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Australia: With the world at tipping point, risk managers hold sway

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Oct 2017

Australia Risk Management

With increasing risk scenarios in the social, political, and business domains, the world is at a tipping point where people are ready for change, and change is inevitable, said Mr Kevin Bates, President, Risk Management Society’s (RIMS) Australasia Chapter, citing Trumpism, Brexit, and a 21-year-old Singaporean swimmer dethroning all-time most decorated swimming Olympian as almost unpredictable events where the betting world was offering huge odds. 
   Speaking at the opening of the recent RIMS RISK Forum Australasia 2017, Mr Bates, who is also Group Head of Risks & Insurance, Lendlease, said there is therefore a greater need for collaboration and networking to pick the brains of risk experts all over the globe. He hailed the untapped yet amazing expertise and resources within the RIMS infrastructure as missed opportunities, urging risk managers to leverage on the unique power of networking globally to find the right solutions.
   Echoing these sentiments was 2017 RIMS President Mr Nowell Seaman, who said the risk manager’s journey, having been fraught with twists and turns, is now coming into better clarity and greater focus with some even on the risk maturity curve. With his mantra of “forward together”, he said the risk manager can “create as well preserve” business with the right risk management tools, as he connects the various departments including IT, HR, Legal and finance within a business.
No option but to think global
Mr Michael Pascoe, Contributing Editor, Fairfax Media, in his stunning keynote address wowed the audience with a review of what he termed “the year of the backflip”, highlighting the growing disquiet in the middle class and consumers getting smarter. His message was that businesses must make the best offer and give the best service as people cannot be fooled anymore. 
   And with globalisation, businesses have no option but to think global. This represents a “fantastic giant opportunity” but “you have to get better” than what you are doing now, he said.
Dr Matthew Bell, Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY, ended the opening ceremony with some 150 delegates with yet another reverting set of collated data and trends, stressing the need for scenario planning and multi-year view of business for long term value creation, while understanding the global forces at work.
   He noted that Asian investors were above average in the curve in looking at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability matters, as were the young consumers who were not bothered by brands but in relationships with the firms they were buying from. 
   Some of the megatrends he identified included the future of SMART, urban world, resourceful planet, health reimagined, and a future of work where 47% of today’s occupation can be automated, and the empowered consumers . A 
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