30 January 2007

Shareholder Value: Through Integrated Risk Management...

Supply chain risk management is getting more attention these days. As institutions get their own house in order with operational risk losses they are moving outside and auditing their suppliers. The complexity of the supply chain is increasing as organizations become leaner. A recent AMR Research Study results reveal that supplier failure and continuity of supply is the number one risk factor for 28% of firms.

The Enron scandal and the emergence of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, the 9/11 terrorist attack, SARS and avian flu threats, the Asian tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and high-profile business failures have forced companies to evaluate how well-prepared their organizations are to handle catastrophe and unplanned events. For other firms, strategic and execution risks are front of mind, such as hitting a launch window for a short lifecycle product.

Additional survey results include:

  • 33% of firms say they have dedicated budget line items for supply chain risk management activities.
  • 54% of firms plan to increase their budgets for risk management over the next 12 months. Of those firms, the average spending increase will be 17% year over year.
  • The top areas of application spending to support supply chain risk management are sales and operations planning, inventory optimization, business intelligence and supply chain analytics, and supply chain visibility and event management applications.
And while much of these manufacturing and distribution organizations are focused on the supply chain, in the financial sector, two international laws will affect how organizations retain, recover and report on data. BASEL II, which took effect Jan. 1, requires the worldwide banking community to uniformly capture data to allow operational risk factors to be identified and analyzed. This is just the beginning of additional financial sector scrutiny as the hedge funds exposure becomes a regulators new target zone.

Concern that booming lending to hedge funds may have led to a relaxation in credit standards has prompted US and European regulators to start the first joint investigation into whether banks and brokers are managing such risks appropriately.

The move is a sign that regulators are stepping up transatlantic co-ordination. It comes after a call by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, for closer US-European Union co-ordination on financial regulation.

Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the UK’s Financial Services Authority, the New York Federal Reserve and other European regulators met last month to discuss credit issues, according to David Cliffe, an FSA spokesman.

They want to know if the collateral required of hedge funds from their lenders is enough to cover losses, and whether margins are set at appropriate levels to help avoid systemic risk in the event of trading losses.

Operational Risks span the enterprise from the front office to the back office. From the servers room to the trading room. It's no wonder that Boards of Directors and corporate management have now realized that Enterprise Risk Management is the name of the game:

"The creation of shareholder value through the integrated management of risk."

New rules on the evidentiary discovery of clients' electronically stored information, international banking rules and more detailed interpretations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act will spur customers to put mechanisms in place to more quickly discover and retrieve archived data.

2007 is going to be another year of growth and opportunity. How you manage risk is going to be a deciding factor.

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