More than seven out of ten (71 percent) of risk managers say their overall level of influence is greater now than it was three years ago according to a survey of 500 companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa conducted for ACE European Group. Published in advance of the 2015 FERMA Forum, the new report, ‘The Changing Role of the Risk Manager’, highlights that influence is increasing most significantly in the areas of strategic decision-making (78 percent), digital technology and social media (76 percent), and supplier and business partner selection (73 percent).
More than one third of risk managers (35 percent) say their increased influence is driven by technological change, 29 percent by economic volatility and 27 percent by business complexity. However, technology is not only a driver of change, but also a source of worry for many risk managers, who named technology risk as their top concern in the ACE Emerging Risks Barometer 2015.
As the result of dramatic changes in the external environment, risk managers acknowledge the need for a new set of skills and tools. Almost eight out of ten (79 percent) believe that today’s risk manager must think like a futurist. 81 percent agree that the use of big data and analytics will transform risk management in the future. Almost half, 47 percent, believe it is very important for risk managers to be innovators.
Unsurprisingly, the survey also captures risk managers’ concern about their ability to fulfil the demands of their changing role. 78 percent of respondents say that it is increasingly difficult to keep pace with the range of emerging risks they face, and only one in five feels very confident that they can manage these. Multinational risk is also a source of concern and over three quarters (77 percent) of respondents find it challenging to balance the need for centralized risk management with the need for local know-how on the ground.
However, there is also consensus about what tomorrow’s risk managers will need to confront these challenges. Respondents believe that the best approaches are to invest in certification and professionalization of the risk management profession (32 percent), recruitment of risk specialists at organisational level (32 percent) and rotation of risk managers across the business to expand their experience (32 percent).
ACE’s report, The Changing Role of the Risk Manager, includes detailed information and statistics on all of the survey’s findings. It can be downloaded from here.