Return to Search

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our free mailing list to stay updated on the latest from the IRM.

Subscribe Now

Adnan Abul Haija: Senior Risk Manager, Arab Orient Insurance Company

Adnan Abul Haija

Senior Risk Manager

Arab Orient Insurance Company


How did you get your job as a Regional Risk Manager?

I started off as an IT professional, a few years later our management asked for a volunteer to work as a risk liaison officer, I wanted to try something new and so I did in 2010. My role was to coordinate the risk management activities between our local operation and the group risk department, during my work as risk officer I wanted to improve myself in the field and started to study for the International Certificate in Risk Management, gaining this certificate gave me an opportunity to apply for the risk manager title in my company, afterwards I extended to become a regional risk manager covering 5 companies in 5 different countries.

What’s a typical day like as a regional risk manager?

As a regional risk manager I have established five risk management departments using ISO 31000 at five main subsidiaries: Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen and Lebanon, I also developed a Business Continuity and Crisis Management Plans, which reflected a tremendous impact on the company business and strategies development. Most of my day time is spent following up with the risk officers in the various locations mentioned, thus providing them with the needed technical support and that enriched my experience in risk management which added a lot to my personality.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The idea of establishing and building things from scratch is really fascinating, five years ago the concept of risk management was totally naïve in our group, but now we have five risk management departments lead by five talented risk managers, and more than 300 trained employees giving their time and effort working in the risk management departments we have today.

What are the challenges?

The main challenge I faced was how to sell the board of directors and executive in each company the idea of risk management and its importance, some other challenges were how to enhance the risk culture across the organization and finding the proper people to work in the new established risk department.

In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?

I acquired two IRM qualification certificates which are the International Certificate in Risk Management and the Certificate in Risk Management in Financial Services and will very soon obtain my International Diploma in Risk Management, gaining these certificates helped me to enhance the competencies required to design and implement risk management framework, selecting and applying the tools and techniques required to assess, treat and understand main sources of risks in the insurance sectors.

What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?

Holding the IRM qualification is very essential to all risk management professional, as current market and job opportunities require skilled and certified employees. Personally speaking, being an IRM member has helped me a lot and even though the job has its ups and downs like any other field it surely is something unique and I could see myself growing in this department.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?

 As I mentioned above, my career started off being a risk liaison officer and then becoming a regional risk manager after 6 years, obtaining each IRM qualification has helped a lot in each phase in my career. I recently started a new job with the Arab Orient Insurance company | GIG as a senior risk manager, and I'm looking forward to put into good use my past experience into this new challenge.

Top tips

  • Start with your exams and qualifications as soon as possible, if you don’t, others will
  • Stay up-to-date with the international standard in risk management (ISO 31000, COSO and others)
  • Expand your network with the risk management professionals across the world