What happened when a CRO went to Davos

Published in: Risk, Risk management, Environment, Software - IT

Companies: World Economic Forum

Among the 2,500 people descending on Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting last week was Zurich's group chief risk officer Alison Martin. She gave the lowdown on her experiences to Insurance Asset Risk in a series of diary entries.

Unsurprisingly, cyber and environmental issues were top of Alison's agenda, particularly given their high placing in WEF's global risk report.

Day one saw Alison join other members of the WEF's cybersecurity centre to address the cyber issues head on. Up for discussion was how to reduce vulnerability, containing and restraining attacks, along with the need for collaboration and increased data sharing.

Other sessions focused on the future of insurance and how factors such as artificial intelligence and the evolving nature of the workforce will change the face of the industry. In Alison’s own words, there is “plenty to do in 2019”.

Alison also co-hosted a discussion on the role of board members in facilitating cyber security developments. The prevailing conclusion can be summed up with the quote from a panellist, “we are not selling fear, but protecting hope”.

Away from cyber, Alison reported she had seen a distinct shift in discussions on environmental topics compared to previous years. Particularly she noted companies now have a focus on using “hard data” to inform investment decisions using environmental and social governance considerations.

“It was clear that even the central banks are starting to worry about long-term consequences and looking to introduce climate-related stress tests as well as disclosure of present risks.”

Alison’s pre-WEF meeting blog can be found here, and be sure to read her full coverage from days, one and two of the conference as well as her final summary.  

Paul Walsh