Contributor: Don Canning
For thousands of years sailors have used the stars as the method of celestial navigation. In the 11th century, the magnetic compass was used to gain a more accurate calculation to help establish relative location. By the mid 1600’s, Sir Isaac Newtown created a device called the Sextant to measure star elevation (altitude) angle at night from the horizon plane to Polaris to find one’s relative latitude. In the 20th century, many more devices and methods were employed to pin-point a ship’s location by use of charts, sonar, radar and global positioning systems (GPS). More interestingly, many ships today have many of these calculation devices in the event of errors or tool failure.
It’s the same for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) navigation and calculations. It’s well understood that actuaries across line of businesses use several different actuarial calculation engines and data tools to help derive quantitative and qualitative results. Therefore, when considering a comprehensive ERM program, risk managers must consider the integration of many calculation tools to provide accuracy and cross-check validations. Just as navigators provide assured positioning to the helm and aggregate data from various navigational tools, risk managers have to pull it all together and present to the risk committee. That means facilitating an environment of transparency for collaboration and perhaps resolving conflicting results across multiple vendor products. It’s critical to partner with collaborators providing tools and solutions that meet customer needs first, which is a unique differentiator for ERM deployments.
ERM best-practices indicate infrastructure capabilities specifically designed to unite all risk modeling operations under one open platform. The key to success is process control and audit integrity of scheduled model runs, approval review points, exception handling and other important key risk indicators ensuring consistent execution and monitoring. The combination of ERM best practices and process control standards with open network interoperability, offers a unified view and position of risk-processing.
Naval commanding officers know that having a strong navigation team using many tools to measure relative location is critical to a well managed ship. Risk managers find themselves in a similar critical position having to provide direction and positioning to corporate officers in a timely manner. Providing risk information accurately and timely will make all the difference when senior leadership is contemplating a new course for conquests.
SunGard iWorks ERM Resources:
White Paper: Solvency II: Threat or Opportunity
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