Julia Graham

Julia Graham

Welcome to all of the readers of the FERMA Newsletter – I cannot believe that almost a year has passed since our successful Forum in Maastricht!


We have been busy at FERMA working with our associations, their presidents and members. As President of FERMA, I have enjoyed meeting members of associations in France, Malta, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, and shortly in Switzerland and Poland. I made a promise to meet as many associations as I could and I remain committed to visiting all of them at some stage during my two years.

I have also enjoyed meeting with our friends and colleagues from the loss adjusting community in FUEDI, in Rotterdam, transport underwriters and brokers at BDM in Antwerp, and the US risk managers at RIMS in Denver. Later this year, I will be with the Business Continuity Institute at its global conference, the European internal auditors of the ECIIA at their conference and risk managers in Singapore at the conference of the rapidly growing association there, PARIMA. Our partners have also provided some excellent events and forums for risk managers across Europe and beyond.

Messages to share

What messages have I been sharing on these occasions?

At the start of my term as president I used three words to provide a focus for the next two FERMA years: profession, innovation and diversity. I hope you will agree that we have successfully channelled our energy at FERMA toward these themes.

I was delighted to receive the support at our general assembly for the European FERMA Risk Management Certification programme – a major step towards recognition of risk management as our profession. We are now working hard on converting this decision into the reality in 2015 and as we progress, engaging associations and their members in these activities. We will keep you informed as we develop our work.

We have taken an active part in the further development of the risk management standard ISO 31000 and are talking to other associations about how we might encourage wider co-operation on the language and structure of risk management standards – which provide a foundation for certification frameworks – FERMA and others.


This year we issued an innovative pan-European Risk Management Benchmarking Survey, the results of which we are looking forward to sharing at our Seminar in Brussels in October, when we will publish our first European Risk and Insurance Report. This important report will form the basis of communication with senior management on risk, and discussions at the Seminar and among our members.

The Seminar is also a unique opportunity for sharing views on risk issues and networking in a close environment with risk management and insurance professionals. I believe the two days in October will provide valuable information, practical ideas and contacts made for life! The attendance numbers are building, and as we issue this newsletter, some workshops are already full. In this 40th anniversary year of FERMA, we will also have a special celebration dinner, and I look forward to welcoming many of you there.

FERMA and ECIIA issued position papers in 2010 (supplemented in 2011) to assist board members, and particularly members of the audit committee, with the implementation of article 41 of the 8th European Company Law Directive.

As a response to recent legislative amendments, FERMA and ECIIA set up a working group to analyse the impact for audit committees and risk committees, as well as the consequences for the risk management and the internal audit professions. The result is a new guidance document which will provide an invaluable tool for all working in the area of governance and with associated responsibilities, including risk managers.

Finally I would like to touch on the subject of diversity. The FERMA approach to gender-diversity is not about ironing out the different characteristics and qualities of men and women, but recognising and celebrating their differences. We aim to work out how businesses can be encouraged to convert these differences into opportunities, including in our profession, and what we and FERMA members can do narrow the gap between the two. It is also about how women can be encouraged to hunt out these opportunities and rise to the challenge.

FERMA has a position of influence and an objective to use this “special place” to make a difference on gender-diversity in our profession. As I work with FERMA board members, Helle Friberg and Michel Dennery, you will see more on this subject over the next 12 months. We will have news, views and comments in our newsletter, and a space on the new FERMA web site when this is launched, for career-inspired publications, as well as a number of focussed events and features.

Strategic Risk magazine has been publishing articles on “Women in Risk” while dedicated events have taken place at association conferences and with our partners, who have been encouraging and very active in this space. A number of people have come forward to act as “diversity champions”, and I will be speaking with them about their contribution and how they can help to “Make a Difference”.

We have 12 strategic actions at FERMA, some of which I have mentioned here. We have elevated these actions to become those we concentrate on at our executive and board meetings. We would like to do everything that comes to our minds, but we cannot. This focus, therefore, will help us to deliver what matters the most to achieve our mission to “lead and enhance the effective practice of risk management, risk financing and insurance”.

So we are as usual, busy at FERMA – but sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves why we exist, as whatever we do, none of our activity would be of value without our members. So a very big
Thank You for all that you do to support FERMA’.