News Release

July 4, 2017

ERM as a career choice

In a world that is rapidly changing and becoming increasingly interconnected, the future world of work is being created as we speak. Traditional career choices are becoming redundant in the face of emerging technologies and artificial intelligence, with new career paths and opportunities brimming on the horizon.

According to Michael Ferendinos, Enterprise Risk Business Unit Head at Aon South Africa, organisations are realising that they can no longer operate in a vacuum and are exposed to a myriad of uncertainties, both internally and externally.

“This realisation has elevated the need for organisations to formalise the management of these uncertainties. This process is referred to as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), which represents a coordinated approach to direct and control the collective risks an organisation faces that can impact the achievement of its objectives, either positively or negatively,” explains Michael.

Millennials are perfectly suited to the ERM field

A new generation commonly referred to as Millennials and post-millennials are making their way into the workforce who are surprisingly well suited to the risk management industry.

“They are responsive to change and have a keen interest in global trends and emerging technologies. In addition, millennials have not been moulded into focusing on one skill set or profession, but are equipped to identify the interconnectedness of risks and trends in a unique way. They are systems thinkers in a world that is increasingly viewed as a deeply intertwined eco-system across political, economic, societal, technological, environmental and regulatory environments,” he adds.

“Risk managers need to be plugged into and adaptable and comfortable with uncertainty; and ready to innovate when faced with multiple possible future scenarios. Decision making in the future will be increasingly influenced by risk intelligence and data provided through artificial intelligence and algorithms, which millennials will be able to drive,” Michael explains.

Why organisations need ERM

ERM comprises of a vast field of tools that are aimed at identifying the risks that an organisation faces and manage these risks, providing:
• Improved operational and business performance
• Better informed, strategic decision-making
• Recognising and exploiting opportunities
• Organisational flexibility and resilience
• Fewer surprises and reduced volatility
• A consistent framework for control
• Regulatory and procedural compliance
• Transparency for investors, rating agencies and stakeholders

Why ERM is essential in our current environment

Risk has evolved from being viewed as overtly negative - even a threat - to also incorporating opportunities. “This significant change in mindset heralds yet another major career shift on the horizon that will see the head of risk and head of strategy, merge into one role, essentially elevating the risk profession to C-suite in the majority of organisations going forward. Risk management could be the perfect fit for any millennial who would like to carve a career path in the field of ERM,” concludes Michael.

About Aon South Africa
Aon South Africa is a leading provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Aon Empowers Results through over 700 colleagues in 13 offices in South Africa with its head office in Sandton, Johannesburg.

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