Former Airmic chair Julia Graham looks ahead to the FERMA risk management forum, which aims to help risk managers grow their stature.

Julia Graham

Julia Graham




For years as risk managers, we have talked about influencing the organisations we work for, says former Airmic chair Julia Graham. “Now if we seize the opportunity, we will find that more top management than ever before is willing to listen to their risk and insurance managers as trusted advisors.”

Julia is a board member of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) and chair of the committee planning the programme for the 2013 FERMA Risk Management Forum. It will take place in Maastricht in the Netherlands from 29 September to 2 October.

“The programme for this year’s Forum has been designed to equip the risk and insurance manager to fulfil this opportunity,” she says.

Managing risk and risk financing are part of doing business – not stand alone activities, Julia explains. “To emphasise this point, the committee has designed the programme to inspire and educate risk and insurance managers and help them influence all levels in their organisations.”

These themes of “inspire, educate and influence” are set against the backcloth of living and working in a riskier world. “The role of the risk and insurance manager has never been more challenging or more exciting,” says Julia, who is the chief risk officer for the global law firm DLA Piper.


Karel Van Hulle

Karel Van Hulle

Karel Van Hulle, head of the insurance and pensions unit of the European Commission from 2004 until February 2013, will be the opening keynote speaker at the 2013 FERMA Forum. His name is probably forever linked with Solvency II, his main responsibility during this time.

A lawyer by training, Professor Van Hulle joined the Commission’s DG Internal Market and Services in 1984 and progressed through various head of unit positions. Since retiring from the Commission in February 2013, Professor Van Hullehas continued his professional career as an academicin his native Belgium and in Germany.

Said Julia: “Following his retirement, Karel continues to defend the European cause from influential academic positions where he can also pass on his experience to professional and young people. These objectives are in tune with FERMA’s own, where we aim to represent our profession and to encourage young professionals.”

A risk managers’ panel will immediately follow Professor Van Hulle’s speech. Incoming Airmic president Chris McGloin will join colleagues from other European countries to challenge brokers and insurers to respond to the risk transfer needs of business. The broker and insurer panels will take place the following day.

Said Julia, “We want them to show us why it matters that we manage our risks well and how they can reward us with innovative risk finance and risk transfer solutions.”

Another session close to Julia’s heart is the ladies at risk lunch where this year’s topic is women on boards. One of the two speakers is Janet Legrand,senior partner and chairman of the board at DLA Piper International where she is a senior commercial litigator.

The second speaker is Sanna Suvanto-Harsaa is Finnish and the chairman or a board member of more than 10 Nordic businesses, including SAS AB and the multi-national retailer Clas Ohlson.

Early bird registration for the Forum continues until 30 June. There are also concessions for additional risk managers from the same company and for young risk managers.

Full details on the FERMA Forum 2013 website at:

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