Corporate Boards Struggle With ERM

Corporate Board Member Magazine recently profiled the seven hot buttons for corporate boards today.  Not suprisingly, risk management was at the top of the list.  However, the article points out that many in the boardroom are having a difficult time not only addressing risk, but also understanding the best way to govern risk throughout the organization.  Here’s an excerpt from the article.

The word risk has a broad range of meaning, and the term is bandied about in corporate America as much as healthcare is in Middle America. Yet, risk shouldn’t be a reduced to a buzzword or a single committee, but rather it should be considered as a managed process that is discussed yearlong. “Directors are asking, ‘What’s my job? How do I get my arms around risk, and what’s management doing to mitigate risk?’” Keith Higgins, partner, Ropes & Gray LLP, tells Corporate Board Member. “Directors have to talk to the CEO and get the CEO to put risk analysis on every agenda. All the math whizzes built great risk models and they were not maybe as predictive as people thought.”

Moreover, risk management should not be viewed in and of itself. Bernard C. Bailey, chairman, LaserCard Corp., a secure ID provider, and director on the boards of EF Johnson Technologies, Telos Corp., and Spectrum Control, doesn’t look at risk management as something you put into a separate box. “It permeates every function within the enterprise—legal, operational, financial, liquidity, marketplace, fraud,” he says, emphasizing that the risk conversation has to be expanded to the whole board.

As the gentlemen quoted in the article point out, effective enterprise risk management is not a simple or easy task.  It is a process that must be woven into the very culture and operation of the entire business – from the boardroom to the mailroom.

ERM challenge


About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at

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