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As CSL Behring L.L.C. and its parent, CSL Ltd., released a new company risk framework in 2008, CSL Behring's information technology department began devising a Microsoft Excel-based tool to manage the process.
The tool proved to be a useful one, according to John J. Marren, director, global risk and insurance management at King of Prussia, Pa.-based CSL Behring and its Parkville, Australia-based parent, CSL.
The system began with a basic risk profile summary on which information could be entered about every identified risk, he said. “We built essentially a one-page data entry for every given risk in Excel,” Mr. Marren said.
“From all that data, it created a risk register. So every risk would appear in this table on a separate Excel tab in this file,” Mr. Marren said. “Based on certain risk ratings or risk assessments, it would set priority for those risks.”
Among other things, the tool also included a “management effectiveness” element “to provide credit for controls in place,” such as processes, programs or equipment aimed at controlling an exposure, the risk manager said.
Designated risk leaders for the various operations in the company are responsible for logging any risk changes or updates in the system and provide an explanation for the changes. Mr. Marren then prepares a quarterly risk management report and participates in a corporate risk management committee meeting.
The risk management software tool has proved highly successful, though the company now is prepared to move on to its successor, which is awaiting corporate approval.
“Four years later, we're still using it,” Mr. Marren said. “However, much of my job lately has been devoted to a project to replace it with something that's more current and specific to managing risk.” Approval of the new system was expected this spring, with hopes that it will be in place by the end of the year.
The overriding risk management philosophy at CSL Ltd. and CSL Behring L.L.C. is operational risk management, and executing the philosophy involves a decentralized approach passing risk management responsibility to the managers of the companies' various operations.