Aon Risk Solutions study also highlights five other ‘underrated’ areas of threat


Aon Risk Solutions today published a report outlining ‘underrated’ threats. The findings emerged from Aon’s earlier Global Risk Management Survey.

The survey found that only 44% of executive and non-executive directors strongly believe that damage to reputation should be viewed as a significant business risk. Their general view is ‘out of sight and mind’ before a crisis occurs, according to the survey report.

Rory Moloney, chief executive of Aon Global Risk Consulting, said: “Damage to brand and reputation can become a significant business risk. The speed of technological advancement, coupled with societal, economic and political changes means reputational damage is an increasing concern. This report analyses the responses of senior executives in large organisations with key captives to understand their concerns and needs.”

Including damage to reputation and brand, the report focuses on five additional themes:

Risk connectivity The speed at which mobile technology is chang- ing is creating a rapidly expanding network of new connections between individuals, groups and companies. Despite this, 80% of respondents believe that the inter- connectivity of risk is still not widely understood.

Cyber risk Nine out of 10 respondents validated Aon’s assessment that cyber risk is still not fully understood. Some 78% of respondents have indicated that the risk readiness level for cyber risk has, or may have been, vastly overstated.

Political risk was also viewed as a significant threat. More than 60% of respondents felt that political risk had been seriously underrated. The ongoing uncertainty across the eurozone and various geopolitical conflicts was of serious concern, particularly to EMEA respondents.

Board input 70% of surveyed captive directors agree with our assessment that it is imperative for senior executives and the boards of directors to communicate with risk managers and take an active role in assessing and covering the company’s risk exposure.

Damage to brand and reputation Despite high-profile crises that have affected reputation and brand, more than half the participants in EMEA (54%) recognise that reputation and brand damage should be in the top spot. Only 35% in the Americas agreed.

Stephen Cross, chief innovation officer at Aon Risk Solutions, said: “The current world of risk is predictably unpredictable. The inter- connectivity of traditional and emerging risks means organisations can no longer evaluate individual risks in isolation but must look at all the top risks and people in a more holistic way.

“Aon’s role as adviser on the topic of risk is to constantly explore, assess and express a point of view on the impact of these forces and what may lie over tomorrow’s horizon.”