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PARISA group of France's top academic and professional organizations and insurers has started an ambitious foundation to promote research and education in risk.
The Paris-based Fondation du Risque aims to be "an international center for risk research and education that will study the scientific, statistical, economic, legal and social aspects of all types of risks, including natural, health, energy and industrial risks," said Catherine Vesperini, course director for Paris Dauphine University's master's program in insurance and risk management.
The foundation was created by Paris Dauphine University, the Ecole Polytechnique, the Centre d'Etudes Actuarielles and the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique. It was set up to help public and private decision-makers and the general public gain a deeper understanding of risk mechanisms, said Ms. Vesperini.
AGF Management Ltd., AXA S.A., Groupama S.A., Societe Generale and SCOR S.A. are contributing some e6.5 million ($8.7 million) in operational funds over five years, said Ms. Vesperini.
She said the foundation will establish three to four modules of four-month, postgraduate courses covering analysis and calculation of different types of risks. "The studies will take a very scientific approach to risk," she said. Ms. Vesperini added that risk managers from companies could also attend to hone their expertise.
The foundation plans to organize international conferences on risk at least yearly, for specialists as well as for the general public. It will hold periodic seminars on specific subjects and publish a magazine and reports. In addition, a foundation Web site will offer access to a document database.
The foundation plans to promote comprehension about risks by linking with nongovernmental organizations, consumer associations and other groups, its mission statement said.
The four-person directorate is headed by Jean Berthon, director general of the Centre d'Etudes Actuarielles and former chairman of the International Actuarial Assn.
Ms. Vesperini said France's risk management group, the Association pour le Management des Risques et des Assurances de l'Entreprise, had attended meetings on creating the foundation but was not among its members. "AMRAE is not a school or company able to fund the foundation. Their interest in risk is practical, whereas the foundation takes a much more scientific, research-based view of risks."