Airmic’s new board members speak to StrategicRISK about how they will shape risk management and what they see as the top three risks for the UK in the next 12 months

A major challenge

Airmic’s new board members will bring fresh perspectives and challenge traditional thinking in risk management.

The association appointed three female risk managers to its board in March: Tracey Skinner, director, insurance and risk financing at BT; Lesley Harding, vice-president, insurance risk solutions at BP International; and Claire Combes, head of risk and internal audit at Intu Properties.

Speaking to StrategicRISK, the board members outline what they aim to bring to their new roles and identified the top risks for the UK this year.

Skinner hopes to use her experience with technology, having worked at BT for more than three years, to investigate how Airmic can maximise its offerings through technology: “Can we adopt more e-learning capability, communicate more efficiently to share our problems as issues unfold, encourage the insurance market to become more efficient with greater use of tools? And could the iPad replace the slipcase in the London Market?”

Combes background, she says, is different from other board members, “I did not start my career in the insurance industry. I am a chartered accountant who moved into risk management.” This, she says, “will give me an ability to look at the insurance sector with a different view and challenge some of the traditional thinking.”

Future risks

On the top risks for the UK over the next 12 months, the board members highlighted three: ongoing heightened security issues, flooding and changing weather patterns, and the sophistication of cyber attacks.

“I see Airmic working with the insurance industry to highlight key trends in risk management to see how these risks can be managed or transferred, maybe in less traditional ways,” says Combes.

Uncertainty around the EU referendum will also be a key risk consideration, and more and more businesses are engaging in discussion about what a potential British exit (Brexit) would mean for investment in the UK.

On this subject, Combes said: “It depends on the result, [but a Brexit] could introduce new risks such as restrictions on free movement of labour in some sectors.”