Conference continues with 300 delegates in Coventry. Award winners announced.

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A keynote speaker at this year's Institute of Risk Management (IRM) conference in Coventry was unable to attend the event because he was struck with a suspected case of pandemic flu.

The Institute had originally billed Gareth Shepherd, leader of the World Economic Forum's Davos Programme, to deliver the opening address at the annual Risk Forum event.

Shepherd, who was due to speak to IRM members about the major risks that face the world, could not attend because he was confined to Geneva having contracted a potentially deadly flu virus.

Steve Fowler, chief executive of the IRM, said: 'We are still not completely clear if it was a case of swine flu or avian flu. What we know is he was picked up on his way back to Geneva.'

The vast majority of swine flu and avian flu sufferers make a complete recovery.

'The incident is a lesson in risk management,' added Fowler. 'Risk management should be about putting in place plans to deal with the unexpected and implementing them in a crisis situation.'

Richard Anderson, a independent risk consultant, stepped in and delivered a presentation on the systemic failure of corporate governance that lead to the banking crisis.

Shepherd was not the only delegate to miss the conference due to illness. Almost a quarter of the IRM's directors also missed out on the event because they had the flu. 'Based on these numbers I'd say the flu season has started already,' said Fowler.

Despite the absentees, over 300 delegates registered to attend the conference, which was held on the University of Warwick Campus in Coventry. The conference was pitched as an opportunity for risk managers from around the world to discuss and debate the macro risk issues that may be affecting their organisations.

The IRM also celebrated the achievements of its students at the annual Awards dinner. The Winners were:

Principles of Risk

Alexandra Tanasa

Risk & Organisations

Kenneth Dooks

Risk Decisions

Claire O'Prey

Risk Leadership

Andrew Lovell

Risk Solutions

“The incident is a lesson in risk management.

Steve Fowler, chief executive of the IRM

Kelvin Smith


Bami Cole and Marcia Lynch

Environmental Risk

Panagiota Therrios

Legal & Contract Risk

Sian Biggs

Project Risk Management

Rebecca O'Sullivan

Public Sector Risk Management

Sian Biggs

Business Continuity & Crisis Management

Claire Betteridge

Information Risk

Maria Passa

International Certificate Student of the Year (Winter)

Tim Butters and Anthony Dionisi

International Certificate Student of the Year (Summer)

Elaine Casey