Communication skills key to the risk skill-set of the future

Published in: Risk, Risk management, Corporate strategy, People

Companies: Allianz Global and Corporate Speciality, Darta Savng Life Assurance

Strong communication skills and a diverse background will be crucial for risk management professionals to be successful in the sector, according to a panel of chief risk officers (CROs).

Speaking during the Insurance Risk & Capital EMEA conference in London, panelists discussed the future skillset for risk teams and how this has changed in recent years. Kathrin Anne Meier, CRO at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, said risk roles in a post-Solvency II implementation environment had become broader, and communication was now a core skill.

Meier said: "At the time (of Solvency II implementation) we had a lot of airtime just because it was such a big project.

"These days, as the models are running smoothly, the game is different. What is needed now is to be able to explain what you have found, and explain what you have worked on.

"Communication skills are very important.In addition to traditional analytical skills, you need to be able to tell a story in order to be heard."

Fellow panellist Russel Goldstein, CRO at Darta Saving Life Assurance, said newer generations were "ready-made" for risk management due to the technology they were exposed to in their daily lives.

"New graduates and millennials have risk management built into their heads and if we bring them in and start to encourage them we've got some ready-made skill sets.

"They won't have the in-depth knowledge but it is amazing how quick they will get this knowledge and put it into practice.

"That's why I say that maybe we have too many actuaries, we need more engineers, we need more chemists, we need more psychologists as the financial stuff is easy, but it is how people think which is crucial.

Meier added that risk managers will also be expected to have a wider knowledge of their organisations.

"Business knowledge is becoming much more important, you cannot just calculate something and say this is the result, or analyse something and say 'someone else told me this is the answer'.

"You really need to have in-depth knowledge of the business."

Paul Walsh