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Risk managers view economy as top concern


An economic slowdown or slow recovery is the top concern among businesses and risk managers, according to the Aon Global Risk Management Survey 2019.

“Changes in the macro economy and concerns about international trade conditions are making businesses more sensitive to volatility,” said Rory Moloney, CEO of Aon Global Risk Consulting in London.

Such changes and forces also drove concerns over accelerated rates of change in market factors up to third place in the survey from 38th in 2017, according the latest biennial report comprising responses from those charged with managing risk at many of the world’s companies.

Meanwhile, damage to reputation or brand slipped to second place from first place in the previous survey.

Business interruption rose to fourth from eighth in the last survey. “I think a lot of that is spurred by the cyber linkage and the fact that a lot of the cyber incidents we are seeing globally now are ones where a cyber trigger leads to a business disruption as opposed to loss of data or data theft,” Mr. Moloney said.

Disruptive technologies rose to 14th from 20th previously. Technology is widely seen as an enabler of greater efficiency and other advantages, but it must also be looked at through a “risk lens,” Mr. Moloney said.

Concerns about workforce shortages and an aging workforce and the impact of costs associated with related health issues are part of what Mr. Moloney calls “people-related risks.” Workforce shortage moved to 18th place from 30th, and “In some economies like Asia, where there’s less available talent than in North America, those shortages become more acute,” he said.

Aging workforce and related health issues moved to 20th from 37th and is expected to move into the top 10 risks by 13 of the industries surveyed by the year 2022, Mr. Moloney said.

Loss of intellectual property fell to 34th place from 29th place in the previous survey despite the fact that “intellectual property for businesses is increasingly becoming a strategic issue and a risk issue,” Mr. Moloney said, and represents a potentially “underrated risk by the risk management community.”

This year’s report encompasses nearly 2,700 businesses in 60 countries spanning 33 industries and eight languages, Mr. Moloney said.




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