In order to stay proactive rather than reactive to 21st century business risks, industries as diverse and exciting as cannabis, cyber security, finance and healthcare use enterprise risk management (ERM). Last year, emerging technology and new management disciplines were explored as the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management hosted its first-ever ERM Conference at the Fox School of Business. A grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation made the event possible for over 80 attendees. Industry experts at the conference discussed recent discoveries, longer-term trends and shared their best practices along with pitfalls to avoid.
“Risk can surface in multiple forms—cybersecurity, supply chain, climate change, human capital, data analytics and beyond,” said M. Michael Zuckerman, Temple University, Associate Professor and Academic Director for Enterprise Risk Management, and one of the conference’s organizers.
Steven Schain, Senior Counsel at Hoban Law Group who works primarily with banks, shared insights from within the cannabis industry during his presentation. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. legal marijuana sales in 2018 were estimated at $10.2 billion. And while cannabis is a lucrative industry, less than .03% of banks are willing to serve marijuana related businesses (MRB). Since federal restrictions make it difficult for MRBs to make financial transactions, challenges abound. MRBs often conduct businesses without bank accounts, and must use cash for crucial functions like employee payroll, rent, taxes and paying vendors. Robbery and assault are also considered higher-risk in this field due to the extraordinary levels of cash.
“Insurance only covers up to $20,000 cash loss, and since many MRBs have $200,000 to $500,000 on hand, theft can be fatal,” says Schain.
Carol Fox, vice president of strategic initiatives at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), presented on cybersecurity. Although estimates vary, loss due to cybersecurity breaches is in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year. A 2016 report by Cybersecurity Ventures stated that cybercrime will cost more than $6 trillion worldwide by 2019.
“A disturbing percentage of risk professionals are unaware of disruptive technology prevalence,” she warns.
As a discipline, ERM has the ability to transcend any single industry. Kelly Botti, senior vice president, chief risk officer and corporate counsel at TruMark Financial Credit Union, shared her journey in guiding the TruMark Financial executive team to understand and value risk strategy.
“At its core, Enterprise Risk Management promotes two essential business concepts: informed decision-making and authentic conversation,” says Botti. “Its greatest value is the ability to spark curiosity. In approaching ERM from this angle, executive teams gain insight, as opposed to information, which aid in the development of corporate vision and strategy.”
Planning is already underway for the second annual conference in May 2019, hosted again by the Fox School, with no shortage of fascinating topics on the horizon.
“The opportunity ahead is to harness Big Data,” says Ian Waxman, Principal at Navigate. “How do we use it,? How can we do a better job of getting ahead of risk and being quicker in responding to it?”
For more information about the Fox School of Business and the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management, click here.