Reports on the two 2018 FERMA European Risk Management Seminar themes, sustainability and cyber risks, are being sent to Seminar delegates this week. They will be available later on the FERMA website. The Seminar hosted more than 200 participants from 17 countries in Antwerp on 9 and 10 October. Emphasis was placed on learning and expanding skills to enable risk managers to seize the opportunities that emerging risks provide.
The requirements of sustainability, good business integration and rapid digitalisation are causing profound changes within organisations as well as for risk managers, the President of FERMA, Jo Willaert, stated as he opened the Seminar. “The risk manager can be a co-pilot for the board and top management in this transformation,” he said.
Jo also stressed the importance of sustainability: “In Europe, we see that organisations need to be sustainable. This term – sustainable – can have different meanings. It can mean that organisations build their resilience to the effects of climate change and manage other environmental risks. However, sustainability is not just a green issue. It can also apply to good corporate behaviour as a whole, because companies depend on the acceptability of their practices to continue developing and prospering. Society is putting pressure on companies to disclose activities like their employment practices, human rights, diversity and avoidance of bribery and corruption, as well as their environmental record.”
To demonstrate that digitalisation is accompanied by a growing understanding of the added value of a risk manager, Jo revealed early results from the FERMA Risk Manager Survey 2018. More than a third of the risk managers who responded to the survey said they were involved in the transformation of their respective organisations, including the development of new technologies. At the same time, relationships between the risk management and IT departments have developed considerably in the last two years.
Jo concluded that demand for sustainability and good corporate behaviour and the necessity of cyber resilience are leading to profound changes in organisations and in the work of risk managers work. “The risk manager can be a guide for the board and top management in this transformation.”