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IRM Appoints Clive Thompson as Interim Technical Director

We asked him to tell us more about his career:

Clive Thompson CFIRM


I have worked in risk management of some sort for over 40 years. It has offered me an extremely varied, interesting and fascinating time: Whether I was dealing with massive open cast mine operations in South Africa or South America, Oil refineries in Northern Europe, Pharmaceutical operations in the US and UK or banks in Switzerland, I have had to grapple with some pretty challenging projects.

Starting with an insurance company I developed my career by setting up and managing captive insurance companies in the Cayman Islands. As a young professional, this proved a fun location: There are some great beaches there!

I left the insurance company in order to specialise in risk management and work with clients to help them improve their management processes. I worked in a small consultancy where we helped companies change the way they looked at risk. Our aim was to enable them to gain competitive advantage by enhancing their risk management. That was when I thought I had better learn something about this thing called ‘risk management’ so I took the diploma and sat the exams – some twenty five years ago.

I was involved in the early set up of specialist risk financing vehicles in Guernsey and around the turn of the century, when telecomms were all the rage I was involved in risk finance arrangements for many of the (then) new operators coming to the market. They were exploiting the opportunities that the new IT systems had created. Some of them did it well, others not so. It was a great learning experience.

Having moved to an Insurance Broker, Willis Towers Watson, when the global financial crisis happened in 2008/9 I became involved with Banks and Asset Managers – it seemed to be where most of the risk was at that time.

And all through this time I remained involved with the IRM as the founding Chair of the Innovation Special Interest Group and also serving on Governance and Audit Committees before eventually being elected to the board in 2014.

On leaving the board in 2020 I have remained involved by editing the next edition of Paul Hopkin’s book to overlay it with new thinking on digitization and climate change. And now a new chapter awaits to devote some quality time to developing those areas that IRM needs to update and review.

What a fantastic way to help IRM move to a new phase in its development and contribute to enhancing this profession. I am looking forward to working on our various qualifications, helping all the Interest Groups where I can, and generally getting stuck in!  There’s a lot to do and little time to do it in as I will still be working for Willis Towers Watson some of the time. But even so how lucky am I? Roll on 2022!

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