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Rather than a controlling function to be avoided, risk management is becoming a more integrated, fluid and mature discipline, increasing both the value it creates and its level of collaboration with the business.
This is one of the findings of Accenture’s 5th Global Risk Management Study conducted in 2017, which surveyed 475 senior risk management executives from the banking, capital markets and insurance industries across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
However, while the risk management function has made considerable progress in three important dimensions - integration, technology and people -, the pace of integration with the business remains relatively slow and it still struggles with capability shortages in specialized areas as well as how to respond to a new generation of emerging risks.
How risk management leaders are addressing these challenges
Based on the study findings, Accenture identifies three categories of financial services firms at the forefront of addressing these challenges:
The Integrators: Representing 15% of the study sample, these firms have demonstrated real progress in integrating risk in the wider business context. They also outperform their counterparts across almost all risk key performance indicators. In addition, they are significantly more likely to coordinate risk management centrally across specific lines of business, and twice as likely to have a fully integrated finance and risk model.
The Smart Technologists: They too represent 15% of the study sample and have made more progress than most in embedding smart technology into the risk function. Compared with peers, they are highly proficient in using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. This positions them ahead of their peers in identifying, quantifying, monitoring and mitigating risk.
The Multi-Disciplinarians: Representing 10% of those surveyed, this group effectively brings together a broad base of skills, aligning internal resources across crucial specialist areas. Almost 60% of this group say they are responding to cost pressures by aligning management and employee skills with the changing needs of the risk function, compared with just 45% in the rest of the sample. They are now also moving ahead on the technology agenda and strengthening their understanding of emerging technology risks as a top priority for the year ahead.