European Forum delegates told that “the risk manager can be not just a map reader, but a map maker” at corporations

Risk management and the insurance industry are at crossroads as they face a changing European environment and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,Jo Willaert, the president of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has claimed.

Willaert opened the 2017 FERMA Forum in Monaco this week and told the 1300 risk professionals from across Europe in attendance that “we are living in a fascinating time”.

“There are certainly threats but also many opportunities. We find ourselves at a crossroads, and we are all looking for the right directions,” said Willaert.

“I believe that by an emphasis on leadership, communication and education, the risk manager can be not just a map reader, but a map maker. The risk manager can be the leader in his or her function and foster the leadership of the enterprise.”

Willaert emphasised the positive nature of managed risk-taking and said that risk managers and the insurance industry should play an essential role in helping businesses to embrace opportunities. For risk managers, the way forward is to support and inform risk taking.

“We play a valuable role in our risk reporting and compliance function, but we should also have the confidence to build on that aspect of our work and show how managed risk-taking is positive and essential to the sustainability of the enterprise. If we can do this, our choice of future routes is wide,” he said.

The insurance community, said Willaert, will remain the risk managers’ closest partner, but he called on brokers and insurers to work in a new way with businesses by emphasising service and broader solutions, rather than traditional underwriting and lines of business.

“Insurers are at a crossroads, but not at a dead end. We encourage the industry to follow a different route, expanding the type of solutions and providing services, such as their technical expertise and data sharing, in partnership with their corporate clients,” added Willaert.