The evolution of risk governance in insurance continues

Governance, Risk management and oversight
/ Insurance and Asset Management

Insurance Governance Leadership Network, May 2013

“Five years ago, risk management in insurance companies was highly underdeveloped. It is less so today. We’ve come a long way, but we have a lot of work left to do.”


The governance of risk at large global insurers has been changing significantly over the past few years, and participants in the Insurance Governance Leadership Network (IGLN) have been discussing these changes since the network’s inception just over one year ago. Two meetings, held in London on February 13, 2013 and New York on April 11, 2013, brought together 11 directors, five supervisors, and seven executives to discuss recent changes in risk governance and shared goals for the future of risk oversight. 

Insurers reported substantial improvements in the way both boards and management approach risk, but challenges remain. The discussions revealed that insurers are responding to regulatory and economic pressures to improve governance with a wide variety of practices, tailored to meet the individual needs of their firms and their markets. However, despite the diversity of approaches, organizations share the same ultimate goal of continued improvement in the risk organization. This ViewPoints captures the substance of these recent risk governance conversations, from which three key themes emerged:

  • Multiple factors compel large insurers to improve risk governance

  • Complex insurers continue to enhance board-level risk oversight

  • The chief risk officer (CRO) has emerged as a key player