It's time to step out of your comfort zone, Ludlow urges risk community

Published on Tue, 01/08/2017 - 12:29
John Ludlow, Airmic CEO
John Ludlow, Airmic CEO

Airmic CEO sets out his vision in open letter to members

Dear Airmic Member,

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself as your new chief executive, and to thank everyone for the many warm wishes I have received since being appointed.

We are a membership organisation to the core, and it is vital to me that our members drive everything that we do and are at the heart of every decision we make. I therefore want to offer a taste of my vision for Airmic and the risk management profession, and invite you - our members - to give me your feedback, ideas and desires.

Today's business environment is unpredictable, complex and, in some cases, troubling. But whenever there is change there is opportunity. Our profession has an exciting future - as long as we make it happen.

Airmic's primary goal will always be to ensure that its members are equipped with the knowledge, competencies and networks they need to have successful and fulfilling careers in risk and insurance management. Airmic members are risk leaders and it is Airmic's role to ensure that we remain individually and collectively relevant as the business environment continues to change.

This will require us to embrace change and learn. There are new assets and many emerging risks that we don't fully understand. But the good news is that business leaders are looking to us for help more than ever before. We know from our pre-conference survey report, A Profession in Transformation, that many of our members are experiencing increased access to the boardroom. The risk manager is no longer seen as the person that just says "no" or as "the fire extinguisher in the corner of the room."

This will require a new way of thinking: our members will need to learn to think strategically, to translate technical intelligence into a compelling and enterprise wide boardroom pitch and for many it will mean going beyond the comfort zone of technical excellence.

Airmic will support you in making this transition: in thinking, talking and behaving like business leaders. This cannot happen in isolation. As one of my urgent priorities I will be focussing on how Airmic can help its members to build collaborative relationships with colleagues and risk owners in areas such as IT and HR, where many of the emerging risks are perceived to be lurking.

Turning to insurance, what is clearer than ever before, is that our members are demanding insurance products and services compatible with today's and tomorrow's world. They want solutions that help them protect intangible assets and understand, prevent and mitigate emerging risks, so that risk and insurance can be aligned to today's boardroom agendas. This is not yet happening enough.

We appreciate that an insurance industry based on several hundred years of experience will find the future especially challenging - casting aside old ways and transitioning to a new business model is no easy task, especially in a context of low interest, intense competition and new laws and regulations.

However, we believe that the key to success lies in insurers, brokers, service providers and insureds working closer together to achieve an improved understanding of risk. Not risk based purely on analysis of historical data, but of the real current risks facing your businesses. Insurance is central to risk mitigation, and a true understanding of risk is central to effective insurance buying, and this should be a common goal for the insurance industry and our members.

I hope you now have a feel for the way that I'm thinking. I would now love to hear from you - our members. I am extremely fortunate to be taking over a membership that is so energised and engaged - it is undoubtedly one of Airmic's biggest strengths. Please let me know what you like or don't like about this association, what you would like to see more or less of. All ideas are welcome! So come and see me - or send me an email or pick up the phone. Thank you to those who have done so already.

I very much look forward to working with you in the years to come.

Wish best wishes,

John Ludlow, Airmic CEO