Business interruption risk is the top concern of APAC risk professionals, according to Aon’s latest Global Risk Management Survey 2021.

Jane Drummond, Aon chief commercial officer, and Rahul Chawla, managing director for Southeast Asia and head of wealth management for Asia Aon, outlined the key findings from this year’s survey.

Speaking on day three of PARIMA’s Resilience Week, the Aon executives revealed business interruption as the leading risk for the region.

Drummond said the findings were “not surprising when you consider this region, and consider what the pandemic has done. And also that we are the manufacturing hub of the world”.

She added: “Business interruption has been a really big concern for our clients. It’s been redefined. It used to be a physical loss event. But now BI has far-reaching consequences… And we’re also seeing the number of BI causing events increasing substantially as well.” 

Cyber attacks and data breaches were cited as the second biggest risk in the APAC region, down from number one in last year’s survey.

Pandemics were the fifth greatest concern in the survey as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

Drummond said pandemic risks ranked higher in APAC, “as many of our countries still face vaccine shortages”.

“We’re still locked down, and there’s still huge [amount of] working from home.”

The Aon executives revealed that 37% of APAC respondents reported a loss of income from the top ten risks on the list.

APAC risk managers reported a 14% increase in companies that had experienced a loss of income, the highest rate ever recorded in the Aon survey, which dates back to 2007.

Retaining talent moved further up the list this year in APAC, ranking ninth on the Aon list.

Chawla noted that retaining talent was cited as a top ten risk in both Asia and North America.

“These are the overheated [labour] markets,” he said. “The great resignation has really come to life in these two regions.

“There are two reasons behind this being a top ten risk,” he added. “Number one is the ongoing convergence that we see across various industry platforms, Fintech, retail tech, so that’s been going for a few years and has placed a demand on certain skill sets.

“Number two is the pandemic — it has accelerated that change,” Chawla said. “There is a digital transformation happening at the backend.”