The Strategic Disconnect

Morgan O'Rourke


June 1, 2012

As risks have become more complex, so has the job description of many risk managers. Frequently, today's risk practitioners are being asked to assume a greater role in the strategic planning of their organizations. However, according to the annual "Excellence in Risk" survey conducted by insurance broker Marsh and RIMS (the publisher of this magazine), risk managers and the C-suite have different ideas about what this new role actually entails.

For C-suite respondents, the top two areas where their expectations of risk management have grown are in increasing involvement in the organization's overall business efforts and in leading ERM activities. But instead, many risk managers are focusing on the daily maintenance of their departments, specifically in integrating more deeply with operations, providing better risk management quantification and analysis, and executing daily activities more efficiently.

Risk managers and C-suite respondents do agree, however, that risk managers should possess an intimate knowledge of the business industry as well as a strategic view of risk and risk management's role. Interestingly, "insurance knowledge" was cited by only one-third of risk managers and one-quarter of the C-Suite, showing how far risk management has come from its insurance-buying roots.

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)