CEO on risk management now being part of everything

The aspiration is to help get everyone on board

CEO on risk management now being part of everything

Risk Management News


RiskNZ chief executive David Turner (pictured) is keen to work with more of New Zealand to get people on board the risk management train.

Turner, who no longer sits on the board and now has more time to focus on growing the non-profit association, told Insurance Business following his promotion from managing director to CEO: “Risk management is from the bottom of the South Island to the top of the North Island, and we haven’t really tapped into possibly 70% of the market.

“Some of that market, which we need to start tapping into – and we’re gradually doing this now – could include, for example, tourism, to real estate, to transport, to agriculture, to construction. Everywhere there’s risk, we can help with continuity and risk management, risk understanding, and risk maturity.”

The challenge, said Turner, is to get in front of those different industries to allow RiskNZ to help out as much as it can.

“Risk management is part of business practices, and people are starting to realise this – that if risk is done correctly, it can help promote the business, whatever it might be; it can help get better results, better consistency, and also better profits; it can help their customers and clients,” said the CEO. “So, it’s a very valuable source, if done correctly, and that’s where as an industry we are heading now.

“From my own experience, some parts of the risk industry thought we were maybe 80% there with risk management a couple of years ago. I think we’re finding out now that we’re possibly 30% to 40% there with risk management. And that’s because we’re now taking into account a lot more: from people to wellbeing, to the different industries as a way of looking at risks, to understanding that leadership helps set the tone.”

For Turner, there is a lot more potential when it comes to risk management, which excites him.

“We can do so much going forward,” he told Insurance Business. “And this is being able to make risk management a habit through all industries, all organisations, and getting everyone on board with risk thinking. That’s really exciting stuff. If we don’t and we stay with only what we have known and practiced – like concentrating on only specific areas within risk management – then we could create more risk because we are not looking at the whole organisation or not looking hard enough.”

What RiskNZ members want

To achieve RiskNZ’s aspirations, Turner believes it’s crucial that the peak body is able to provide its more than 1,000 members what is important for them.

“We need to get even more value for our members and make obtaining information and training on risk management much easier,” asserted the CEO. “My new role allows me to have more time to do this, and also work with our valuable sponsors who are keen on providing good quality for our members and making sure that everything we do is relevant, on point, and that we are really meeting the challenges now and in the future with risk management.

“The next level is all about looking at risk in a slightly different way – thinking, discussing, and looking at leadership as a main cornerstone for what risk management can achieve, and ensuring that we keep evolving. Understanding where to place our time and effort would come from spending more time working with and talking to our membership base and making sure we have the right sponsors who can provide great value.

“From those discussions, it’s learning what people really want and what people really need, and also spending time to research both in New Zealand and globally about what’s coming up, what’s relevant, and how we need to start moving forward in risk management.”

So, what do RiskNZ members look for?

Turner noted: “Members have really come up with a list of what’s most important to them. And it might change a little, but certainly climate change is at the top of that list. Business continuity planning is also very important. We’ve got risk management training and upskilling – so, what does that look like for careers and people in risk management? How can we make sure there’s a pathway that recruiters can also identify with?

“There’s everything from how do we do a risk appetite statement to how do we make sure our cybersecurity / information security and privacy is really being protected? And then there’s the big area of risk maturity assessments. Risk maturity is constantly evolving, and so being able to gauge and measure this is important, and risk reporting which is also key.

“A key area of mine, when I consult and provide assessments, is look at the risk report. So, how do you communicate to boards and senior leadership teams? How do you articulate this well in the report? This is just a beginning of a list of what we’ve found members need.”

What falls on RiskNZ is a responsibility to deliver the above to its membership base to the best of its ability.

“It’s making sure we can get the value which members want in an easy to understand and decisive way which they can take back to their organisations,” said Turner. “So, if that’s training, if it’s webinars, if it’s panel discussions, if it’s our RiskNZ summit coming up in August on the 21st and 22nd in Wellington, then we have to make sure that we provide high value for our members.”

What are your thoughts on risk management? Discuss in the comments below.

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