Managing Risk: How To Maximize Performance In Volatile Times

Part of report cover of Global Risk Management Survey AON.

Greg Case | President and CEO AON

“Every organization, industry and economy around the world is confronting more risks than ever before. Considering this backdrop, it’s troubling that many organizations report that they may be less prepared than they have ever been.

A key insight from Aon’s 2019 Global Risk Management Survey is that organizations need to be more prepared for the broad range of risks that threaten their ability to continue growing, protecting their brand and serving clients and stakeholders.

Top-of-mind concerns include a slowing economy, damage to reputation and brand and accelerated rates of change in market factors reflecting apprehension about global trade conditions.

In a weakening economic environment, companies are more sensitive to volatility, particularly from emerging risks such as cyber-attacks, business interruption from non-physical threats and shortages of skilled workers. These risks are less well understood as there is less experience and less data available to help manage them. As a result, risk readiness has declined to its lowest level in 12 years.

Aon conducts this survey every other year to identify key risks, trends and challenges organizations are facing. Over the years, we have offered helpful insights to risk managers, C-suite executives and other business leaders in developing effective strategies to address both traditional and emerging risks.

This year’s report is informed by the largest number of respondents to ever participate in the survey. Last fall, we received responses from more than 2,600 risk managers from 33 industries, representing small-, medium- and large-sized organizations operating in 60 countries.

Many organizations have yet to capitalize on new tools and approaches that could help them systematically identify and assess risks as they develop protection and mitigation strategies.

  • Only 24 percent of respondents said they quantify their top 10 risks.
  • Only 20 percent use risk modeling.
  • 10 percent said they have no formalized process in place to identify risks.

The complexity of the situation organizations face today is substantial. These challenges are likely to grow in intensity over the next few years as new risks become even more prominent, including the implications of an aging workforce, the impact of climate change, the growing prevalence of cyber-attacks and the emergence of ever more disruptive technologies.

The most effective organizations will approach these challenges holistically, involving leaders throughout the organization to provide their unique viewpoint and expertise and then applying sector-specific data & predictive analytics to support the decisions they make. This is an opportunity for more risk managers to lead an evolution toward truly addressing risk at the enterprise level.

At Aon, we’re bringing the full force of our firm to our clients by developing innovative solutions and leveraging data and analytics capabilities to prepare them for the future. We’ll continue to partner with our clients, working with them side- by-side to help improve operating performance, strengthen their balance sheet and reduce volatility.

If you have any questions or comments about the survey, or wish to discuss the results, please contact your Aon account executive or visit

Read Global Risk Management Summary