Tag Archives: Financial Services

Institute of Risk Management launches Regional Group focused on Belgium and Luxembourg

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has formed a Regional Group for Belgium and Luxembourg. The objective is to fill a gap in the Benelux market where there’s a lack of opportunity for risk management practitioners to network and learn from each other.

The all-new Regional Group will focus on connecting risk management professionals in the area and raising the profile of important risk management topics and developments within each industry represented.

Ultimately, the Regional Group will provide a forum for members from a diverse range of organisations, risk disciplines and sectors to network, exchange views and share Best Practice with peers on a local footing. Specifically, the Regional Group will host events and enable cross-industry pollination.

The initiative is to be run by senior risk professionals emanating from various industries including life sciences, financial services, risk advisory and construction. The chairman is David Lannoy (technical specialist at the IRM). The treasurer is Pierre Poncelet, with the new secretary being Kenneth Willems. The community manager for Belgium is Nicolas Renard, with this opposite number for Luxembourg being Simon Muir.

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David Lannoy informed Risk Xtra: “The Initial priority will be to attract members and build a network. We aim to host four events each year focused on relevant topics and aim to include contributions from high-profile international speakers with proven backgrounds in risk management activities. There will also be round table discussions with current IRM members to inform thought leadership and shape industry practice.”

Lannoy continued: “Aside from these specific activities, we’ll also aim to bring together IRM members in a friendly environment and encourage networking, spreading events across the region to increase the participation of willing professionals. We will bring members together who, in turn, will have the opportunity to share their own knowledge and experiences during events. The Regional Group will also look towards developing a risk talent incubator by reaching high-profile students and professionals through challenges to promote the profession.”

Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM, chairman of the IRM and risk management director at the RGA International Reinsurance Company, added: “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to launch this Regional Group with the support of experts. Our relationships with firms in the Benelux region have always been excellent and we welcome the opportunity to strengthen them further. Excellence in risk management requires a strong understanding of general concepts and techniques, but also an appreciation of the detailed risk landscape in particular sectors. This new Regional Group will help to enhance our interconnectedness.”

*Those professionals interested in joining the Regional Group should contact: marketing@theirm.org

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FinaMetrica launches industry’s first lexicon of financial risk

FinaMetrica, the independently-owned risk and suitability expert, is calling for the global financial services sector to adopt an industry agreed risk lexicon in its exclusive academically-researched report entitled ‘Moving Towards a Consistent Risk Language’.

Created in collaboration with economist and consultant Stuart Erskine and featuring input from Dr Andrea Vedolin of the London School of Economics, the paper examines how clear and consistent standards around the language of risk are essential for effective communication between the industry and its clients.

A wide range of terminology associated with both an investor’s risk tolerance and the wider concept of investment risk are set out in the paper as the starting point for what it believes will grow to become an industry-wide, workable vocabulary, all of which can be easily understood by the end consumer.

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From here, FinaMetrica seeks to encourage relevant representatives from businesses across the financial services world to come together and form a Working Group, led by Stuart Erskine, in order to turn the initial concept of consistent risk language into a practical toolkit for the industry.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Paul Resnik (co-founder and director at FinaMetrica) explained: “The whole premise around investing is that you largely get paid a return for taking on risk. Yet, and bizarrely, there’s no agreed way for how the industry discusses risk with clients and no agreement on what different risk terms might mean. The end result is that any two people can derive very different meanings from the same risk concept.”

Resnik continued: “FinaMetrica has argued for a long time now that a sound understanding of clients’ risk tolerance can help discourage portfolio churn and, ultimately, ensure that financial firms keep their customers for longer. We see the standardisation of risk language as the missing link that can ensure there are no negative investment surprises for the customer by helping them to fully understand how the level of risk they choose to take on aligns with their own expectations.”

Stuart Erskine added: “Until now, there has been no single document or reference point that brings together all the different terms of risk. The conversation around risk language doesn’t stop here, either. The paper isn’t intended as a set dictionary of terms, but more as the outline for a vocabulary that’s designed to kick-off conversations in the industry so that we can start working towards agreed standards around how we talk to clients about risk. With this in mind, we invite readers to share their thoughts on the report before establishing a Working Group as the next step towards developing the first ever risk language for financial services.”

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BSI publishes BS ISO 37500: Guidance on Outsourcing

BSI – the business standards company – has published BS ISO 37500: Guidance on Outsourcing, the first overarching ISO standard to set out the generic principles and procedures of outsourcing and assist businesses in accessing a common vocabulary on which to base their communications.

The value of outsourcing has already been noted by those organisations who want to increase efficiencies and reduce costs by contracting work to external third parties. This practice – which encourages mutually beneficial collaborative working relationships – has grown over the past 20 years and is estimated to generate revenues in the region of trillions of US dollars per annum.

Nevertheless, there are challenges and hazards to be encountered. Not all outsourcing deals are a success. Some can fail dramatically – and publicly – while others simply fail to perform well.

BSI ISO 37500 can help organisations boost their business efficiency, gain better value and help avoid costly mishaps. It can assist and support customers, service providers and third party advisors (such as lawyers and consultants) involved in outsourcing.

In particular, it will help organisations to identify the business case for outsourcing, select the most appropriate customer or provider partner, transition to the new operating model and deliver value through the relationship.

BS ISO 37500 can assist and support customers, service providers and third party advisors (such as lawyers and consultants) involved in outsourcing

BS ISO 37500 can assist and support customers, service providers and third party advisors (such as lawyers and consultants) involved in outsourcing

BSI ISO 37500 is relevant to all markets including manufacturing, retail, financial services, the public sector and facilities management.

Dan Palmer, head of market development for manufacturing and services at BSI, explained: “Outsourcing can apply to any business in any industry and in any location. By providing common practices, concepts and procedures that can be used to manage the outsourcing life cycle, BS ISO 37500 will improve the understanding of everyone involved in the process and lead to greater success.”

Benefits of BS ISO 37500

• Improved operability by harmonising communications between organisations engaged in – or in the process of engaging in – outsourcing in national and international markets
• Includes the terminology, concepts and procedures to improve the understanding of all parties involved in outsourcing
• Uses a common vocabulary for outsourcing communications, avoiding misunderstandings and incorrect and/or unrealistic expectations and reducing transaction costs
• Boosts business efficiency which will benefit everyone involved in the process

The international standard was developed by experts from countries including Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Netherlands and the UK. Additional UK input came from organisations including AEGON, BP, CapitalOne, DWF, Gartners, IBM, the National Outsourcing Association and PwC.

Adrian Quayle, chairman of the ISO Committee which developed the standard, added: “The benefits of using a standard such as BS ISO 37500 are clear. It provides the cornerstones of what businesses need to get right when they’re outsourcing. The application of this guidance provides all parties involved in outsourcing activities across the life-cycle with the assurance that business objectives can be achieved by using common governance and processes.”

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