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Execs cite regulatory change and scrutiny as greatest risk

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Regulatory change and scrutiny, economic conditions and cyber threats are the top risks that concern executives, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Succession challenges, ensuring privacy and the speed of disruptive innovations also were also among top risks cited by 535 board members and high-level executives who were surveyed by the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative of the Poole College of Management of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Menlo Park, California-based consultant Protiviti Inc.

The remaining top 10 risks cited were: resistance hindering necessary adjustments to the business model and core operations; anticipated volatility in global financial markets; organizational culture not sufficiently encouraging timely identification of risk issues; and the increasing difficulty of sustaining customer loyalty and retention.

Regulatory change and heightened regulatory scrutiny topped risks cited by survey respondents for the fourth consecutive year.

The rapid speed of disruptive innovations and anticipated volatility in global financial markets joined the top 10 for the first time in the latest survey, which was conducted late last year.

“The results of our latest survey show that key stakeholders' expectations regarding the need for greater transparency about the nature and magnitude of organizations' risks continue to be high,” Patrick Scott, Protiviti executive vice president of industry groups, said in a statement.