Refocusing Risk Management

Morgan O'Rourke


June 2, 2012

Given all the high-profile, "black swan" events in the past year, it stands to reason that many CEOs would be concerned about how successfully their companies manage risk. In fact, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' "U.S. Private Company Trendsetter Barometer," close to one-third of executives surveyed admitted a need to revisit their risk management strategies to determine if such plans will be effective over the next few years.

Of the risks that private companies were most concerned with in the near future, 92% pointed to the weak economy and the threat of another recession. Rising costs, heightened competition, unstable capital markets, the possibility of increased taxation to offset public deficits and overregulation were also cited by 60% or more of respondents as viable concerns.

Surprisingly, supply chain issues were lower on the list with only 34% showing moderate to high concern for this often-publicized risk. In fact, only 9% actually rated supply chain risk as "high" or "very high."

Another interesting finding was that while 87% thought they needed to focus on a broader range of emerging risks, only 30% of their risk management efforts went to trying to detect these unknown risks, suggesting that, in many cases, a shift in risk management priorities was necessary.

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