After seven years working on the political risk account at broker JLT, Dr Elizabeth Stephens has seen more than her fair share of turmoil and violence around the world. As an expert on the Middle East and Islam—she gained a Ph.D. at the LSE in London where her work focused on US foreign policy and the international relations of the Middle East and still lectures at the University of Birmingham—Dr Stephens says a lot of what is happening in the northern half of Africa should come as no surprise.
The first annual Global Risk Frontiers (GRF) project kicked off late last year as the Commercial Risk Europe team attended both the IRMSA conference in Johannesburg, South Africa and RMIA in Australia. CRE Editor Adrian Ladbury and Commercial Risk Africa reporter Kapila Gohel have since been busy setting the GRF survey questions to leading South African risk managers in Johannesburg and Cape Town including a roundtable in Cape Town kindly hosted by Antonella da Cunha of Capespan.
Risk managers from Cape Town discuss whether CEOs take risk management seriously and understand the benefits of the profession, as well as how senior management can be persuaded to ‘buy into’ the concept of enterprise-wide, dynamic risk management.
South African risk managers who work for global multinationals must not only deal with the social, political and economic challenges on their own home ground, but also find ways to transfer their risk cost-effectively on an international level and deal with regulatory idiosyncrasies across the global landscape. The focus is currently sharply on Directors’ & Officers’ coverage, as Kapila Gohel reports from Cape Town.
Adrian Ladbury, Editor of Commercial Risk Europe, met Gert Cruywagen, Director of Risk at Tsogo Sun Group, founder of the Cruywagen-IRMSA Risk Foundation in 2009 and a member of the King Committee on corporate governance, while in Johannesburg to pose this year’s Global Risk Frontiers questions. The discussion quickly turned to hot current topics such as last summer’s tragic strikes at the Marikana, Rustenburg mine that sent shockwaves throughout South Africa but also the deeper issues driving risk management in the country such as the King III corporate governance regime and how to embed risk management throughout the organisation by deconstructing ivory towers.
4 March, 2013 will be an important day for Kenya, not just in terms of the election result but also the way in which the country reacts—regardless of who wins. Kenyans will vote for a new president to replace Mwai Kibaki. Two front runners have emerged—Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
The overall message for Kenya is positive—not least thanks to the recent development of oil and gas reserves. Deniese Imoukhuede, Senior Financial Analyst at credit rating agency AM Best, explained that the burgeoning energy market is having a ripple effect across the whole business community and driving the adoption of more mature risk management and transfer techniques.
Risk management is increasingly seen as a boardroom issue for all types of Kenyan-based firms. A survey from PwC shows risk is high on the agenda.
The Kenyan economy has been growing and changing, not least thanks to recent oil and gas exploration. According to East Africa Oil & Gas, even Australia could face stiff competition from east Africa for LNG exports after 24 oil discoveries have been made from just 27 test wells.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the fast-growing arm of the German and global insurance group, launched its new strategy for South Africa and the wider Sub Saharan African continent to key customers and brokers this January. Commercial Risk Africa editor Adrian Ladbury discussed the group’s plan with Delphine Maidou, CEO of AGCS Africa.