Some people miss the good old days. I don’t. I’ve been around since the days when business was done on a napkin with people who were more like buddies than business partners and yes, when the deal was done, there was usually time for another round. Good times were had. But today the stakes are higher. The business we do is bigger. Today we know that risk isn’t just about property and casualty policies. Today we understand that risk is a key driver of success. And looking ahead the trend is clear: the risk manager of the future is going to have a seat at the table and I’m glad to see it coming.
More prestige, influence and, yes, money
The risk managers of the future are going to have a broader role in their organizations. They’re going to be hired with the direct participation of their company’s top leaders and those leaders are going to be looking for more education, training and experience. They’re going to be looking for knowledge of finance and law. They’re going to be looking for advanced degrees. They’re going to be looking for smart leaders ready and eager for that seat at the table. And the risk managers of the future are going to be compensated accordingly – with prestige, influence and, yes, money.
When I started in this business I met a CEO of a company and asked him who bought insurance at his company. He didn’t even know. Risk management was pretty much buying insurance and buying insurance was a transaction about as important as paying rent and getting office supplies. You needed it, but if you were running a company, you didn’t want to think about it. Today, the C-suite is thinking about it, because they’re thinking about risk in a bigger way.
Risk today includes cyber risk, which can threaten every aspect of an organization. Terrorism risk. Political risk. Supply chain risk. Reputational risk. These are threats that can take down a company. These are risks that go to the heart of a company’s identity and finances. Today, the risk manager is called upon to advise the company leadership on strategic operational and financial issues. In the future, that role will only expand.