How can a regional network of risk managers offer a fresh approach to risk in Asia?
Q&A with Parima Chairman Franck Baron
Regional Support for Maturing Risk Management in Asia
Risk is a global issue. Around the world there are organisations that focus on developing the risk management profession, by strengthening the decision making process in order to minimize the potential risks corporations face. Such organisations can help companies develop an effective risk management programme.
The recently established Pan-Asia Risk & Insurance Management Association (PARIMA) strives to do just that in the Asia market. While it is one of the youngest associations in the risk management industry, it is quickly becoming prominent. Parima’s primary objective is to improve educational opportunities and create a strong community by encouraging dialogue amongst risk managers throughout Asia. This, in turn, will further strengthen the risk management culture in the region.
In order to increase awareness of the association and to spread its reach across the continent, Parima has appointed several board members to represent the association and help achieve its mission in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. In addition, Parima has joined other global organisations to become an official member of the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations (IFRIMA), where Parima’s chairman, Franck Baron, has just been appointed vice-president.
Mr. Baron’s leadership in Asia is founded on nearly 25 years of international risk management experience. He previously served on the boards of the French and Swiss Risk Management Associations, before being named Vice President of the European Federation of Risk Management Associations (FERMA) in 2007, the same year he was honoured as the “European Risk Manager of the Year”. In 2011, he was appointed Group General Manager of Risk Management & Insurance at International SOS. Just this month, the Asia Insurance Industry Award Committee has commended Mr. Baron’s pioneering and leadership of Parima, by naming him “Corporate Risk Manager of the Year”.
Talking to Fast Fast Forward, Mr. Baron outlines the risk management challenges, Parima’s goals and his expectations for its upcoming conference.
Which challenges does Asia face as the risk management culture matures?
“Organisations face various challenges in developing a strong and consistent risk management culture. Currently, we are seeing an increasing need for recognised and integrated risk management programmes as well as accountability with those responsible for risk. Often, the person responsible does not hold the title of “Risk Manager,” which is needed in order to gain access to the most senior, and strategic, members of an organisation. This situation can create obstacles for seamless execution of a comprehensive risk management practice."
“In some cases there is a risk management process present, but it can be very structurally motivated by the organisation, when really a solution driven approach is needed to integrate the existing tools most effectively. Therefore, in order to make informed decisions and achieve the appropriate business objectives, it is important for individuals and organisations to understand how to fully develop and implement existing risk management skills.”How will Parima help risk managers face these challenges?
“To achieve its goals, Parima will provide extensive leadership training on the practice of risk management and offer opportunities for people to connect and share their knowledge. I believe that Parima has a strong part to play in building a strong risk management community across Asia."
“The association is built “for risk managers by risk managers,” enabling participants to look at different areas of the practice by receiving shared knowledge from experts across all sectors. Parima offer insights on current areas of the economy such as Corporate Governance, Political and economic trends or Technology provided by industry experts, senior management and insurance companies. In addition, we are also planning to foster exchange between our members in terms of in enterprise risk management, risk financing and prevention."
“However, the priority for Parima today is to raise the profile of the risk management profession and introduce a consistent practice among all members’ countries by providing guidance to risk managers to help further development of risk management programs in any stage.”
What is the biggest factor in creating a consistent, regional risk approach?
“Networking is one of the key aspects to raise the risk management profile and increase awareness. On December 8 and 9, Parima will hold its inaugural Asian Risk Management conference in Singapore. At the conference, the region’s risk managers will discuss leading industry topics, and share their knowledge and experiences, while also gaining the chance to network with professionals from different sectors. In order to support the risk management culture, it is important that associations like Parima provide platforms for people to access information, exchange ideas, share concerns, gain insight or just meet like-minded people"
“Since there is no consistent, defined role of a risk manager yet, organisations like Parima will bring together all professionals currently working in the Asian risk space. This is a necessary and positive step forward because all sides need to align and appreciate all risk management areas in order to combine the expertise to ultimately create the most efficient practice for their own organisation.”