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Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section
June 2020

Issues & Answers: Brave New World

Ryan Nava, associate vice president, Financial Institutions at Nationwide, reported that the Management Liability is carefully observing the economic impact of COVID-19, especially for companies directly affected by the pandemic. Peter Trochev, associate vice president, Financial Institutions at Nationwide, concurred, saying “our approach is to give every account the service that it deserves and determine how to best provide a solution.” The following are excerpts of an interview.

Ryan Nava

Ryan Nava
AVP, Financial Institutions Management Liability and Specialty

Peter Trochev

Peter Trochev
AVP, Financial Institutions Management Liability and Specialty


At a Glance

  • Fortune 100 Company.
  • AM Best rated A+ (Superior), FSC XV.


Is the Fed policy during distressed times having an impact on insurers?

Nava: It’s helping the economy overall for now. The Federal Reserve has taken a lot of action to slow the decline in the economy, which is a major part of why the Fed exists. Their actions are supporting the economy for now, however my concern is if this goes on for an extended period of time, those supports may not be enough. 
Trochev: A business relying on commercial paper, repurchase agreement, or anything highly leveraged is going to have a hard time right now. With programs designed to help businesses sustain themselves, the Fed is implementing a round of quantitative easing the likes of which we have never seen.

Are you seeing an uptick in COVID-19-related claims?

Nava: We’ve seen some COVID-related claims come in, although more in the commercial space than in the financial institution space. We anticipate seeing more in the days ahead, but the bigger question is: will this pandemic result in major losses?  
Trochev: We can’t predict the future but financial stress on businesses could further strain the private equity space as portfolio companies see their supply chains disrupted.

What are you talking to clients about during these times?

Trochev: We ask what their exposure is and how they’re performing. More importantly, what is their strategy or approach to mitigate the current risks in order to find a subsistence level.
Nava: We also ask how COVID-19 is affecting their relationship with their clients from an investment-adviser perspective. Are they still able to communicate with them effectively? Thankfully, technology has allowed the markets, work and life to go on, especially in the FI world. Technology has enabled this transition to be much, much smoother for everyone.

How is Nationwide meeting the challenge for clients through these trying times?

Trochev: We start with our mission statement, which is to protect people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care. We’ve been helping our members protect assets and prepare for their future for nearly 100 years. It’s at the heart of who we are and it’s what we’ll continue to do in our work and in our service during this pandemic.
Nava: We went from 90% of our workforce in an office, to 98% work-from-home in the matter of a week without missing a beat or any material issues affecting our members. We look to be proactive, not reactive. No matter what challenges we face, we’re prepared to continue to operate with our members’ best interests at heart.