A word with Tim Whipple, CEO of Witt O’Brien’s

Navigate’s founders have remained client-focused throughout.
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By Tim Whipple
CEO, Witt O’Brien’s

I want to open with a word of reassurance. I’m sure that some of you reading this newsletter will wonder if our acquisition of Navigate will have any effect on the quality of service you receive or your contracting arrangements, etc. No! There will be no changes to Navigate’s leadership, service teams or other arrangements. Steady as she goes.

Second, a word of thanks and congratulations. It’s always time-consuming to complete a merger or acquisition. Navigate’s founders have remained client-focused throughout, and rightly so. It took a little longer to do it that way, but we did not want to cause any ripples in their successful business. So even as we welcome Bill, Mike, Ed and their teams to our family, we thank them for their professionalism and focus on you – our clients.

With that said, now to your questions:

Why did Witt O’Brien’s acquire Navigate?

Our mission is to make our clients more resilient in an increasingly unpredictable world. Just check the news: the frequency and severity of disasters are on the rise, including pandemics, cyber-attacks, severe storms and terrorism. To say nothing of operational emergencies like fires, collisions or oil spills.

Our firm excels at crisis management, emergency response and business continuity. We help our clients prepare for the worst, with plans, training and exercises. We also help them respond to live emergencies, helping them stabilise the situation and get back to business as usual — quickly and effectively.

But we’ve learned from our client partnerships that a company can’t be truly resilient without continually protecting and enhancing its reputation. And that’s what Navigate does so well, with strategic and crisis communications. By joining forces, we’ve created a truly integrated and global approach to resilience – combining emergency management with crisis communications and reputation management. We believe that our approach will make a real difference for our shared clients, making them more crisis-ready and resilient to disruption.

What does the Navigate – Witt O’Brien’s combination mean for the maritime sector?

Both our firms are well known in the industry, serving hundreds of ship owners and managers worldwide, across multiple asset classes.

By joining forces, we’re creating a maritime industry first: a deeply credentialed shipping specialist covering resilience requirements from all angles. Pre-event planning, training and exercises. Compliance with US and international laws, regulations and standards. Operational response and Qualified Individual skills to bolster management teams when they’re most stretched. And now, with integrated strategic and crisis communications.

In the final analysis, every ship owner or manager wants to be recognised in the market for safety, efficiency and reliability. Our integrated services directly contribute to those goals, by helping our clients prepare for emergencies and overcome crises, with minimal operational disruption or reputational impact.

Where do you see this combination developing in the future?

What I’ve described about the maritime sector applies in other fields as well. Witt O’Brien’s supports clients across government and the private sector. While industries differ, the core resilience requirements remain the same: to have a plan, to respond nimbly, to communicate effectively, to recover quickly. We’ve seen too many organizations where the operational aspects of crisis and emergency management are siloed from the communications effort. We see a significant opportunity to make our clients stronger by integrating these critical disciplines across all sectors.



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