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President's Corner


Julie C. Pemberton is the Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management at Outerwall Inc. and the 2016 president of RIMS.

  • A Record Breaker

    Wed, Apr 27, 2016 -

    The hours, the days, weeks and months of hard work that go into hosting RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition certainly paid off.  It was a record breaking year for the conference and it once again proved why the RIMS’ network of risk professionals is the greatest in the world.

    Several records were broken in San Diego.  One hundred and eighty-two educational sessions, 406 exhibitors, more than 75 countries represented and the total attendance neared 10,500 – a number that RIMS has not hit since our 2003 conference in Chicago.  Needless to say, RIMS 2016 Annual Conference was an overwhelming success.

    While it’s too late now to benefit from the countless in-person networking opportunities presented at the conference, risk professionals can still take advantage of the conference’s educational offerings.  PlaybackRIMS is a new feature that we added this year.  Complimentary for VIP Conference Registrants, the on-demand, pay-per-view feature allows anyone to watch presentations – with slides – and learn from the 20 most popular sessions at RIMS ’16.  You can preview the available sessions at  Also, many have uploaded handouts from their sessions at

    In addition to the new records set at RIMS ’16, the Society also released three new publications during the conference: 

    • RIMS Benchmark Survey, produced with Advisen, provides an inside look at what organizations are spending to protect their assets and people. This year, the annual benchmarking report looked at the Total Cost of Risk (TCOR) for 52,000 insurance programs from 1,457 organizations that span 14 different industry categories. This year’s book features a new section on Cyber Insurance, taking a look at what organizations are spending to protect data. 
    • At the conference, the session about the Marsh/RIMS Excellence in Risk Management Report XIII was one of the most popular. The 13th edition of this annual report focused on forecasting emerging risks and the value ERM can offer organizations hoping to leverage future uncertainties.   

    In more ways than one, RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition is the ultimate learning experience the risk management industry has to offer.  We hope that you will join us next year in Philadelphia on April 23rd through the 26th…and help us break even more records. 

    RIMS continues to enhance its educational offerings with a number of new forums and conferences. Next week, RIMS will host its first-ever Risk Summit South Africa.  Working with our newest strategic partner IRMSA (Institute for Risk Management South Africa), RIMS Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Carol Fox is set to deliver a presentation on risk management trends in the US to the already 90 professionals who have registered to join us in Johannesburg.

    With San Diego in our rearview mirror, it’s time for us to get focused on the NeXtGen Summit and RIMS Legislative Forum scheduled for the first weekend of June in Washington, D.C. I’ll be there.  I hope you will too.

    Finally, I would like to end this message by thanking all the people who helped make my experience as president at RIMS ’16 unforgettable.  Staff, fellow Board Directors, our network of passionate volunteers, members and everyone else who participated – each of you played a big part in making the event so special.  Thank you.

    With that said, my work as the RIMS president is far from over. In the next seven months, I plan to help this Society keep the momentum going. Through new publications, learning opportunities, forums and other risk management resources we plan to deliver, we can’t wait to share with you even more thought-leading content throughout the year.


    Julie Pemberton
    RIMS 2016 President

  • A Worldly Education

    Wed, Mar 30, 2016 -

    No matter what stage of your career you are in, it’s never too late to embrace that inner curiosity and learn something new. 

    For RIMS to maintain its position as the leading risk management association, we recognize the importance of continuing to learn about our members, industry trends and our risk management counterparts around the globe.

    In March, RIMS assembled a China Delegation comprising CEO Mary Roth, members of the Society’s 2016 Board of Directors, staff and myself. RIMS Board Director Robert Zhang, China Risk and Compliance Manager for IKEA Investment Co., Ltd., took the lead and developed a comprehensive agenda that included highly-productive meetings with integral players in China’s insurance market, government and at universities in Beijing and Shanghai. The trip was successful, giving the Society an opportunity to engage the country’s thriving risk management community, to learn about their programs, their challenges and then determine how RIMS can support their work moving forward.

    In just over a week, the world’s risk management community will descend on San Diego for RIMS 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition, the ultimate risk management learning experience. 

    New at this year’s conference is a Professional Development Lounge – to help professionals learn more about themselves and what companies are looking for – a Global Lounge – to share risk management perspective from around the world – and three General Session keynoters who will each share very different but equally thought-provoking TED-style presentations. 

    In addition to its new additions, our 54th Annual Conference will feature 400 solutions providers in the Exhibit Hall, 180 educational sessions, 400 expert speakers and we are expecting 10,000 attendees from more than 50 countries.  For those who can’t make it to San Diego, you’ll be able to watch the General Session live by visiting

    The Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge is in its third year and it too has been a great way to educate and get budding risk management students excited about the profession.  Eight university teams have been selected to compete in at the Annual Conference and will be asked to provide their solutions to a real risk management case-study from LEGO.  Congratulations to Appalachian State University, Butler University, Florida State University, Illinois State University, St. Joseph’s University, St. Mary’s University, Temple University and University of Georgia.  See you all in San Diego!

    Another way RIMS helps educate others about the value of risk management is through its advocacy efforts. This past month, the Society hosted its local RIMS on the Hill event in Sacramento.  The two-day meeting gave practitioners a forum to discuss legislation that is currently impacting the area’s organizations and then meet face-to-face with state representatives.  Conversations focused on Workers’ Compensation and Employee Safety issues and it was great lead-in to RIMS Legislative Summit, scheduled for June 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C.

    Finally, I wanted to share that, this week, I have volunteered to take part in RIMS Chicago Chapter’s “Job Shadow Day.”  I had the chance to welcome a very smart and very eager student from University of Wisconsin-Madison to my office and give her a quick glimpse at what a day in the life of a risk professional looks like.

    Whether it is a student, a young professional or a new colleague, mentoring is a gift that we can all give. It truly is a rewarding experience.  For many of us, it was a mentor who got us through our first few years in the professional world or who generously shared their experiences on how to manage the organization through a new initiative.  The opportunities are abundant – even those one-on-one mentoring connections that can be made virtually on Opis – so I encourage you all to step up and be an influential part of someone’s risk management education.

    Looking forward to seeing many of you at RIMS ’16 in San Diego next week and, more importantly, joining you on this never-ending educational journey.


    Julie Pemberton
    RIMS 2016 President

  • RIMS: From A to Zika

    Wed, Mar 02, 2016 -

    Now that the dust has settled, I can clearly see that many of the objectives and initiatives we have set for the year are well underway. 2016 is shaping up to be an outstanding year for RIMS.

    Late last year, RIMS announced its new mission statement “To educate, engage and advocate for the global risk community.”  To achieve that mission RIMS must innovate and February got off to a great start.

    As information about the Zika virus consumed mainstream media, RIMS showed its adaptability and quickly moved to develop content to help risk practitioners navigate this emerging risk. The Zika Virus Outbreak: Risk Management During a Growing Pandemic webcast was a huge success and attracted hundreds.  The webcast was followed up by coverage in RIMS’ Risk Management Monitor blog and, also resulted in the creation of a session at RIMS 2016 Annual Conference Exhibition in San Diego. There is still time for you to register and join us in San Diego. 

    Cyber risk continues to be the top concern of risk professionals around the world.  This month, RIMS held another well-attended webcast titled Cyber Risk: A Boardroom Issue.  The reception these webcasts received tell us that we’re on to something and we’ll continue to identify opportunities throughout the year to deliver thought-leading information on pressing issues that risk professionals can access right from their desks. 

    Opis is another resource we’re using to help our members to stay ahead of the curve.  The online network has seen over 1,300 engagements created and users have joined from 29 countries.  Chapter engagements were created in February for all of our chapters. The goal is to give members a vehicle to interact and share content with their local peers during the time between chapter meetings…or in the case that you missed one. 

    Because change is constant, staying up-to-date with best practices and risk management trends has become crucial to successfully managing risk.  The RIMS-CRMP certification is not only a great way to stay current but it also demonstrates and confirms your expertise. The first exam for the RIMS-CRMP is in-person on April 10th in San Diego. Already more than half of the 200 available exam seats have been filled. If you’re interested in sitting for this new, global certification, I encourage you to visit see if you qualify. The deadline to apply is March 11.

    When you speak about being current, who has a better finger on the pulse of the latest business trends than the next generation of professionals?  RIMS Board recognizes the importance this demographic will play on the future of our profession and has announced plans to host our first-ever NeXtGen Summit.  The summit, scheduled for June in Washington, D.C., is a can’t-miss educational and networking event for rising risk professionals who are looking to shift their careers into high-gear. It precedes the RIMS Legislative Summit and registration is open for both. 

    RIMS international efforts for 2016 will kick into high gear in March.  In just a few weeks, I will have the privilege to deliver keynote addresses to RIMS Japan Chapter members in Osaka and Tokyo. Following Japan, myself, several of RIMS Board Directors and RIMS Staff will meet in Beijing for our first RIMS China Delegation.  The delegation is new this year and is an exploratory mission to further develop partnerships with leading members of the region’s flourishing risk management community. 

    In addition to updates from my travels, in the weeks ahead, RIMS looks forward to sharing more thought-leading content to keep our members at the forefront of risk.


    Julie Pemberton
    RIMS 2016 President

  • Just An Idea

    Thu, Jan 28, 2016 -

    Although it was shortly after I graduated high school, I remember the day as if it was just yesterday when my boss approached me and said, “Julie, the company is going through reorganization and effective next week, your role is being transferred to another department.  We’re moving you from Tax to Risk Management.” 

    My initial reaction was “Risk Management?  That is not what I signed up for!  Insurance policies renew once a year, what will I do the rest of the year?”  Confused and resistant to change, I went kicking and screaming (internally, not externally) and, obviously, with little understanding of what risk management actually was.  I soon developed an interest in the work – and the rest, as they say, is history.

    It is humbling and slightly surreal to believe that my decision to accept that new position was a pivotal moment leading to a career in risk management.  Embracing that change resulted in a hunger to further my education, a passion for the profession, and has ultimately given me the privilege of serving as president of the world’s greatest risk management association.

    Since that time, I’ve learned many things. One being that change is constant.  From the day I transitioned into that new role to today, the risk management role has changed significantly.  As risk professionals, our responsibilities continue to evolve and grow. Today, in addition to assessing and mitigating the downside of risk, we are developing creative solutions – partnering with the business to enable risk taking and optimize organizational success. 

    Supporting risk taking with these innovative ideas gives us the power to further our careers and cement the risk professional’s position as an integral contributor to the organization’s strategic and operational decision-making process. RIMS must not only be ready to advance its own ideas, but also support its members with resources to help convert their ideas into valuable solutions for their organizations.  

    Along with a new mission statement which is “To educate, engage and advocate for the global risk management community,” the Society has committed to four Strategic Priorities to help our members turn IDEAS INTO VALUE:

    1.    INNOVATE:  Innovation must be embraced even if it’s disruptive.  The Society will continue to be forward-thinking when it comes to establishing a sustainable and adaptable organizational structure and processes to best serve our members. 

    2.    DEVELOP: RIMS will continue to equip risk professionals to ensure they are successful in this evolving environment. The creation of cutting-edge content specific to the most relevant issues that challenge today’s risk professional is pivotal to the future of the Society and the discipline. 

    3.    ENGAGE: Risk management continues to be dynamic with emerging risks, changing regulations, advancements in technology, globalization and, inevitably, more uncertainties. Ensuring our active and engaged risk management community stays ahead of the curve is imperative. Through effective communication strategies and accessible learning opportunities, RIMS will continue to foster the exchange of ideas among our involved professional network and industry connections. 

    4.    ADVOCATE: The Society has long been the advocate for risk management and the unquestionable value the business function delivers to the organization.  RIMS’ advocacy efforts will continue to leverage opportunities, transcend geographic borders and support a diverse field of professionals.

    Already this year, Board Directors, staff and committee leaders met in Orlando for RIMS’ second annual Leadership Forum to align on our strategic objectives and refine action planning to achieve these priorities.  In the year ahead, RIMS will unveil new international forums, new networking opportunities, professional development opportunities – like our RIMS-CRMP certification – enhancements to our existing products, industry-leading resources, reports and surveys and much more.

    2016 is poised to be another remarkable year for RIMS and it is truly an honor to be selected to lead this Society as we invest in the future.


    Julie Pemberton
    RIMS 2016 President


    Mon, Jan 04, 2016 -

    NEW YORK (January 4, 2016) — RIMS, the risk management society™, today announced that Julie Pemberton will lead the Society as president for the 2016 term, effective January 1. 

    Ms. Pemberton is the Director of Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management for Outerwall Inc. She has been a member of RIMS for more than 16 years and on its Board of Directors for six years.  Previously, Ms. Pemberton served as the Society’s Vice President and Board liaison to RIMS External Affairs Committee.  She is a member of RIMS Chicago Chapter.

    “Every invention.  Every startup. Every process, guideline, protocol and standard starts with an idea,” said Ms. Pemberton. “Risk professionals’ responsibilities continue to evolve and are growing within their organizations. In addition to mitigating the impact of a risk, practitioners are initiating ideas and developing solutions to not only prevent unwanted risks but to embrace and enable risk taking that optimizes business growth.
    “As RIMS 62nd President, I look forward to helping this Society focus on the future, ensuring that we continue to advance and convert ideas into valuable resources that support the world’s risk management community.”   

    Officers on RIMS 2016 Board of Directors:
    •    President: Julie C. Pemberton, ARM; Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management, Outerwall Inc.;
    •    Vice President: Nowell R. Seaman, CIP, CRM; Director, Global Risk Management, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.;
    •    Treasurer: Jennifer Santiago, ARM; Director of Insurance, Novartis Corporation;
    •    Secretary: Steve Pottle, CIP, CRM; Director, Risk Management Services, York University.

    New Board Member:
    •    Emily Cummins, CPA, CPCU, CISSP, ARM, ARE; Managing Director of Tax and Risk Management, National Rifle Association;
    •    Barry Dillard; Director, Claims Management, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US;
    •    Laura Langone; Senior Director, Global Risk Management and Insurance, PayPal, Inc. Holdings.

    Incumbent Board Members:
    •    Gordon Adams; Risk Management, Servco Pacific Inc.;
    •    Gloria Brosius; Corporate Risk Manager, Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings;
    •    Robert Cartwright, Jr., CRM; Safety and Health Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC;
    •    Richard J. Roberts, Jr., RF, ALCM, ARM, ARME, CPCU; Director of Risk Management and Employee Benefits, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. (Ex-Officio);
    •    Janet Stein; Director, Risk Management & Insurance, University of Calgary;
    •    Robert Zhang; China Risk and Compliance Manager, IKEA (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
    For more information about RIMS leadership, visit

    About RIMS
    As the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management, RIMS, the risk management society, is a global not-for-profit organization representing more than 3,500 industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable and government entities throughout the world. Founded in 1950, RIMS brings networking, professional development and education opportunities to its membership of more than 11,000 risk management professionals who are located in more than 60 countries. For more information on RIMS, visit

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  • Far From Over

    Fri, Dec 18, 2015 -

    As I travel home from RIMS Risk Forum Middle East in Dubai, I can’t help but wonder, where has this year gone?  In one year, we have accomplished so much (check out our year-in-review video).  

    Even through my last month as RIMS President, the Society has continued to produce content that reinforces our commitment to advancing the profession and delivering relevant resources to our members.

    Perhaps the biggest news of the month is that registration for RIMS 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition is now open.  Yes.  It’s that time of year again. The 2016 conference encourages risk professionals to “Go Beyond” and the Society has backed that theme with even more educational and networking opportunities.  San Diego is always a great venue and we look forward to having you there April 10-13.

    Another big RIMS headline this December is the launch of RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP) credential. The RIMS-CRMP is intended to allow risk professionals to demonstrate their achievement of risk management competencies, knowledge, as well as their commitment to quality. We’ll administer the first exam for this certification for members only in San Diego on April 10.  For more information or to sign up for the exam, visit   

    The RIMS 2015 Compensation Survey is now available. The survey provides detailed compensation analysis by industry, location and position for virtually all risk professional positions. It also explores education, experience and demographical data’s impact on compensation, as well as benefits and additional cash compensation programs available to practitioners. The survey is a useful tool for any business leader looking to build their risk management team.

    This year has been a spectacular ride and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow Board Directors.  You are a talented group of professionals, extraordinary volunteers and have become great friends. Thank you.

    Each year, some of our Board Director’s complete their service. I’d like to highlight some of their contributions as my sincerest appreciation for their work.

    Leslie Lamb – Leslie brought a unique perspective on technology issues that was very helpful in Board discussions, particularly establishing better membership communication strategies. Leslie led the Communications Task Force that developed a solid game plan that the Society will use moving forward.

    Al Gorski – Al’s work as the lead on RIMS Task Force 2020 was crucial to getting that initiative off the ground. He served as a key Committee Restructuring Task Force member, helping to streamline operations to ensure that committee work aligns with the Society’s mission and vision. Al will be a great addition to California State Fullerton’s Center of Insurance Studies Board of Directors.

    Fred Savage – Fred’s professional experience at Chevron and beyond provided the Board with a unique viewpoint, especially in the international arena.  Fred also kept the Board focused, ensuring all new objectives were centered on our members’ evolving needs. This year, he led the House of Delegates Meeting Revamp Task Force that was highly successful in improving the 2015 and 2016 meeting format.  Fred was also a pivotal member of RIMS Audit Committee for the past three years.

    Lori Seidenberg – Lori contributed to RIMS in all ways possible.  Always eager to lend her support, she stepped in on several occasions to represent RIMS at important industry events. She was an integral leader on RIMS Board who was instrumental to its movement to become a more strategic governing body. Deservingly, she was named to Business Insurance’s 2015 Women to Watch list – a great tribute to not only her outstanding professional achievements but also her character.

    Carolyn Snow – RIMS 2014 president was a great mentor. Carolyn completed her successful run through RIMS Board’s Executive Committee, board liaison duties, numerous committee and chapter positions, as well as her presidency and year as RIMS Ex-Officio. Her knowledge and dedication to the profession will surely be missed.  This year, Carolyn stepped into a new role and served on RIMS Nominating Committee where she helped set new procedures, ensuring continued success for RIMS 2016 Board and into the future.  

    We leave you in good hands but I assure you that our work with RIMS is far from over.  I know that in some way or another we will all continue to contribute to this Society and the profession.

    I would like to thank RIMS staff for their unwavering support and our generous and devoted chapter officers and volunteers.

    It has truly been an honor to work with all of you and to serve this Society as RIMS 2015 President.  Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Getting on the Same Page

    Mon, Nov 09, 2015 -

    One of the very first things we teach in introductory risk management courses is that for risk management to succeed, everyone must be on the “same page.”  Everyone’s definition of risk, risk appetite, risk tolerance, enterprise risk management, strategic risk management and, even, the definition of the risk manager’s expectations must be understood by all.  

    Through reports, conferences and other educational initiatives, we aim to provide risk professionals with resources to go back to their organizations and “get everyone on the same page,” and many of our new resources available within the last month were designed just for that.

    In October, ASIS International and RIMS jointly released the new ANSI/ASIS/RIMS Risk Assessment Standard. This Standard provides the world’s risk management community with guidance on developing and sustaining a coherent and effective risk assessment program. The Standard, which is now available in RIMS Risk Knowledge, offers international businesses a roadmap for implementing sound risk management processes.

    At the FERMA conference in Venice, Italy, I joined a panel to discuss the evolution of risk management and how we, as risk professionals, strive to have our work incorporated into strategic planning.  It’s interesting to hear that risk professionals, no matter where they’re located, often are confronted with the same challenges.  Events like this reinforce the importance for RIMS’ continued collaboration with risk management associations around the world to truly advance our profession.

    When speaking about RIMS’ international initiatives I would be remiss if I did not mention the tremendous work being done behind the scenes to host our very first RIMS Risk Forum Latin America and RIMS Risk Forum Middle East.  For the Latin American conference – taking place this week – we released the RIMS│Marsh Risk Management in Latin America report (English Executive Summary).  The report provides risk professionals with an overview of the risk management landscape in the region, as well as the top concerns for businesses there. The report is now available in both English and Spanish.

    Enterprise Risk Management continues to gain momentum and has been proven to be effective in getting everyone within the organization “on the same page” when it comes to understanding risk.  This year’s RIMS ERM Conference was our largest ERM conference yet.  Almost 400 risk professionals met in Chicago to discuss the value of this contemporary approach to risk management.  Congratulations are in order for everyone involved and, especially for this year’s ERM Award of Distinction winner Intuit, and honorable mention VIA Rail Canada.

    RIMS and LogicManager celebrated 10-years of the RIMS Risk Maturity Model. The Model allows risk practitioners to score their current risk programs to gauge its effectiveness, its strengths and weaknesses.  To help understand the benefits of this resource, a new executive report titled About The RIMS Risk Maturity Model was developed.  Also at the conference, the Society released its State of ERM Report 2015 highlighting organizations’ perspective of risk management while showing the progress businesses have made implementing ERM since the last report in 2008.

    In addition to keeping up to speed on risk management strategies, practitioners need to have an understanding of regulations that impact the discipline.  RIMS External Affairs Committee remains our main conduit for this information and, earlier in October, released the Alternatives to Traditional Workers Compensation Systems executive report.  The report explores the benefits and drawbacks of recent developments implemented by some states, including the option for organizations not to participate in the program.

    In other Society news, the Board met in Chicago last month and approved the 2016 RIMS operating budget. We also approved a model for Chapter by-laws that reflects the updates to the Society’s by-laws, and Chapters can implement these as they see fit. And, in case you haven’t heard, Awards Nominations are now open for RIMS ’16. Now’s the time to nominate your peers for their risk management and volunteer achievements so they can be recognized at RIMS ’16 in San Diego.

    Thank you for all that you do for RIMS and we look forward to sharing even more in the upcoming months so that you’re well-equipped to get your organization on the right page.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Do You Have A Second?

    Fri, Oct 02, 2015 -

    You’re not alone.  Everyone is pressed for time.

    Throughout the years, RIMS has developed a great reputation for providing risk professionals with the knowledge, the experts, the best practices and the network to allow them to excel professionally. But, it’s always been up to the member to decide what he or she is looking for and tailor their RIMS experience accordingly.

    But, who has time for that anymore?  So, RIMS has gone a step further. We realized that not only is it our job to develop content but we also needed a better way to deliver relevant information to you.

    This September, the Society proudly unveiled Opis “The RIMS Information Network.”  We’re one of the first trade associations to implement this new online platform. Opis has the smarts to recommend risk management content and connect you with like-minded practitioners based on your user profile.

    For example, if you added Enterprise Risk Management as one of your areas of interest, Opis would recommend surveys and reports relevant to that topic, as well as connect you with others within the RIMS network who share ERM as a core competency.  Opis does the work for you.  We encourage members to update their profiles today and take advantage of this great new resource.

    With limited time, traveling to offsite workshops can be difficult.  Over the next two months, RIMS will feature four new webcasts that you can watch from your office.  These online learning opportunities touch on topics like ERM, SRM, business continuity, cyber security and travel risks.  More details about the programs are listed under the Education tab on the RIMS website.

    Though time might be scarce, nothing quite compares to in-person networking opportunities and there have been several noteworthy updates to our lineup of upcoming conferences.

    RIMS ERM Conference will be here before you know it.  The conference, scheduled for October 26 and 27 in Chicago, has just announced that Tom Easthope, Senior Risk Manager at Microsoft, has been added to the program.  Mr. Easthope’s participation will be a welcome addition to the conference’s already stellar lineup of risk practitioners.  

    Agendas for both RIMS Risk Forum Latin America (November 9 and 10 in Peru) and RIMS Risk Forum Middle East (December 7 – 8 in Dubai) have been added to the website.  Information about all of RIMS upcoming Forums and regional conferences can be found here.

    Networking and collaborating with others is so important to what we do and it is no surprise that it remains a highly rated member benefit. We’re lucky that, at RIMS, so many of our members are willing to share their experiences, to help others and enhance the discipline.

    To that end, RIMS Strategic and Enterprise Risk Center has been updated with five new Success Tips: Q&A Interviews.  The interviews feature leading risk professionals who are doing some amazing work with their organizations’ Enterprise Risk Management programs.  Interviews include conversations with practitioners from Harley-Davidson, YMCA of Greater Toronto, The Pan American Games, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., Whirlpool Corp. among others.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking them out.

    Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank RIMS Canada Council for hosting me at the RIMS Canada Conference in Québec City and congratulate the Spencer Educational Foundation for another successful gala that raised a record-breaking $1.14 million to support the next generation of risk professionals.

    These are very exciting times for the Society and our profession. I strongly believe RIMS has introduced some great resources to help risk professionals tackle the complex risks our organizations are now facing, to better understand the challenges of the global marketplace, to become valued strategic advisors in our organizations and, perhaps, save us all a little time along the way.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Staying Focused...

    Thu, Aug 20, 2015 -

    Maybe it’s the weather or maybe it’s those summer vacation plans but, for many, this time of year our focus might not be at its sharpest. RIMS productivity in the last month and the resources we continue to deliver are meant to energize the global risk management community, driving all of us to stay focused on our organizational and professional goals.

    August featured several initiatives that supported one of my Presidential objectives: strengthening RIMS’ international network. 

    Just this week, I was in Melbourne for the Society’s third annual Risk Forum Australasia.  The Melbourne event was a huge success.  We hosted almost 150 attendees and, from the conversations I had, attendees walked away thrilled with the level of content. As we do with all of our events and resources, we’re already looking at exciting new ways to make this Forum bigger and better next year.

    Noting the success of our Forums in the Australasia region, we’ve decided to share the wealth with the flourishing risk management community in Latin America.  We’re pleased to announce that registration is now open for RIMS Risk Forum Latin America scheduled for November 9th and 10th in Lima, Peru.  An agenda is already up on the website and we’re looking forward to announcing the speakers in the near future.  Details about RIMS Risk Forum Middle East are coming soon.

    I know from my 25 years as a RIMS member that connections made at our conferences are so important.  In my career, they have been so instrumental in helping me approach new challenges and opportunities. But, things have changed since my start with RIMS. Now, just as important as those in-person interactions are, the ones we build online are equally as valuable. 

    In September, RIMS will unveil Opis the RIMS Information Network.  With Opis, RIMS will now be able to recommend customized content and connections based upon your skillset, your level of expertise and your areas of interest. RIMS will essentially do the work for you.  Already 700 early adopters were invited to begin their Opis journey, subject matter experts have begun creating engagement spaces and we’ve already uploaded content from Risk Knowledge.  As far as I know, we are the only risk management society in the world to use this innovative member platform and we are confident you will see its immediate advantages.

    Planning is well underway for RIMS 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition.  Earlier this month, our Annual Conference Programming Committee met to select educational sessions for RIMS ’16 in San Diego.  Over the course of a weekend, the Committee whittled the almost 900 session submissions down to 181 that focused on the most compelling and relevant risk management topics.  News about keynote speakers should be available soon and we will definitely keep you up-to-date with latest developments about the conference.  Registration opens in December.

    Finally, to ensure that we are doing our part to engage risk professionals around the globe we have taken steps to review and enhance existing RIMS resources. Strategic Risk Management remains a hot topic for our members and, with this in mind, we wanted to make RIMS Strategic Risk Management Implementation Guide more accessible for everyone. So, now one of RIMS’ best-selling resources is available digitally in the RIMStore, and I’m sure that more opportunities like this will follow soon.

    Focused, determined and ready.  No matter the weather outside or the time of year, RIMS remains committed to providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your risk management objectives. 


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Summer of Surveys

    Mon, Jul 27, 2015 -

    What will this Society look like in 5, 10 or 15 years? What will the risk management profession be like then? How will the insurance process and solution providers evolve? These are the questions that RIMS and its 2020 Task Force constantly explore so that we can help prepare our members for whatever may lie ahead.

    Key to that pursuit of industry knowledge is taking the pulse of our members to determine what their needs are today and what they’ll be tomorrow. This summer, RIMS will issue three surveys to do just that and will release results from another by the end of July. 

    Building on the success of the inaugural 2014 RIMS and J.D. Power Large Business Commercial Insurance Study, this year we are hoping to have enough completed surveys to publish company and broker rankings. This new element to the report is something our members asked for, and it is obvious the value it will offer risk professionals as they make critical decisions for their organizations. We are accepting surveys (participate here) through the first week of August and the final report will be available in the fall.

    Last week, we issued RIMS Risk Management Job Task Analysis survey. A learning endeavor initiated by the RIMS Board, the goal of this survey is to get a better understanding of our member’s perspective on what it means to be a risk professional, essential skills and common responsibilities. We encourage all of our professional members to take the survey (participate here) and help us better serve you.

    It’s not called the “Summer of Surveys” for nothing. In just a couple of weeks, we will reach out to members, asking them to participate in the RIMS Compensation Survey. The name can be deceiving as it’s more than just a list of salaries. Members, myself included, have found the survey report to be extremely helpful in budgeting for future risk management initiatives, and also assessing their own professional growth. This year’s survey report is slated to be released in early fall.  

    The results are in and the 2015 RIMS Benchmark Survey is now available. The annual RIMS survey, produced with Advisen Ltd, is a single source of benchmark statistics with industry data for more than 52,000 insurance programs from almost 1,500 organizations. To order “The Book” visit

    There is more going on at RIMS than just surveys and research.

    At RIMS ’15 in New Orleans, we mentioned plans to launch a new member engagement platform. Well, those plans are underway. Opis the RIMS Information Network is in its final testing period. The platform, designed to connect members with content and people relevant to their specific risk management focus, is now being used by a group of “early adopters” and will be ready for the general membership this September. To learn more, visit

    RIMS’ much anticipated ERM Conference – scheduled for October 26 and 27 in Chicago – is fast approaching. We are excited to welcome author and award-winning professor Witold J. Henisz as our keynoter who will address the advantages ERM lends to risk professionals who are faced with the daunting task of protecting, enhancing and leveraging corporate reputation. Whether you’re responsible for a mature ERM program or if you’re just contemplating the idea of implementing one, the conference agenda is designed to cater to professionals at all levels of experience.
    This month RIMS released a new executive report: Risk Management & Remote Work Policies. Based on interviews with RIMS Board Directors, the report highlights the advantages, challenges and the role risk professionals can take in helping their organization develop a comprehensive remote work policy. The executive report is now available in RIMS Risk Knowledge library.

    Finally, I would like to congratulate the RIMS Publications team for their outstanding work putting together RIMS Risk Management magazine. On top of delivering exceptional content each month, the magazine was presented four awards recognizing its superior graphic design. Kudos to everyone involved.

    Our journey to identify the future needs of risk professionals is far from over, but RIMS continues to make significant strides that differentiate us from any other association in the industry. As we focus on the future of the profession, RIMS is proud to be able to provide you with industry-leading resources, knowledge and networking opportunities along the way.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Turning Up the Volume

    Wed, Jun 17, 2015 -

    The value of strong risk management capabilities is no longer a mystery.  As the world’s leading association dedicated to this essential business function, it is RIMS’ job to amplify this message and keep the momentum going through advocacy efforts, new conferences and valuable resources.

    To ensure risk professionals’ voices are heard on legislative issues, last week, the Society held RIMS Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.  The two-day Summit brought RIMS’ members and congressional leaders face-to-face to discuss key risk management issues including the Policyholder Act and the Data Security and Breach Notification Act.
    The Summit featured presentations from Christian Fjeld, Sr. Counsel for Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance; Paul Nagle, Chief Counsel for House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade; and Patrick Satalin, Legislative Director for Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).  Approximately 55 meetings were set up for attendees with elected-officials and their representatives.

    Keeping with our theme of strengthening our international network, RIMS is proud to announce its first-ever event in South America – RIMS Risk Forum Latin America.  In Lima, Peru on November 8 and 9, RIMS will share its thought-leading insight with the area’s flourishing risk management community.  The agenda is currently in the development stage and registration is scheduled to open in August. 

    The Society also opened registration for two more conferences: 

    RIMS Risk Forum Australasia is set for August 17 – 18.  Once again in Melbourne, the speaker lineup at this year’s conference includes a sampling of risk professionals from around the world including: Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and China. Each speaker is poised to bring their unique global perspective to the program, making this year’s Risk Forum Australasia a “can’t miss” event.

    Just this week, RIMS opened registration for RIMS ERM Conference 2015, October 26-27 in Chicago.  Year-after-year, RIMS ERM Conference continues grow. For the first time, this year’s conference will feature the ERM Leaders Recognition Luncheon.  There, we will celebrate and hear from exceptional organizations that have successfully implemented ERM programs.

    Also this month, RIMS released findings from its first Cyber Survey.  The survey included feedback from nearly 300 risk professionals and explores cyber insurance investments, feared exposures, cyber security ownership, government involvement, as well as methods for identifying cyber exposures and response strategies.  The report is now available in RIMS Risk Knowledge library.

    Finally, in our mission to strengthen RIMS’ internal network, the Society unveiled its new Online Join application. This new feature on the RIMS website creates a more efficient and sophisticated interface for online visitors.  We’ve also revised the registration questions to make that process quicker and easier for the end user.  The new application makes it easier for RIMS to collect and sort demographic data – essentially allowing us to send you targeted communications on the topics you find most important.
    As our regional conference season kicks off, not only do we look forward to bringing you more resources, but we are also excited to learn from your experience and gain an even better understanding of your professional needs.  Thank you again for your continued support.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Breaking Good

    Mon, May 11, 2015 -

    The risk professional’s day-to-day responsibilities, as well as their impact on their organization’s strategy, continues to increase and each of our “to do” lists have gotten just a bit longer. That’s great news for our profession.  Our work is gaining recognition from the top leaders in our organizations and the future is bright for risk management. 

    But, sometimes it’s good to take a break from what we’re so focused on within our organizations, to assess our risk management practices, the direction of our organization and think about ways to improve our work and ourselves. RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition provides just that escape and I hope our more than 10,000 attendees from more than 60 countries gained the same inspiration as I did from last week’s conference in New Orleans. 

    Our three keynoters – Eric Wahl, Simon Bailey and Arianna Huffington – spoke to our global audience about the value of rethinking the way we approach our work, the way we harness our ideas to become “brilliant” leaders and, most importantly, to be mindful of our own personal well-being so that we can achieve maximum performance in the workplace.  RIMS ’15’s 160 educational sessions covered everything from the risks of drones to the art of negotiations.  And, its 400 exhibitors proved that this industry is indeed growing fast, and that this Society continues to be the leader centered on strengthening the networks of the risk management community.

    At RIMS ’15, two RIMS Executive reports entitled “Is a Mature Enterprise Risk Management Effort Worth the Investment?” and “Testing Value Creation Through Enterprise Risk Management Maturity” were released. The reports resulted from RIMS’ and LogicManager’s strategic relationship with Mark Farrell of Queens University Management School and Dr. Ronan Gallagher of the University of Edinburgh Business School. They are based on an independent academic research project studying correlations between business value and the maturity of the respective organizations’ ERM programs, as assessed using the RIMS Risk Maturity Model (RMM). If you haven’t completed your free assessment, visit to learn more.

    While we’re on the topic of the RMM, it is important to note that just prior to the Annual Conference the complimentary resource was adopted by the NAIC in yet another attempt to formalize how organizations achieve risk management competency. The NAIC specifically identifies the RMM as “an effective tool for evaluating the state of an organizations program,” and indicates that “insurers should strive to meet a 'repeatable' level of Enterprise Risk Management maturity in each principle to comply with the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment requirements.”

    More resources were made available to RIMS members, especially for those conducting business in international markets or that are in the process of evaluating global expansion projects. AXCO Insight Risk Manager is now available complimentary for RIMS professional members. With an understanding of the challenges risk professionals may encounter when entering new geographic markets, this resource provides our members with critical information about insurance requirements and other regulations to note when expanding internationally.

    RIMS continues its outreach to other standards development organizations and others influencing the risk management profession. Both the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) are in the middle of revising their respective risk management documents. RIMS Carol Fox, our Director of Strategic and Enterprise Practice was recently appointed to a three-year term as Chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the U.S. Secretariat for ISO 31000 risk management standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  She was also invited by COSO to participate in its Advisory Council on the COSO ERM Framework revision. Our members’ voice is definitely being heard in these conversations and RIMS’ engagement will benefit risk professionals everywhere.

    Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helped make our world renowned-Annual Conference & Exhibition an overwhelming success.   From RIMS staff and exhibitors to attendees and speakers, thank you so much for your contributions to RIMS and for making my experience as the Society’s president during RIMS ’15 truly unforgettable.  

    If you couldn’t join us in NOLA or wish to relive your experience, visit for all of our post-conference coverage.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Let the Countdown Begin

    Tue, Apr 07, 2015 -

    Less than 20 days until RIMS ’15 and I couldn’t be more excited.  To say “Let the Count Down Begin” is not completely accurate. Truth is that planning for RIMS Annual Conference begins years and years before the actual event.  Right now is crunch time but I’m confident the staff at RIMS is ready to deliver to you yet another amazing experience in New Orleans.

    There are some new features at this year’s conference that I’m really looking forward to:

    As the number of international attendees who join us for the Annual Conference continues to increase, we felt a need to provide them with a designated meeting space to exchange ideas and connect with other risk professionals who have travelled from afar.  RIMS International Lounge will offer just this. In addition to a networking area, the lounge will feature a tailored education track designed specifically for our international attendees.

    Throughout the first months of my presidency, I’ve stressed the importance of creating opportunities for new risk professionals – whether they’re students just graduating or individuals who have transitioned into the profession.

    To support this goal, we will present the first-ever RIMS Rising Star Award.  With so many universities now offering curriculums to prepare students for careers in risk management, future leaders are stepping into this field and delivering superior risk management perspective right away.  This award recognizes these outstanding practitioners.

    Because of the great success and great interest in RIMS and J.D. Power 2014 Large Commercial Insurance Report, the Society will be teaming up with JD Power for another year.  J.D. Power representatives will be at the conference, surveying the crowd, to get your thoughts on commercial insurers.

    While New Orleans nightlife has a lot to offer attendees, we encourage them to rest up on Monday night and participate in the Spencer Educational Foundation’s 5K Fun Run, sponsored by Sedgwick. The run will take place first thing in the morning on Tuesday and will benefit the nonprofit’s scholarship, grant and intern programs.

    To keep up with others news and announcements about the conference you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @RIMSorg and follow the hashtag #RIMS2015. Also, while in New Orleans, look for our “Selfie Spots.”  There are prizes for the best photos.

    RIMS is also making great progress on not only strengthening its internal structure but enhancing it so that we are able to quickly adapt to risk management trends and member needs.  A Bylaws Task Force was formed that comprises board directors, past presidents, a chapter delegate and RIMS staff.  Together, the group presented revised Bylaws to all Chapter Officers who will vote on them following this year’s House of Delegates meeting in New Orleans.   If you are a Chapter Officer and have not received communication about the revised Bylwas contact  

    RIMS External Affairs Committee continues its work to ensure that TRIA is implemented in a way that best serves commercial insurance buyers and their organizations.  In March, RIMS submitted a comment letter with recommendations for expediting the process for certifying acts of terror.  RIMS will continue to monitor the implementation of TRIA and offer its support to the United States Department of the Treasury.

    Finally, just last week I returned from Japan where I met with members of RIMS Japan Chapter.  In both Osaka and Tokyo, I delivered remarks on the value risk professionals and internal auditors can deliver to the organization by working together.  While I was there in a capacity to share risk management knowledge, I learned a whole lot myself.  Whether their risk practices and programs were familiar, or whether they approached risk in a completely different way, it’s always fascinating to hear the perspective from professionals in other parts of the world and in other industries.

    In my opinion, it is that perspective that makes attending RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition so important. Nowhere else in the world will you have access to so much risk management education opportunities, resources and people.  

    We look forward to welcoming you to New Orleans and doing our part to help you strengthen your network.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Turning Up The Heat...

    Thu, Feb 26, 2015 -

    ​It always seems that at this time of year RIMS President wishes warmer weather, and less snow, for our members in the Northeast.  But, as a Connecticut resident myself, it just doesn’t seem right.  The winter has been especially tough this year, making it very difficult for many businesses to carry-on as usual.   That said, RIMS always seems to persevere.  The Society is right on schedule for RIMS ‘15 and I’m witnessing this massive undertaking happen first-hand.

    The latest announcement from RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition is our “Hot Topic Sessions.”  There are so many areas of risk management that require the immediate attention of risk professionals.  As a result, RIMS has selected eight hot topics that include discussions about drones, 3-D printing, geopolitical issues, e-healthcare, remote surveillance and, of course, social media challenges. 

    We’re also happy to announce that we’ll be able to share the outstanding educational programming and networking opportunities at RIMS ’15 with 30 future risk management leaders.  Thirty undergraduate students from universities across the U.S. were awarded this year’s Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program Scholarship.  The scholarship provides them with the opportunity to attend and take advantage of all that RIMS ’15 has to offer.

    Other news on the Rising Risk Professional front is that 20 universities were selected to participate in the first round of the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge.  The teams’ presentations are currently being judged and eight of the 20 will be chosen to compete at RIMS ’15.

    The team at RIMS responsible for professional development opportunities has also been hard at work.  This year, at the request of our members, two new online courses that address some critical areas of risk management were launched.   The first, Risk Analysis Forecasting Tools reviews best-practices for quantifying risk so that risk professionals can make more informed decisions.

    The second new course, Designing an Enterprise Risk Management Framework, explores the fundamental steps in implementing an organization’s ERM strategy.  Also, RIMS and SambaSafety are presenting a webcast on driver safety and driver risk management in April.  Details about the courses and how to register are now listed in the “Education” section of the RIMS website. 

    RIMS also released a new Executive Report this month: “Exploring the Risk Committee Advantage.”  The report defines the risk committee concept with insight on the types of committees and roles risk professionals can take during its implementation, facilitation and the communication of its findings.  It also highlights the value of developing a strong operational risk committee, while reviewing regulations and potential challenges.  The report is now available in the RIMS Risk Knowledge library.

    As you can imagine, things at RIMS really heat up in the months leading up to RIMS ’15.   While a lot of focus will be placed on delivering the world’s biggest and best risk management conference, RIMS remains committed to offering our members the day-to-day support and knowledge they need to sustain and advance their risk management programs.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Strengthening Our Networks

    Tue, Jan 20, 2015 -
    Back in December, I grabbed a leftover copy of the RIMS Annual Conference guide that lists all of RIMS’ past presidents just to figure out how many presidents were before me.   I found what I was looking for – I’m number 61.  But, as I scrolled down the list and read the names, I realized that I am joining a very accomplished, almost legendary, group of risk management leaders.

    It is an absolute honor to join this group and serve as the president of the greatest risk management association in the world. I also realize that this prestigious title comes with great responsibility.  I am looking forward to the year ahead and helping this Society remain at the forefront.

    When news arrived that I had been nominated, my first thoughts were: How can RIMS better prepare our members for the uncertainties that lie ahead?  What can RIMS offer risk professionals to help them navigate the increasingly complex and quickly evolving risks our organizations now face?  

    As president, I will focus on strengthening, what I believe to be, RIMS’ and risk professionals’ greatest asset: our networks.

    Our International Network – RIMS is a global Society.  Our members hail from countries around the world.  For most entities, the risk of not thinking like a global enterprise can be detrimental to its future success.  In 2015, RIMS will continue to review opportunities to reach new international audiences including enhancing our professional development offerings, participating in worldwide industry events, developing resources that address risk management strategies for global expansion, and, perhaps, adding to this Society’s lineup of international events.   

    Our Rising Risk Professional Network – Business and the risks our organizations are facing are evolving fast.  We will need to lean on the fresh and innovative perspectives of both our current network and the next generation of professionals.  This Society has a responsibility to assess the resources and opportunities we offer to those entering the profession, as well as students, so that we can develop products that align with their level of experience.

    RIMS’ Internal Network – We must remain relevant and continue to deliver thought-leading content.  Our infrastructure must be strong and nimble so that we can make strategic decisions for our members, faster.  This year, we will focus on the Society’s governance and structure, reviewing the processes of our Board of Directors, House of Delegates, Committees, Councils and Chapter networks.  The first year of RIMS 2020 Task Force was very successful and we look forward to continuing with this initiative in the upcoming year.

    We’re already off to a great start with the inaugural RIMS Leadership Forum just concluding. The RIMS BOD, senior staffers and current committee leaders got together to collaborate and strategize for the year ahead.  It was a super productive experience and we’re eager to share the results. The Board really appreciates the outstanding input received from our committee and council leaders and that they took the time out their busy schedules to attend.

    The risk management industry as a whole benefits from RIMS’ expansive network of risk professionals, solutions providers, its dedicated and committed volunteers and staff. 

    My priority is to ensure that RIMS continues to deliver the resources that have made it successful for the last 65 years and build on them so that the Society is well-positioned to remain the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management. 

    Looking forward to an amazing 2015.


    Rick Roberts


Risk Knowledge is a searchable library of relevant information for today's risk professionals. Available materials include RIMS Executive Reports, survey findings.

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