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Chief Risk Officers to grow in number and influence

The number of chief risk officers (CROs) appointed to oversee enterprise risk is increasing as companies seek to address a growing range of business threats and increased regulatory pressures, according to a survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The survey found that 45% of companies have already appointed a CRO or equivalent, although the majority of them are concentrated in the financial services sector. However, the role is set to become more commonplace in other industries, with 24% of all firms planning to appoint a CRO in the next two years.

The survey was conducted as part of the research for The Evolving Role of the CRO, a new report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by ACE Insurance, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Bank and IBM. A total of 137 global risk managers participated in the survey, with approximately half of respondents drawn from the financial services sector and the rest drawn from a cross-section of 16 other industries.

The main priority for CROs is to ensure that the organisation is in full compliance with regulations. Their success or failure in addressing this task will be crucial: survey respondents identified regulatory risk as one of the top two threats to global business, along with reputational risk.

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