Risk managers pivotal to companies’ survival

The Chair of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has said the role of the risk manager has never been more important than in the current crisis.

Writing in the Institute of Risk Management’s Risk Prediction’s 2021, Iain Wright (above) said the impact of the pandemic and Brexit on the UK and Europe has created a range of emerging risks that needed to be effectively tackled.

“I think it is fair to say that risk professionals have never been so busy and pivotal to the survival or organisations of all types globally; risk management has been at the heart of the global response and our profession is firmly in the spotlight,” he added. “Risk managers’ competence and resilience has been tested like never before and lessons have undoubtedly been learned.”

Mr Wright said 2021 had “got off to a difficult, but not entirely unexpected start”.

“Many countries are sadly (but necessarily) back into lockdown measurers due to the pandemic.” He added. “But with the vaccine rollout under way we hope for a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The world has changed as we know it. Organisations have had to adapt to survive and ways of working are more reliant on technology than ever before as many staff work from home.

“Organisations are facing increased and increasing risks from both internal and external factors that have undoubtedly been exacerbated by COVID-19, including people risk (mental health, wellbeing, physical health of staff), increased cyber-attacks, supply chain disruption and ongoing market confidence/volatility across sectors, which is exacerbated by geopolitical volatility in some areas.”

On Brexit Mr Wright said it had fundamentally changed the landscape as to how goods are moved between the UK and mainland Europe, creating new challenges for risk managers that work for firms that require the shipment of goods between the two.

The IRM’s publication has been based on a survey of the organisation’s special interest and regional interest groups and its global ambassadors in which they were asked for their views on the shape of risk management for the year ahead.