Canadian Underwriter

Mixed views on whether these professionals feel prepared for the future

September 23, 2019   by Jason Contant

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Will future risk management professionals be prepared to meet challenges of the business by 2025?

It depends widely on who you ask in the field. A RIMS poll of 1,170 people, including 845 risk management professionals, found that for risk professionals with 20 or more years of experience there was an even 50-50% split between those who felt confident or not confident to meet business challenges by 2025.

The picture was even less rosy among executive leadership, with only 32% of executives expressing confidence in the future. Among students, three-quarters (76%) were confident that they will be prepared for emerging risks of the next five years posed by technology, geopolitics and cyber, among others.

Overall, 53% of risk management professionals believe the profession will be prepared to meet future challenges by 2025.

The findings were presented in the RIMS Risk Management Talent 2025 Report, released earlier this month in advance of the RIMS Canada Conference. The event was held Sept. 8-11 in Edmonton.

Education for risk managers was an important theme in the study. “Perhaps one of the most notable findings of the survey is that only 16% of the 1,170 overall respondents agree that there will be sufficient number of risk management graduates to meet market demands in 2025,” the report said. “The consensus seems to indicate that supply will not meet the expected demand.”

The good news is that an increasing number of universities are offering classes that reflect the domains contained in the RIMS Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP) curriculum, RIMS reported.

Most executives (92%) believe that universities must substantially alter their curricula to meet future risk management challenges, compared to 76% of all respondents.

Risk professionals will also have to broaden and diversify their abilities. Some skills mentioned in comments include:

  • Technical tools and data analytical skills
  • Interpersonal skills, such as communication and the ability to gain buy-in from others
  • Multi-functional understanding of risk management, enterprise-wide.

Commenters also mentioned a range of necessary skills for future success – from coding language and digital literacy to public speaking and the ability to leverage diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“The [future] risk management professional will need to be familiar with and understand the ‘IT world’ much better [than we do now],” said one Baby Boomer with more than 20 years experience. “We only dabble in it when we gather underwriting information and we really do not understand the interconnected nature of IT. We have no idea what these service contracts say.”

One key issue identified by risk professionals was the feeling that they are often in someone’s crosshairs. “Many commenters revealed that they believe they must constantly prove their worth to executives and other stakeholders outside the risk management function, even when their organizations are thriving. With emerging risks growing in complexity and operating environments evolving, organizations need to support the professional development of future risk leaders to enable them to perform at a high level.”

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