of these companies can elevate their risk profile to global, regional, and country turmoil. “Our study participants tended to represent companies that have extensive international operations and invest heavily in the management of political risk.”

After four months of interviewing clients and synthesizing results, WTW and Oxford Analytica collaborated to create and design a report outlining the biggest challenges facing these companies today. The results of the report highlighted the increased business risks involved in the deteriorating relationship between the East and West.

Clients of both WTW and Oxford Analytica have come to rely on the results of the report each year to influence strategic planning and risk management solutions. The report has been highlighted in the Financial Times and is largely used to track large companies’ historical losses from political risk, as well as their future geopolitical concerns.