A preview of Ferma’s 2018 European risk manager survey finds that risk managers have put aside their differences with IT colleagues and are now working collaboratively to combat the biggest risk for corporates

Cyber risk was ranked as one of the biggest threats to businesses across Europe, according to a preview of Ferma’s 2018 risk manager survey.

Of the 700 risk managers who participated in the biennial survey, 37% said this was the main risk for their business, up 6% compared to 2016’s survey.

Unsurprisingly, the risk manager’s role in preventing, managing and mitigating cyber risks – a threat that is traditionally managed by the IT department – has increased.

Risk managers now have regular or very close relationships with their IT counterparts – a relationship described as ‘first tier partners’, said Jo Willaert, president of Ferma on opening this year’s seminar in Antwerp.

Collaboration between risk managers and IT professionals has been a perennial challenge. But Ferma’s survey indicates a marked improvement from 2016, when risk managers considered IT professionals as ‘third-tier partners’ –a department with whom they have a more distant relationship.

The survey paints a positive outlook for corporates’ digital transformation and found that risk managers are embracing technology and innovation. Some 44% are using data analysis and modelling tools and 8% are beginning to use emerging technologies, including automation and blockchain.

The full results of the survey will be launched on 29 November.


Nearly 40% of risk managers oversee ERM; 33% are in charge of both ERM and insurance management and 28% are in charge of insurance management

Some 85% of insurance managers are concerned about emerging

Nearly 60% of the insurance managers think captives will play a more important role in covering non-traditional risks such as cyber or political risks

Nearly 55% of risk managers believe their role is better recognised internally and that they have excellent access to senior decision markers