Global calamity and an unpredictable business climate are good for this firm

Brian Sozzi

With daily headlines churning up fear on trade wars, currency wars and unpredictable presidential Twitter feeds, it’s a good time to be in the business of risk management.

Or more specifically, it’s prime time to be Aon (AON).

The advisory and risk management firm delivered second quarter organic revenue growth of 6%. Adjusted operating profit margins surged 240 basis points from the prior year. The company notched sales growth in all of its business segments: commercial risk solutions, health solutions and reinsurance.

Aon shares (AON) have gained an impressive 26% this year, according to Yahoo Finance data. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) are up 15% and 11%, respectively, on the year.

Aon co-president Eric Andersen tells Yahoo Finance the success this year is tied to more companies seeking out risk management services in the unpredictable business climate.

The US Bank Tower and the AON Corporation building are pictured as part of the Los Angeles, California skyline February 9, 2012. AON is a global provider of risk management and insurance products.REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CITYSPACE)

So far, despite the return of volatility to global stock markets and slowing economic growth due to the escalating U.S-China trade war, Andersen says Aon’s clients aren’t cutting back yet on capex or hiring plans.

“They all want to grow as companies,” Andersen says. “And they all realize they must innovate to do so.”

Even still, many companies remain nervous in this topsy turvy global environment and are ill prepared.

Risk readiness dropped to its lowest level in 12 years, according to a recent survey from Aon. Respondents ranked an economic slowdown as their number one risk. Accelerated changes in markets from more protectionist trade policies jumped to one of the top three concerns among businesses leaders from 38 the year before.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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