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22 December 2016

Study reveals biggest risks facing global businesses

Content team

Risk management professionals will face some major challenges in 2017, according to management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Launching its sixth annual Risk Journal, the company revealed what it sees as the top three risks facing global businesses over the coming year.

Among them was what the company described as a "blistering" pace of technological change, which it said will accelerate in 2017. This is likely to affect all industries, from the auto sector to financial services.

Oliver Wyman encouraged businesses to "embrace digitisation" to avoid being undermined by tech-focused start-ups. This is particularly relevant for financial institutions, which are facing growing competition from fintech firms and 'challenger banks'.

The report also highlighted the danger posed by cyberattacks, another threat that could affect businesses and markets of all kinds.

Most pressing of all, according to the consulting firm, is the risk of social and political instability, following on from events such as the Brexit vote in the UK and the result of the presidential election in the US.

Barrie Wilkinson, partner and co-head of Oliver Wyman's finance and risk practice in Europe, said companies across all industries will face "significant risk on many fronts" in 2017. He noted that any one of the risks highlighted in the latest Risk Journal would constitute a "serious threat", but the prospect of dealing with many challenges at once is a major concern for businesses.

"The main thing that companies can do to respond to these threats is to use the latest developments in technology to gain access to more timely risk management and business data and to ensure that they have the right in-house talent to unleash the power of this new technology and data," Mr Wilkinson advised.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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