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Korn/Ferry Survey Notes That Risk Management Is an Increasing Priority for Corporations

August 11, 2010

NEW YORK, Aug 11, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

A Korn/Ferry Executive Quiz survey released today reveals that corporate leadership attention to risk management has significantly increased as a result of the global downturn and the many high profile risk management failures in the financial services industry. From a July 2010 survey of senior executives and board members from across the globe, it was clear that companies are actively identifying and addressing their own risk management issues more than ever before.

According to the Korn/Ferry executive survey, 59 percent of executives believe that the recent scrutiny on corporate reputation risk has had a positive affect on their Board's view of reputation management and crisis preparedness, with only 28 percent saying that the increased attention on risk management has had no affect.

"The fragile global economy and the recent high-profile collapses within the financial sector have taken their toll on organizations worldwide. As a result, it's clear that a by-product of the new environment is an increased focus and awareness by executives of the importance of risk management planning. The Korn/Ferry survey shows that the majority of companies have already taken practical steps to enhance their risk management practices and awareness," said Steve Mader, vice chairman and managing director of Korn/Ferry Board Services.

More than half of the executives (58 percent) believe that their company has improved the quality and timeliness of internal oversight and reporting to the Board to better assist in risk management and planning.

Fifty-seven percent of senior executives surveyed said that directors and executives are spending more time dealing with risk management. Twenty-six percent said there had been no change at all, while 14 percent revealed that their company is actually spending less time on risk management. Results also showed that the majority of executives, 60 percent of those surveyed, do not believe that increased government oversight had been a driver for improving risk management at their organizations.

The survey indicates that risk analysis and ongoing management are becoming increasingly critical areas of focus and importance to organizations and C-suite executives across the world. While 20 percent of organizations have a Chief Risk Officer from among the executives surveyed, many noted that the direct responsibility for risk management at their organizations starts at the top - 43 percent identified the Chief Executive Officer as directly responsible, with 19 percent pointing to the Chief Operating Officer.

1. Are senior executives and directors in your company spending more time on risk management?*

    Yes, they are spending more
     time (117)                              57%
    ---------------------------             ---
    No, they are spending less
     time (29)                               14%
    --------------------------              ---
    There has been no change (54)            26%
    -----------------------------           ---
    Unsure (5)                                2%
    ----------                              ---

    *Due to rounding, responses do not equal 100 percent.

2. Has your company improved the quality and timeliness of information shared with the Board to assist with decision making and better risk management?

    Yes, it has improved (154)               58%
    --------------------------              ---
    No, it has worsened (32)                 12%
    ------------------------                ---
    There has been no change (70)            27%
    -----------------------------           ---
    Unsure (8)                                3%
    ----------                              ---

3. Who has direct responsibility for risk management at your company?*

    Chief Executive Officer (227)            43%
    -----------------------------           ---
    Chief Operating Officer (99)             19%
    ----------------------------            ---
    Chief Risk Officer (108)                 20%
    ------------------------                ---
    Lead Director (41)                        8%
    ------------------                      ---
    Other (58)                               11%
    ----------                              ---

    *Due to rounding, responses do not equal 100 percent.

4. Will expanding and increasing aggressive federal securities oversight affect the composition of your board?

    Yes (270)                                40%
    ---------                               ---
    No (404)                                 60%
    --------                                ---

5. Will the recent, heightened attention on corporate reputation risk affect your board's view of reputation risk management and crisis preparedness?

    Yes (259)                                59%
    ---------                               ---
    No (125)                                 28%
    --------                                ---
    Unsure (57)                              13%
    -----------                             ---


The Korn/Ferry Institute Executive Quiz survey is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm's online Executive Center, Respondents from more than 65 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Survey in July 2010.

About The Korn/Ferry Institute

The Korn/Ferry Institute generates forward-thinking research and viewpoints that illuminate how talent advances business strategy. Since its founding in 2008, the institute has published scores of articles, studies and books that explore global best practices in organizational leadership and human capital development. For more information, visit

About Korn/Ferry International

Korn/Ferry International, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is a premier global provider of talent management solutions. Based in Los Angeles, the firm delivers an array of solutions that help clients to attract, develop, retain and sustain their talent. Visit for more information on the Korn/Ferry International family of companies, and for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.

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