This headline may come as no surprise, given that the UK recently voted to leave the EU and the somewhat unexpected result of Donald Trump becoming president-elect of the USA. However, this was the view from you our customers, taken from the survey that many of you completed during our Global Conferences in summer 2016. Most of you had taken part in the survey before the EU referendum or the USA presidential election had come to pass and it just highlights how in these uncertain times you never know what is just around the corner. Both of these outcomes were unexpected, and indeed this time in 2015, although both were on the horizon, political risk wasn’t mentioned at all when we asked you about the biggest threat to your business.
In the summer of 2016, 44% of organizations in the UK cited the political situation, and subsequent implications as the biggest potential challenge or unknown to their business, in stark contrast to 2015 where supply chain and cyber security were the most significant risks being faced by companies. In the US, in 2016 a third of companies saw the domestic political situation and supply chain as the biggest risk, whereas 2015, geo-political, and physical/construction risks where seen as more notable risks. Similarly in Australia, just under a third (29%) of those surveyed in 2016 said that political unrest was the biggest threat.
They say every cloud has a silver lining and it seems that all this uncertainty is helping the risk community to continue to get our messages across. Again the majority of firms surveyed said that risk management is increasing in importance and profile within their organizations. This is a trend that we have seen grow year on year since we first introduced the survey in 2014.