Over 70% of Czech firms said they conducted risk management but far fewer have a dedicated risk management function

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Despite the relative youth of professional risk management in the Czech Republic, there is considerable awareness of the need to manage risk at least among some companies, a survey found.

The results of the survey were revealed at the 2009 Forum of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA), of which the Czech risk management association ASPAR CZ is a member.

The Forum took place in Prague with around 1,000 delegates, approximately 230 of whom were risk managers.

The purpose of the survey was to map the state of risk management in firms and organisations in the Czech Republic and it made use of a web based questionnaire.

Of 89 firms which responded, more than 70% said they conducted risk management, certainly in terms of solving crises and the risks associated with them. Of the 29% that said they didn’t manage their risks now, the vast majority were thinking of doing so in future based on their experience with the economic crisis.

More than half the companies said they had suffered problems such as loss of customers, a fall in orders, more difficult access to finance and loss of key employees.

Systematic risk management is less common, however, with about three-quarters of those who do apply risk management, saying they take an instinctive approach, although over 40% have set up some form of risk identification and about one-third have risk management systems and crisis plans. Risk management may be the role of someone with other responsibilities, rather than a dedicated function.

Nevertheless, some larger businesses do have risk or insurance managers, and in 2007, they registered ASPAR CZ as an association and it became a member of FERMA the following year.

ASPAR CZ is one of the smaller associations compared with larger countries like France, Germany and the UK, but its chairman Jana Bicanová believes that holding the Forum in Prague has helped raise the profile of risk management and insurance and risk managers in the Czech Republic.

ASPAR CZ was no longer the newest member of FERMA. This week two new associations joined the federation. These were the new Spanish risk management association IGREA and to the Turkish Enterprise Risk Management Association (ERMA).

The benchmarking survey was conducted earlier this year by the consulting company RPIC-ViP in co-operation with ASPAR CZ.

The next FERMA Forum will take place in 2011 in Stockholm.