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Executive perspectives: Global trends and issues impacting risk management

It’s an understatement to say that a lot has changed in a very short time. It’s a very different world than when we started planning for a RIMS conference session on global trends and issues impacting risk management only a few short months ago. Everyone’s recent priority and focus has been and continues to be on how to navigate during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In early January, there were only a few hundred confirmed cases, most around Wuhan, China where the virus first appeared in late 2019. But by end of January, after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency, the number of confirmed cases exploded to nearly 12,000. COVID-19 had spread in neighboring Asian countries, Europe and the U.S. Currently, there have been over 3 million cases reported worldwide.

It is against this backdrop and amid these rapid developments that we began to refocus our discussions around global trends and issues having the greatest impact on risk management. And as our original session slated for the Denver RIMS conference was reconfigured as a podcast for Sedgwick virtual RIMS week, our planning calls and exchanges began to take on a whole new relevancy and meaning.

During our session podcast Tuesday (click here to add it to your calendar), we will still talk about three broad areas that apply to every company – no matter size, industry or geographical location. But we will address these in the light of today’s events and the global pandemic that has affected us all. The areas we will discuss are outlined and described below:

  1. Business continuity, crisis management and disaster recovery – how to plan for the unknown, overcome the current situation at hand, and return to normal business, if at all possible.
  2. Talent – the heart and soul of most companies, as talent is how the work gets done.
  3. Technology – interlaces with virtually all aspects of operations along with business continuity and crisis management planning.

Undoubtedly in 2020, we will rewrite the best practices playbook for future generations of risk management professionals. No previous experiences could have fully prepared us for how swiftly the current crisis developed or the global impact it would have. While we have all been deeply affected, we will come through with improved resilience as we work hand in hand with businesses to reopen, return and recover. And through it all, we will have a newfound appreciation for risk management professionals and what they mean within the larger economy.  

To learn more, join me and Dave Arick, Assistant Treasurer, Global Risk Management for International Paper for our podcast on Tuesday, May 5 at 10:30 AM Central. This podcast is part of Sedgwick’s virtual RIMS week taking place Monday through Wednesday, May 4-6. Learn from our conversation along with many other informative and enjoyable sessions sharing industry expertise from Sedgwick and our partners. Watch our social channels for additional information. 

Also, make plans to join us on Tuesday, May 12 at 12:00 PM Central as RIMS hosts an expanded webinar on this topic. You can register today at

We encourage you to be well and stay safe and we look forward to connecting with you soon.

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