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Risk Leaders 2015


Calendar 11 November 2015


Location Con Inmarsat, London


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Destination Resilience - it’s a Risky Business


Over 120 key representatives from the risk management industry gathered in central London recently for the Institute of Risk Management’s (IRM) ‘Practical Strategies for risk at board level’ event. The event showcased senior speakers from across industry, with a wealth of experience to draw on, from both sides of the boardroom table.

Well-known major players were represented including: Experian, EY, Grant Thornton LLP and Saga, and we were also delighted to welcome other organisations with an interest in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) including: Atomic Weapons Establishment, The British Army, Essex County Council, Hampshire Constabulary, the Historic Royal Palaces, NHS and Transport for London. The diversity of attendees underlines the importance of risk management to businesses and, how as a discipline, is a core part of any successful business enterprise.

Topics and speakers included:

  • Why Boards don’t get risk - Ian Davies, Chairman, Board Recruitment Ltd • Do you know your sharks from your whales? - Richard Gossage, Director Copper Bottom Mentoring
  • Turning the tide for investors - Pat Cleverly, Director of Research, Strategy and Policy, Tomorrow’s Company
  • Addressing the risk talent crunch - Jonathan Bloomer, Head of Capital One UK’s Risk Office
  • Cyber risk - Steve Snaith, National Head RSMUK
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast - Richard Thomas, Head of Risk Solutions at QBE
  • Risk culture: Measuring and monitoring the qualitative rather than the quantitative - Jane Walshe, Head of Moody’s Analytics Compliance Curriculum; and
  • Reputation and performance – the missing link? Alberto Lopez, CEO of alva.

Key themes throughout the day included embedding a risk culture and growing risk capacity within an organisation, regulatory issues, cyber risk and gaining top level buy in and support.

There was a lively debate on the issue of culture and behaviours, and whether fundamentally this is something than can be influenced by strategies and plans, and indeed whether the regulators should have an influence on this.

Jane Walshe, Head of Moody’s Analytics Compliance Curriculum and Compass Compliance spoke around key regulatory issues and the roles that professional risk managers have to play:

“As regulators in the UK recognise that requiring firms to adhere to a set of rules is not enough to ensure good conduct, risk managers have an ever more critical role to play in measuring the qualitative aspects of their firm’s performance, such as its culture and values, and treatment of customers, as well as the more familiar quantitative indicators.

Measuring the qualitative presents challenges, and all control functions within firms need to work together to overcome these, and to identify what their culture is, and how best it can be measured. Much lively debate on these issues was engaged in by delegates at this important IRM Risk Leaders event.”

Other emerging themes throughout the day included the topical issue of cyber risk and the daunting prospect that computer hacking software can be downloaded within a few clicks from the internet. Steve Snaith from Axelos highlighted the four key stages of an attack: Reconnaissance, scanning for vulnerabilities, exploitation of the victim and then the process of the hacker covering their tracks.

Ashley Easen, Head of Organisational Risk, Corporate Law and Assurance at Essex County Council said:

“The Risk Leaders 2015 conference event enabled me to widen my risk network beyond the public sector - engaging with risk managers who work to very different priorities and face other risk exposures from myself. From the sessions delivered, I was able to compare my approach with others and took away a different style of risk reporting to boards, powerful mechanisms to engage directors on risk and new contacts within the industry”.

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors: Axelos, Gallagher Bassett, Moody’s analytics and QBE.