Canadian Underwriter

Insurers need to take action on ERM: PWC report

March 9, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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Insurers are doing a lot of thinking about enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) programs, but not taking enough action, suggests a new study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Insurers see the value in ERM in meeting their financial goals, the study shows, but also see many challenges to its implementation.
Insurers think ERM can help with product development and portfolio management, as well as managing the various categories of risk they are exposed to. More than half of insurers see protecting shareholder value as the key driver for ERM implementation.
However, many also say they lack the people, infrastructure, processes and technology to fully capitalize on ERM. Only 5% of insurers say they have fully integrated ERM into their strategic business decisions. Only 6% says they can confirm aggregation capability across their different business units, and only 26% think their internal audit risk reviews are effective. Furthermore, just 8% are “very satisfied” with their company’s use of technology in risk management.
“Investors, analysts and rating agencies are likely to focus ever more closely on ERM as part of their demands for greater accountability and demonstrable improvements in risk management,” says Shyam Venkat, a partner at PWC. “Those companies who succeed in the implementation of ERM will be rewarded by the marketplace, but companies will need to move beyond a boardroom vision for an ERM program in order to fully reap the benefits.”
The survey involved 44 insurers in North America, Europe and Asia.

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