Tag Archives: Risk Management

Europe is the world’s top tourist destination… but are tourists safe?

Worldwide, tourist travel is on the rise. Indeed, international tourism actually dwarfs any other type of leisure business in terms of growth. One of the global regions benefiting the most from this trend is Europe: the world’s first tourism destination.

Central to the dynamism of European tourism is accommodation: hotels, B&Bs and online-rented space, but due to a loose legislative framework for safety, which is rapidly becoming obsolete as our habits as tourists evolve, hotels might also become European tourism’s Achilles’ heel.

Of all the dangers posed to a tourist’s safety in a European hotel, fire remains the biggest. Currently, the legal basis on the matter is a 1986 EU Council Recommendation on fire safety in hotels. Since EU Recommendations are, by their very nature, non-binding legal acts, this has resulted in mainly localised and incomplete measures. Fast forward 30 years later, and it’s clear that the Recommendation has had limited effect on hotel safety in Europe: a fact acknowledged by hotel federations and consumer associations alike.

The main issue is that local self-regulation resulting from the EU Recommendation hasn’t guaranteed an even level of safety across the EU. Enforcement varies considerably from country to country, and even from city to city, including in the same region, and largely depends on the size of the hotel. All-too-often, small hotels are less well scrutinised, and somewhat more ill-equipped than bigger ones to deal with fires. Local laws frequently link the number of rooms with compliance to the Recommendation.

Global trends

An analysis of global trends in tourism shows that, as our tourist habits evolve, the risk resulting from the current situation increases: more and more travellers choose to go ‘off the map’ opting for smaller hotels rather than big chains. This new type of tourist also tends to visit exactly those countries where safety in hotels is less controlled.

Add to this the relatively unregulated development of increasingly popular online ‘homestay’ networks, such as Airbnb, and you have a flammable cocktail. The situation seems to be calling for a fast reaction.

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The most recent attempt to initiate binding legislation on tourism accommodation safety arose in October 2015. A Resolution of the European Parliament called for a consistent European approach around risks related to fire. Reactions to the Resolution from various Brussels-based influencers highlighted a novel situation. All parties involved – ie consumer associations, hotel federations and Euralarm, the European Trade Association representing the electronic fire and security industry – now seem to agree that a legally binding EU Directive would be the right solution to address the issue.

Industry-led survey

Unfortunately, the initiative derailed due to a lack of reliable supporting data. The exact level of risk existing for the flows of tourists travelling to and inside Europe remains a question mark.

Outside of empirical observations, statistics on safety in tourism are notoriously hard to come by, with reputational issues hampering self-reporting. An EU Commission-initiated data collection programme launched in 2008 resulted in a blatant failure.

The focus now is on a survey led by the industry, rather than the EU. Among others, Euralarm has asserted its readiness to help with new data collection efforts. The organisation has also offered to provide support and expertise to the EU Institutions and the CEN-CENELEC European standardisation platform for the development of the relevant legislation and necessary standards needed to improve fire safety in hotels.

Progress in European legislation and standardisation is often slow unless the issue makes it to the news headlines. In 2004, after a number of tunnel fires with resulting casualties, the EU Commission was forced to publish a Directive on tunnel fire safety. Should we wait any further before adopting a Directive on tourism accommodation safety?

Time to act

Any failure to act quickly could lead to another cost for Europe. As tourism is now more globalised than ever, competition becomes fiercer, and parts of the world with more stringent and well-established regulations for safety in tourism accommodation might hold a key advantage.

In the United States for example, a Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act has been in place since 1990. Potential future incidents resulting from poor regulation could hit Europe’s tourism industry particularly hard. Its reputation as a safe destination has already taken a blow due to recent terrorist attacks.

Tourism is one of the engines of the European economy and an important source of jobs. Eurostat reports that one-in-ten non-financial enterprises in Europe belong to the tourism industries, and that these 2.2 million enterprises employ an estimated 12 million people. That’s more than one-in-five of individuals employed across the services sector.

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Milestone Systems and Community Partners deliver high profile retail surveillance solution across Middle East and North Africa

Milestone Systems, the developer of open platform IP VMS, has delivered a flexible and scalable surveillance solution for Majid Al Futtaim’s multi-site operations across the Middle East and North Africa. The solution integrates Best-in-Class technologies from Community Partners.

As a fast-growing business, Majid Al Futtaim realised that managing large camera networks and risks across multiple sites and countries posed several challenges. First, the outdated analogue surveillance infrastructure was in need of being modernised. Second, the sheer size of the operation, with multiple sites across several countries and more than a thousand cameras at some sites, had to be addressed.

Following a comprehensive vetting process, Majid Al Futtaim chose a state-of-the-art security and video surveillance solution in order for the business to remain at the forefront of operating safe and secure retail and leisure environments.

The Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS permits Majid Al Futtaim to operate the entire surveillance solution from a single management interface in the UAE. Being able to access all the sites from one location enables the operations team to co-ordinate surveillance and management efforts across those sites. Other relevant parties can also leverage the information directly from mobile clients, in turn enabling more efficient safety operations.

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Top-of-the-range Axis Communications cameras and Pivot3 hyper-converged server infrastructure guarantee the host business lives up to Government regulations. iCetana’s dynamic live monitoring system helps offset the challenges of actively monitoring the large camera networks and enables a real-time assessment and response capability.

Operational costs related to the hardware, servers and cameras have been reduced from 23% to 7%. Real-time response capability helps make overall security operations more effective by immediately identifying risks. Today, there are approximately 10-12 incidents actioned per 300 cameras.

“We are honoured Majid Al Futtaim has chosen Milestone as its primary VMS and we look forward to continuing to support them now and into the future,” enthused Peter Biltsted, director for the Middle East and Africa at Milestone Systems.

“iCetana is proud to provide ongoing support to Majid Al Futtaim throughout the MENA region, and also to be part of Milestone’s Partner Community as key components of Majid Al Futtaim’s video surveillance infrastructure,” added Stephen Bose, head of business development at iCetana.

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The Legal Risk Management Handbook set for publication by KoganPage

Legal risk covers all areas of business where regulation and the law impact on operations and decisions. From risks arising from contract drafting and management through to regulators’ new focus on conduct, as well as compliance, regulatory and dispute risks, the effective management of legal risk is key for organisations that want to maximise value while minimising cost and exposure to legal losses. The Legal Risk Management Handbook, to be published by KoganPage on 3 December, is a practical guide to making sure your business is legal, protected and making the most of its opportunities.

Written by experts in law and risk management, this highly practical guide sets out a clear definition for legal risk and a framework for its management. Covering the full spectrum of legal risks that international businesses can face, it translates legal concepts into clear mitigatory actions.

Whether you’re an in-house lawyer needing a clear approach to managing risk in your areas of influence, or a member of the risk management function needing a jargon-free guide to your company’s legal responsibilities, you will find authoritative insight and guidance in this publication.

Containing Case Studies from international businesses and real-life insights from those at the coalface of legal risk management, The Legal Risk Management Handbook is essential reading for everyone who needs a better understanding of this important business topic.

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Simon Nasta, general counsel for FBN UK, has provided advance praise for the book, calling it a ‘must read’ for in-house lawyers and new general counsels. “I particularly like the simple and practical guides to implement what are quite advanced legal risk management techniques,” explained Nasta.

Professor Stuart Weinstein of the Faculty of Business and Law at Coventry University commented: “The Legal Risk Management Handbook contains a wealth of information useful for any company involved in international business to consider when managing legal risk. What sets this book apart is that it translates complex legal principles into practical operating tools that business managers and the lawyers who work with them can use on a day-to-day basis. An indispensable compendium for the legal and compliance team, the executive suite and the Boardroom who must work hard to ensure that legal risk management is at the top of the agenda in every organisation.”

Matthew Kellett, EY UK law leader (FSO) stated: “This book challenges all organisations to review their legal risk management strategies and provides practical suggestions on how to flex their approach to enhance legislative and regulatory compliance. All those in leadership or front line advisory roles will relate to the issues raised and can benefit from the proposed solutions to manage their forward exposures to legal loss.”

The book’s authors are Matthew Whalley and Chris Guzelian. Whalley has a unique blend of practical experience and strategic insight into legal risk management and law department operations. He created the UK’s first and only Legal Risk Consultancy in 2012, and has helped FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 clients alike take their first steps towards developing a structured approach to legal risk. Whalley was shortlisted for the Laurie Young Memorial Global Thought Leadership Award in 2014 for his detailed papers on legal risk management.

Chris Guzelian is an associate professor at the Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego, California where he teaches business, criminal and American constitutional law courses. Previously, he was a state prosecutor, a civilian officer with the US Department of Defence and a lawyer with the Us bankruptcy courts. Guzelian advises a number of corporate, non-profit and Government authorities on risk-related matters.

  • EAN: 9780749477974
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3 December 2016
  • Format: Paperback
  • 232 pages

*To order your copy visit: https://www.koganpage.com/product/the-legal-risk-management-handbook-9780749477974

 

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Ideagen releases latest version of Pentana with improved user interface and browser-based risk management

Ideagen has released the latest version of its risk-based audit automation software which comprises a substantially enhanced user experience and new features to support browser-based risk management.

Ideagen Pentana Version 5 provides web access to audit findings, custom fields and user defined views to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of assurance processes.

Building on the Web Actions feature introduced in Version 4.2, Pentana Version 5.0 brings several more important end user tools to the browser interface including Web Risks, Web Findings and Web Views.

User experience improvements include improved performance when producing reports, multilingual ‘pick lists’ to let users see UI and system messages in their own language and a new look and feel to bring it into line with other Ideagen-federated products.

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Ken Ebbage, Ideagen’s head of products, said: “Ideagen Pentana is trusted and used by over 450 clients worldwide and offers a complete solution for risk-based auditing. The product leverages Ideagen’s enterprise risk management expertise and technology base to deliver ambitious organisational governance objectives and high operational performance.”

Ebbage added: “In Version 5, we’ve built in a host of improvements with the end user experience in mind, but perhaps the most important innovation in the latest version of the software is the ability to manage and assess entity risks and controls via a web browser. This affords business user departments a simple interface to self-assess their own risk registers without having to load the full software. This is invaluable for Sarbanes-Oxley and other internal control applications.”

Ideagen Pentana Version 5 will be supplied as a free upgrade to Ideagen’s existing supported client base, including those who upgrade from the company’s legacy Pentana Audit Work System. With the latest release, Ideagen has federated Pentana with other products in its portfolio, among them Q-Pulse.

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Advent IM outlines detail for ‘Cyber for the C-Suite’ Breakfast Seminar

A breakfast seminar created exclusively for business leaders and senior Board members seeking guidance on the present cyber security threat is to be run by security consultancy Advent IM at the company’s Training Centre near the M5, Birmingham on 7 December.

With many years’ experience in senior level consulting, training and mentoring, the seminar will be delivered by Advent IM’s managing director Mike Gillespie, who’s also director of cyber strategy and research for The Security Institute. As a director, Gillespie understands the place of senior leadership in cyber resilience and risk management.

The seminar is designed to promote and enhance understanding of the organisational threats that Boardrooms need to factor into resilience strategies. Attendees will also have first access to places on the forthcoming training course, again exclusively for senior leaders and the C-Suite, which will start in March 2017.

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Gillespie informed Risk UK: “The cyber threat landscape is high on the agenda of all Boardrooms. Many businesses have felt the impact of cyber attack, either directly or through supply chain partners. No size of business is immune and no kind of service spared the attackers’ attentions, with even hospitals being struck by ransomware.”

He added: “Recent research suggests that 82% of businesses say security is a CEO or Board-level concern, with two-thirds suggesting that they’re increasing cyber security spend. The additional spend is great, but without leadership and solid strategy it may not achieve anything near its potential, and cyber risk may not be reduced. We absolutely have to make sure Boardrooms are well briefed and understand how to go about effective cyber risk management.”

*Details of the seminar and how to book can be found at: http://www.advent-im.co.uk/breakfast-seminar-7th-december-cyber-security-awareness-for-business-leaders/. Alternatively, telephone 0121 559 6699 or 0207 100 1124 or send an e-mail to: bestpractice@advent-im.co.uk

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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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Corporate Risk Associates announces speaker line-up for annual Risk Forum

Now preparing to host its seventh annual Risk Forum, Corporate Risk Associates (CRA) has announced a host of highly esteemed speakers for the event including a wealth of well-known industry figures. 

Due to be held on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 October at the Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon, the event provides an excellent opportunity for professionals, academics and peers from across the security profession to learn about the latest advances in mission critical industries.

The event, which runs under the banner ‘To Automate or Not to Automate’, will feature 14 speakers who have all had first-hand experience in mission critical industries, with many working on the risk management of major projects. They will share their expertise and wealth of knowledge with attendees as they contribute towards the development of risk analysis and human factors.

Speakers include Bryan Coxson from EDF Energy, who will be presenting a Case Study focusing on specific features of the Sizewell B design having worked in the design team since 1986, as well as Elaine Vinton and Richard Screeton from the Office of Nuclear Regulation. They’ll be discussing the use of advanced Control Rooms and automation from the UK nuclear perspective.

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Speaking about the line-up of speakers, Jasbir Sidhu (CEO and founder of CRA) said: “We have a fantastic host of speakers at this year’s event who will all be presenting their own dynamic and thought-provoking views on the use of automation in safety critical industries. It’s a very poignant topic in the sector. It’s great to see that we have attracted such a high calibre of leading professionals and academics to speak at this year’s Risk Forum. As we run into our seventh year, we believe this is very much down to CRA providing a valued voice for the industry through hosting events such as this and promoting open discussion. We have successfully created an excellent platform for experts to share Best Practice and transfer valuable and insightful knowledge as we pursue our goal to make the risk management sector the best it can possibly be.”

The two-day event will focus around whether the reduction of human input, with the introduction of increasingly complex automated systems, will be either a friend or foe to the industry.

Anticipated to attract at least 100 attendees from all over the globe, the event’s popularity has grown year on year, with people travelling from as far afield as the West Coast of the USA and New Mexico to engage with leaders in the industry.

Other speakers include Karl Fleming (president of KNF Consulting Services), Andrew Buchan (head of analysis and assessment, security and resilience at Sellafield) and Jeton Partini from CGM in Sweden.

Established in 2000, CRA specialises in managing safety, reliability and risk across the nuclear, transportation, defence and finance sectors. With offices in London, Warrington and other locations, the company has recently been shortlisted as Risk Management Team of the Year at this year’s CIR Risk Management Awards.

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