America’s premier podcast about the risk and reward of doing business in uncertain economic times is back! Welcome to season two of Wheel of Risk, proudly presented by Allianz Trade. Over the course of eight episodes, host Alix McCabe and her team of experts are set to explore a whole new series of timely and relevant topics, from bank failures and rising interest rates to the threat of zombie firms and the cyclical nature of recession and recovery. They’ll also tackle some common myths and misconceptions about trade credit insurance, and bring you expert advice and actionable insights designed to help you keep your business safe, secure, and profitable — even in challenging times. Listen now to season two of Wheel of Risk, on all the major podcast platforms.
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How can you confidently continue to do business with companies that could lose funding from their banks? That’s a question many organizations have been grappling with since the historic situation in the U.S. financial sector. The much-publicized failure of Silicon Valley Bank was actually one of three bank collapses in March of 2023, and the fallout could continue to pose a challenge for some time to come.

On this season premiere episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe sits down with Justin Seedorf, Southwest Regional Vice President at Allianz Trade Americas, for a comprehensive look at the cause and ramifications of the situation at SVB. They’ll also hear from Dan North, Allianz Trade’s Senior Economist for North America, who breaks down the long-term outlook for banks, their customers, and the economy in general, as they contend with the new regulatory environment in which they find themselves.

They are companies that don’t turn a profit, they only make enough money to service their existing debt and stave off bankruptcy. To the casual observer they’re doing OK, but if you’re savvy enough to dig a little deeper, it becomes clear; something isn’t quite right. And if you happen to make a deal with one of them, they could drag your business down too.

On this Hallowe’en-themed episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe tackles the topic of zombie firms, with the help of Allen Gebarowski, Regional Vice President, Northwest Region at Allianz Trade. Together, they discuss just how common these types of businesses are, how to spot the warning signs, and how to prevent your own organization from becoming ‘infected.’ They’ll also hear from Allianz Trade’s Senior Economist for North America Dan North, who shares his own expertise and insights on the risks these zombie companies present to other businesses.

Sure, it would be another expense at a time when many businesses are already stretched thin. But instead of asking yourself if you can afford to buy trade credit insurance, this podcast may get you wondering if your organization can afford to do business without it.

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe is joined by the Chief Commercial Officer at Allianz Trade Americas, Christina Montes de Oca, to bust some common myths and misconceptions about the value proposition of trade credit insurance, and discuss how U.S. companies in particular may be missing out on opportunities overseas. They’ll also dig into the numbers to explain why a policy’s price tag pales in comparison to the value it provides — not only as a safety net, but as an engine for growing your business beyond what you previously thought possible.

Have you ever noticed that there tends to be a spike in retail bankruptcies every January? It’s no coincidence. It’s because the preceding period from Black Friday to Christmas is among the most critical times of the entire year for many retailers, the suppliers with which they do business, and the U.S. economy in general.

On this special seasonal episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe is again joined by regular contributor Dan North, Allianz Trade’s Senior Economist for North America, for a timely deep dive into the importance of the holiday shopping season. Together, they examine the specific risk factors facing seasonal retailers, and discuss which economic conditions, like inflation, food costs, and gas prices, may affect or help predict how much money shoppers are going to spend. Dan will also share his forecast for the 2023 holiday shopping season in particular to help anyone with ties to the retail sector know what to expect.

How well do you remember the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007? It led to the collapse of many of America’s largest financial institutions, and an unprecedented, $700 billion government bailout of banks, insurance companies, and other lenders. It also popularized a phrase that is still widely used to this day; “too big to fail.”

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe digs into the dangers of that expression with the help of Justin Seedorf, Southwest Regional Vice President at Allianz Trade Americas. Together, they explore why doing business with large corporations or customers is no guarantee that your company won’t run into trouble. They’ll also dive into the potential ripple effects that can occur when a supposedly ‘fail-proof’ company does indeed collapse, and provide some invaluable food for thought for any business owner who believes they’re on solid financial footing because they only deal with “the big guys.”

From supply chain disruptions, bank failures, and labor disputes to inflation, interest rate hikes, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that businesses have faced an unprecedented confluence of challenges over the past few years. Unfortunately, they may not be out of the woods just yet.

On this special episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe moderates the show’s first-ever roundtable discussion, featuring Steve Georgetti, the Director of Risk Underwriting for the Americas at Allianz Trade, and two members of his risk team; Teresa Matney and Matt Cobo. Together, they break down the specific risks and opportunities facing a wide swath of businesses that operate in two key sectors of the economy; the tech and manufacturing industries. The team also highlights which key indicators to watch in the coming months and years, and shares expert advice about what businesses can do to weather — or benefit from — any peaks and valleys in the economic cycle.
It’s a term that’s seen a lot of use and prompted plenty of anxiety over the past few years: recession. Ever since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a barrage of media coverage about the state of the economy and where it’s headed. But it turns out, recessions may not be the economic bogeymen they’re made out to be… they’re simply part of a boom-bust cycle that dates back hundreds of years.

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe is joined by series stalwart Dan North, the Senior Economist for North America at Allianz Trade, for a deep dive into the cyclical nature of the U.S. economic system. One part history lesson, one part economics lesson, with a pinch of prognostication on the side, this podcast is essential listening for any business owner or manager who’s concerned about the toll that tough economic times can take on their organization’s bottom line.
It’s a defining characteristic of American culture; we love sports, we love business, and we love the people who excel at either endeavor. Both billionaires and top-level athletes are household names in this country. And it turns out, the values, and mindset it takes to succeed in athletic competition are identical to those you need to rise to the top in the world of business.

On this very special season finale of Wheel of Risk, host Alix McCabe is joined by two-time Paralympic athlete and medal winner for Team USA, Daniel Romanchuk. With a focus on prediction, preparation, and perseverance, their conversation ranges from Daniel’s early life in Maryland and his discovery of wheelchair racing, to his journey to the Rio Games in 2016 and on to Tokyo in 2020, where he faced unexpected challenges but still emerged victorious. The episode also highlights the importance of partnership, showcasing Daniel's support network and his collaboration with Allianz Trade, the Worldwide Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

It's one of those scenarios almost any business owner can relate to: one of your critical customers -- who accounts for a big chunk of your revenue -- is falling further and further behind on their payments, then stops meeting their deadlines altogether. What can you do, other than panic? 

On this series premiere episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, join host Alix McCabe as she sits down with Tim Nemec, the Chief Financial Officer of M. Lipsitz & Co. LTD, to discuss just such a situation. They’ll also hear from Allianz Trade’s Senior Economist for North America, Dan North, as they explore the surprisingly high-risk world of scrap metal recycling, where fluctuating commodity prices can be the difference between feast and famine. Listen to the very end for Dan’s expert analysis on the current economic situation, including the looming likelihood of recession, and for Tim’s ‘parting gift’ to listeners; some important advice to help other businesses avoid the same snags his company has faced.

It used to be a foundational part of any business relationship. But in our increasingly digital, modern world -- where many deals are made without even meeting people in person -- trust has become an increasingly rare commodity. So at what point should you let gut feelings or red flags begin to erode the trust you have in a client or customer?  

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, host Alix McCabe is joined by Aaron Sanders, the founder of Red River Logistics in Dallas Texas, who has an unusual story about a client that owed his company more than a million dollars, and started treating every single payment as a noteworthy occasion. Also joining the conversation is Justin Seedorf, Southwest Regional Vice President at Allianz Trade, to offer his perspective on managing risk, and the importance of doing your due diligence on any potential partners, customers, or clients before signing on that dotted line.

It’s a riff on one of the most memorable lines in movie history -- but in this case, the team at Nassau National Cable Corporation wasn’t worried about sharks -- it was whale-sized clients they were after. And in the tumultuous world of international business and trade, bigger clients can mean bigger risks, and potentially bigger rewards. 

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, host Alix McCabe sits down with Karellys Mattos, the President of Operations at Nassau National, to discuss the challenges the New York-based wire and cable distributor encountered in trying to scale up its business. They’ll also be joined by George Pipala, an Account Underwriter at Allianz Trade, who shares his insights on what business leaders can do to overcome those challenges. Be sure to listen to the end and you may even gain a new appreciation for the concept of a ‘backseat driver’, at least within the context of trade credit insurance.

In the world of trade and business -- you might think it’s a good problem to have. But it turns out, a sudden production increase in one of your company’s key commodities can still pose a big challenge; namely, what to do with all that extra product!

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, host Alix McCabe looks at the incredible growth trajectory of MGI International Llc, fueled in part by a spike in plastic production in the U.S. over 10 years ago. As you’ll hear from MGI’s Chief Financial Officer, Craig Wellen, that spike forced the plastic resin distributor to turn increasingly to international markets to find buyers, which presented a whole host of challenges. Alix and Craig will also be joined by Al Reytan, Senior Director at Allianz Trade in North America, who shares his expert advice for navigating those challenges, and some tips to minimize your company’s risk, regardless of the industry in which you operate.

Even in our increasingly global economy, it‘s something that doesn’t happen very often — but when it does, can cause a cascade of both financial and logistical challenges: a trade embargo. And although this story may seem ripped right from today’s headlines, it actually unfolded almost 10 years ago, when Russia enacted an embargo against several western nations back in 2014.

On this episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, host Alix McCabe is joined by Joe Pernica, the Chief Operating Officer of Ronald A. Chisholm Limited, which had more than $10 million worth of meat en route to a customer in Russia when the embargo came down. It could have been a devastating blow for the Toronto-based company, but thankfully Chisholm was prepared for just such an eventuality. Alix and Joe will also hear from Steve Georgetti, Director of Risk Underwriting for the Americas at Allianz Trade, who explains what other companies can learn from Chisholm’s story, and which red flags to watch out for to avoid ending up in a similar situation.

It’s no secret that the past few years haven’t exactly been the best, or most predictable for the economy. From inflation and stock market tumult, to political volatility and recession rumors, many business owners and investors have been justifiably spooked about the stability of global trade networks. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a pathway to prosperity. 

On this season finale episode of Wheel of Risk, presented by Allianz Trade, host Alix McCabe sits down with Luis Mondragon, Vice President of Sales, General Division, at Summar Financial — a Florida-based factoring firm that has its finger firmly on the pulse of the global situation, thanks to a vast network of clients and contacts in more than 24 different countries. Together with Carlos Garcia, Sales Vice President at Allianz Trade in Americas, they discuss the various options available to companies to help them stay solvent even when economic conditions aren’t entirely favorable, and share some personal predictions about just how long the current storm will last.

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