Jana Bicanová, winner of the Excellence in Risk Management award for life time achievement, talked to FERMA about her career. Jana is President of the Czech Risk Management Association (CZRMA), formerly ASPAR CZ.

How did you get into risk management?

I first came into contact with risk management while working for the insurance broker Ceska Sedgwick Risk Services, a Sedgwick (later Marsh) company in the Czech Republic.

How well was the concept of risk management developed in the Czech Republic when you started? Do you feel like a pioneer?

The concept was introduced mainly by insurance brokers in the early 1990s and was not that common in the enterprise-wide sense. Yes, I do feel like one of the pioneers.

 What made you create ASPAR CZ?

It was a natural transition from informal meetings to become a formal entity on the Czech market and a member of FERMA.

Is risk management better understood today in the Czech Republic?

Yes, I believe it is. For example, we see more companies embracing risk management and having risk management positions.

What do you think are the most important personal characteristics or professional skills for a successful risk manager?

You should be bold, forward looking and problem solving with good communication skills, relationship management, an eye for detail without losing sight of the big picture and knowledge of your industry.

What would you advise a young graduate about working in risk management?

Network with your peers, become a member of your national association and consider the FERMA rimap® certification.

ASPAR CZ has changed its name to the Czech Risk Management Association (CZRMA). Why is this?

The change in name reflects the evolution of our association as a strong national platform for both expert and management level positions in risk management. Since the original name explicitly emphasised the “specialist” aspect, we decided on the change to show that we are an association for the whole range of risk management professionals.