Nicola Seneviratne, RiskSTOP Risk Management Consultant, spends much of her time visiting iconic and lavish buildings across London. However, this is not her pastime! Her risk expertise helps protect these buildings, their occupants and their heavily invested owners…
“When people ask me what I do, I usually explain it by saying that if I was to get it badly wrong I could change a big chunk of London’s skyline in a flash!”
Nicola’s role is to carry out risk surveys at properties ranging from foreign embassies to landmark hotels and then report back with any recommendations or risk improvements she feels are needed.
“My main concern is to prevent these buildings from burning down, flooding or being damaged in some other way. It’s certainly a big responsibility, especially when you consider that so many of London’s properties have features that have been around for many hundreds of years.”
Her background is a little different. While many insurance risk surveyors come from underwriting, Nicola used to handle claims in the early part of her career before moving on to investigations and loss adjusting.
“It gives me a slightly different perspective, I guess. I look at it as a way of preventing the kind of terrible things I’ve seen happen, from happening in the first place.”
She added: “I really love my job, in fact I think it’s the best job in the world. Firstly, I get to meet a lot of really wonderful people who are often passionate about the properties they manage or own. And quite often I get to see parts of buildings most people would never have access to. No one day is ever the same, that’s for sure.
“However, for me the most important part is that I feel like I’m making a real difference through my work. It isn’t always easy, but so many of the property owners I encounter are people I’ve known for quite some time, so often there’s already a rapport there, a strong relationship that’s been built over time, so that certainly helps.
“And whenever I meet someone new I always take the view that I’ve got at most around 60 seconds to get them to like and respect me. So, I never introduce myself by telling people what they should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s always about them and their property, such as an interesting feature, just to break that ice.
“This is a people role primarily and it’s about finding a useful and well-reasoned way of helping them avoid the kind of devastating consequences no one would ever wish to face.”