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As International Business Activity Heats Up, So Do Supply Chain Fears, Chubb Survey Finds

WARREN, N.J., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As U.S. and Canadian businesses plan to expand their business overseas this year, supply chain failures, data breaches and political instability are weighing heavily on the minds of their executives, according to a survey by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. 

The 2014 Chubb Multinational Risk Survey identified the top overseas business threat as supply chain failure (19%). A data breach/cyber event (15%) was ranked second, and government/regulatory investigation and political instability were tied for third (13%). Natural catastrophe (12%) was ranked fourth out of the 10 events listed.  

The survey also found that one in two (52%) businesses plans to increase its overseas activity in 2014. Survey respondents expect to increase overseas travel (27%), introduce new products in foreign markets (27%) and increase employee headcount abroad (26%). 

"Companies, large and small, continue to seek out new business opportunities abroad, and they increasingly are being confronted by political and economic turmoil, natural and manmade disasters, and regulatory hurdles," said Kathleen Ellis, senior vice president and worldwide manager for Chubb Multinational Solutions. "As they expand their international business operations, companies need to take a more holistic or global approach to managing risk."

Nearly half (45%) of the executives surveyed noted that overseas risks pose a greater threat to their company than domestic ones, while one-third (33%) reported that overseas risks are an equal threat.  In addition, nearly half (48%) of the companies had experienced at least one loss related to conducting business overseas over the last three years.

Supply Chain RiskDespite their concern regarding supply chain failure, only 56% of companies have a business continuity plan that addresses overseas risks, and 22% of companies that do have a plan have never tested it.

Larger companies (74%) were much more likely to be prepared for overseas business interruptions than smaller companies (48%).

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