Bob Benson

It has been more than twenty years since the title "Chief Risk Officer" was coined by James Lam, which itself reflected over a decade's worth of extensive thinking into how to make a holistic enterprise view of risk management practical.

The early days of enterprise risk management heralded the promise of forever breaking the silo's of risk management practice in organization. Instead of strategic, operational, financial and insurable risk management being practiced separately and often at odds with one another, they would be integrated and aligned instead. This would allow organizations to better manage the risks and exploit the opportunities demanded by an increasingly complex and inter-related global business environment.

Even as enterprise risk management started to gain significant footholds in organizations, there were worries voiced that the promises made for ERM's were overblown hyperbole. A Cutter IT Journal issue in 2002, for instance, asked whether risk management practice was destined to be a fad, like disco music?

These concerns were brushed off as the market — and the business results touted from organizations claiming to practice ERM especially in the financial sector — grew.

However, the past few years of the economic meltdown as well as major project disasters have shown that in all too many cases, ERM was merely a chimera. Lip service was paid, but the real practice of ERM was lacking at firms like Lehman Brothers or AIG. The on-going crisis in the mortgage industry and the recent BP Deepwater Horizon disaster are merely two other illustrations that underscore ERM's current discredited "disco music" status.

This creates an interesting paradox, however.

We are now living in a world, as insurer Lloyd's of London says, where what were previously independent and unrelated risks are now interconnected and interlinked. The intellectual need for enterprise risk management has never been higher; yet, ERM as a relevant and effective organizational practice is seen by many businesses as having no "there" there.

Business is in a situation of not being able to live without ERM, but not being to live with it either.

In this webinar, we will take an in-depth look at where enterprise risk management has been, where it is today, and where it needs to go if it wishes to become relevant to organizations today, and more importantly, tomorrow.