We’re living in a riskier world. It’s complex and fast moving. Risk managers need to be equipped to inspire, educate and influence, and these are the central themes of the 2013 FERMA Forum around which the programme will turn.

Julia Graham

Julia Graham


With the New Year, it’s now full speed ahead for the programme committee to finalise topics, speakers and workshops, and, of course, fit them all into a busy, three day event.

The committee, chaired by FERMA board member Julia Graham, believes that getting a global view is an important consideration in the choice of keynote speakers and some of the other sessions.

“Risk managers need to see the big picture, the context in which their businesses are operating and to have an enterprise perspective,” says Julia. “Sometimes when you’re down among the weeds, you can lose sight of these things, so this is about investing in our education.”

Every conference needs fresh ideas, and there will be some changes in 2013. Julia explains: “The risk manager, broker and insurer panels are well established, but this year we are going to start with the risk managers and ask them for their key issues and challenges, which will help to set the scene for the Forum. Insurers and brokers will then develop their responses.

“For insurers we’re going to move away from a traditional panel and invite a number of industry leaders to take a presidential-style approach,” she explains. Each participant will have around 15 minutes to present their views on a chosen topic, with time allowed at the end for questions from the floor.

The controversial subject of reverse discrimination in Scandinavia will be the first topic to be aired at the very popular ladies’ lunch at the Forum, with a second speaker providing an insight into her journey and experience of being a chairman at the boardroom table.

Workshops will follow the Forum themes of inspire, educate and influence, and within that framework the committee wants to ensure that topics that members really want are included. Member associations and forum partners are being consulted to make sure the event hits the right targets. Another consideration is that the Forum should attract an experience spectrum of the risk community, from students to chief risk officers, so the sessions will be graded to suit different levels.

Julia describes the approach for Maastricht as “continuity with innovation.” She also offers the tantalising prospect: “And two years after Maastricht, we may be more radical…”

Ideas welcome
The programme committee welcomes suggestions from associations and their members for speakers and topics. Contact them by email to FERMA’s event coordinator, Veronique De Hertogh at

FERMA Forum 2013