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Emerging Risks: 2017

January 30, 2017
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A look at the emerging risks for 2017 reveals two clear touchpoints: people and politics – and especially politics. Risk experts in areas ranging from human capital to transportation, from Washington, DC to Brazil are looking at the broad implications of political trends that could have profound effect on the global economy. The trends toward populism, protectionism and deregulation could change the risk profiles for many industries.

In addition to their global perspective, our risk experts are also focusing in a narrower direction: on the risk inherent in the behavior and attitude of individual employees. Human capital studies highlight the importance of engagement in worker productivity and the impact of human behavior on worker safety, cyber breaches and liability risk. All of these affect company performance.

The trends toward populism, protectionism and deregulation could change the risk profiles for many industries.

Most organizations can do little about the changing political landscape – except brace themselves for potential disruption – but political and trade credit risk insurance may offer useful options. The human capital arena, meanwhile, offers several paths for improvement. These involve steps that promote a workplace culture where employer and employee are better aligned.

The risks presented by people and politics fall outside the traditional paradigm of insurable risk. But there are some of those as well on our 2017 radar, including the threat of recently recognized chemical reactions in refinery equipment.

And two of the risks on our emerging list in recent years are here again: cyber risk because of its explosive growth, and climate change because of renewed political debate that could influence our response to it.

All in all, emerging risks in 2017 are broadening the interconnected nature – and the value – of the risk management function.

Read the entire special feature: What Risks Will Emerge in 2017?