Governance, Risk & Compliance

Governance, Risk & Compliance

June 15, 2011

Survey Explores Risk Management and Pressure for Profit, Growth

Risk management may be treading in the deep water right now as a recent global risk management survey reveals that more and more firms are trying to figure out how to manage risk while dealing with pressures to refocus on profits and growth.

A February and March Economist Intelligence Unit report surveyed 315 executives globally for SAS (News - Alert), the leader in business analytics software and services, and found that respondents were primarily focused on risk management in banks, capital markets firms and insurers of all sizes from less than $100 million to more than $1 trillion in assets. According to the report, while some financial institutions are taking appropriate risk management measures to address deficiencies exposed by the financial crisis, in general the current risk management models are not equipped to handle the current demands and have been overtaken by competing priorities that encourage growth and profitability without embedded risk strategies.

As a result of a surge in strong performances in the financial sector, firms are once again facing pressure to expand and boost profits and, accordingly, respondents now report that they are struggling to manage risk. More than three out of five participants cited growing complexity in their organization’s risk exposure while two-thirds said that external risks pose a greater challenge to their institution than internal ones. Moreover, only 52 percent said that their current risk management processes are suitable in dealing with the new complexities.

“To take its necessary place at the executive and board level, risk management must evolve from a technical support function to a strategic process,” said David Rogers, SAS Global Product Marketing Manager for Risk, in a statement. “This requires an assimilated and comprehensive risk culture, top-down, supported by a truly integrated risk framework, that provides both a holistic and specialized view of risk for each business level.”

According to the survey, management boards have increased both their risk expertise and demand for risk reporting. More than two in five respondents reported a rise in the board’s risk expertise and over half report boosted demands for risk reporting, with the retail banking seeing the most. Yet only a minority of institutions appears to be taking steps to upgrade risk reporting, including timeliness, consistency and extent of reporting on emerging risks, the report states.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

blog comments powered by Disqus