DAILY NEWS Apr 16, 2012 5:46 PM - 0 comments

Gap exists between how risk managers and senior executives view the role of risk management in their organizations

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A significant gap still exists in many organizations between how risk managers and senior company leaders view the role of risk management, according to a report released by Marsh and the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS).

The report, Bridging the Gap: Be Visible, Be Valuable, Be Strategic, was released during a press conference at the 2012 RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition held on Apr. 15-18 in Philadelphia. The report is based on a survey of 1,322 risk managers, top executives and others.

Fifty-four per cent of senior executives surveyed say they have an increased expectation of risk mangers being involved in the organization’s overall business strategic planning efforts. However, only 40% of risk managers feel they are increasingly expected to participate in the organization’s strategic business planning efforts.

Fully 50% of senior executives say they expect risk managers to lead enterprise risk management activities, whereas only 35% of risk managers feel an increased expectation that they do so.

“The message is clear: The C-suite is looking for strategic thinking,” the report says. “The opportunity to lead enterprise/strategic risk management and sit at the table exists in many organizations for those risk managers who are prepared to do so. In fact, in many companies this is more than an opportunity; it is an expectation.”

This message doesn’t seem to be getting through.

For one thing, risk managers think senior executives want them to execute their day-to-day risk management activities more efficiently. Forty-seven per cent of risk managers surveyed report this to be the case, whereas 43% of company executives say this is an area of increased expectation.

Second, 49% of the risk managers in the survey believe senior executives want them to focus on integrating more deeply with the company operations. The same percentage of senior management executives report this is an area of emphasis.

Risk managers also believe senior executives want them to focus on providing better quantification or analysis on risk management. Forty-seven per cent of risk managers believe this to be the case, as opposed to 45% of senior executives surveyed.

“The C-suite is saying to the risk manager, ‘Reach out and grab hold of strategic management!’” the report says. “But many risk managers are focusing instead on the daily maintenance of their departments.”

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