In addition to professional Certification for risk managers, FERMA is currently engaged in a number of projects that are raising the profile of risk management in different sectors and strengthening the European voice of risk managers. These fulfil the strategic actions agreed by the board in December 2014

FERMA Executive Director Florence Bindelle explains, “We have established strong policy committees composed of expert members from across Europe. The interaction with other EU stakeholders and our committees reinforces FERMA’s position as a key stakeholder in Brussels.”

This work includes training for risk managers on the European Liability Directive (ELD) in June; a conference in July on risk committees; research on international travel risks to be published at the Forum, and longer term objectives including reform of international insurance programmes.

One of our first events is a joint conference with ecoDA, the directors’ organisation, and AIG on improving the quality of the conversation about risk at board level. This will take place in Brussels on 10 July. For our part, we are preparing a presentation for the event on the role of risk committees, which are still unusual outside financial services. We have issued a call for member’s views and experiences, and have a broad range of sectorial and geographical experts who are assisting.

Environment

On the ELD, we have two new developments. In May, we brought together operators and operators’ associations to find synergies for possible expression of common views on the renewal of the ELD and ways of representing the views of industry with the European Commission. Messages have now been circulated to member associations for their comments.

FERMA board member with responsibility for the ELD, Carl Leeman, says, “The other stakeholders warmly welcomed the FERMA initiative. We share many views, for example, that mandatory financial security would not help businesses invest in environmental protection measures and that the voluntary market is working. As representatives of many of the operators who would be affected and risk managers, we agreed that all outgoing messages to the authorities on the subject of ELD would be aligned within our working group.”

On June 18-19, FERMA will provide two days of training on the ELD for up to 15 risk managers. This programme has been funded by the EU to increase awareness and so improve implementation of the ELD. A few places are still open. Contact Julien Bedhouche at julien.bedhouche@ferma.eu or
+32 2 761 94 33.

Next we have a research project that will be the subject of a white paper to be published at the Forum. Travel risk management involves a collaboration with the European health and safety organisation EU-OHSA and International SOS on health, safety and security for international business travellers. The findings, including detailed interviews with risk managers, will help us build best practice guidance.

FERMA board member Jorge Luzzi explains, “International business travellers can find themselves faced with risks and threats that are more difficult to handle than in their home country. They need the support of their employer. Our aim is to help organisations better understand how they can manage these risks and provide them with practical recommendations.”

Topical issues

On the very topical issue of cyber risks, FERMA has a policy committee, and it is looking at how member associations are tackling digital risks and interacting with their information security authorities. We are considering a report to EU stakeholders with information about the international market for cyber risk insurance and the feasibility of cyber security standards and regulations.

According to Julia Graham: “These risks remain at the top of the risk agenda for many risk managers and will be the subject of a workshop at the Forum in Venice. We know that a number of our member associations, members and partners are working on this topic but they don’t all know what each other is doing or what insurances are available. FERMA is looking to bring this knowledge together so our members can benefit.”

Finally, there is considerable interest across the market in finding ways to reduce the complexity of international insurance programmes. We took part in discussions at the RIMS conference in April about possible collaboration with service providers, other associations and individual risk managers. and we are continuing the conversation.

Julia explains that this is a long term project because of the number of regulatory and tax authorities involved, but it is worth pursuing because this is an important issue for some of our members.
Looking across FERMA’s work, Florence adds, “The topics addressed are long term projects which are also being discussed within our members’ organisations. This is a concrete outcome of the development of FERMA into the advocacy arena two years ago.”

Julia concludes: “Many of these topics are on the programme at the FERMA Forum 4 – 7 October in Venice. Come to the Forum and join in the discussion!”