AIRMIC releases new risk appetite guides

New learning and development guides have been released by trade body AIRMIC to help risk and insurance professionals to understand the importance of risk appetite, and to navigate the UK’s Insurance Act of 2015, respectively.

AIRMIC has released two new guides in its relaunched series of popular EXPLAINED guides: Risk Appetite: The facts, the myths, and the links with culture, maturity and sustainability; and Making the most of the Insurance Act 2015.

AIRMIC’s EXPLAINED series aims to provide guidance for learning and development on a range of risk and insurance subjects at an introductory level.

Risk appetite is a key component of enterprise risk management – it refers to the amount and type of risk that an organisation is willing to pursue or retain. The report aims to providing individuals who may not be risk management specialists, with a high-level overview of:

  • What risk appetite is and why it is important
  • How risk appetite can be used to support decision-making
  • The role of culture in risk management
  • Practical challenges of applying the concepts of risk appetite

The publication is a partnership between AIRMIC and Arthur D Little, a management consultancy, and QBE, an international insurance company.

The approach described in the guide is aimed at ensuring that an organisation effectively implements a mechanism for understanding how much risk it should take in relation to strategic objective-setting, value creation and best value delivery, business model changes and investment decisions.

Defining and implementing risk appetite (increasingly referred to as a risk attitude) is a strategic activity that involves the board and top management, as it must be aligned with strategic objectives, and requires consensus and engagement from the organisation’s leadership.

Risk appetite varies between industry sectors and between organisations within those sectors, and by geographies and types of risk.

The level of regulation and capital intensity of an organisation will influence its perception of acceptable risk in relation to potential opportunities.

Organisations and the context in which they operate are dynamic, and an approach of continuous improvement should be adopted to ensure that lessons learnt are taken on board and that risk appetite is regularly reviewed, updated and signed off by key stakeholders, including the Board.

Commenting on the release of the Risk Appetite publication, Claire Combes, chair, AIRMIC, commented: “Often a poorly explained concept, this guide fills the gap in many similar guides, by providing a clear explanation of the link between risk appetite and culture, with approaches to designing and embedding risk-taking within agreed limits”.

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