Opus College of Business Forum: The Risk Leadership Challenge

Tuesday, October 15, 8:00 AM
Forum host Peter C. Young, Ph.D.

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Rapid changes in the field of risk management over the past 10 years have led to a number of interesting outcomes—none more interesting than the emergence of the “risk leader.”

The University of St. Thomas’ interest in this particular phenomenon has been prompted by three specific observations:

  1. Although risk leaders hold many titles and roles (CRO, head of risk, ERM director, senior vice president for risk management), there is an evident demand for individuals who provide organizations with a wide-ranging view of risk and its management; however
  2. The demand for these individuals has outpaced our understanding of the actual job of risk leadership; and furthermore
  3. It is unclear exactly what are the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to become an effective risk leader.

In an effort to begin a process of better understanding the risk leadership phenomenon, the Opus College of Business conducted a survey of more than 80 identified risk leaders in the Twin Cities to establish a baseline understanding of the issues pertinent to their roles and responsibilities. The resulting report, The Risk Leadership Challenge, will be released on October 15, in conjunction with the first ever Opus College of Business Risk Leadership Forum.

The forum is intended to serve two distinct purposes:

  • To provide a gathering of Twin Cities risk leaders as a means of advancing networking among these individuals, and
  • To report back on the survey results as a means of prompting breakout roundtable discussions on the issues, questions, opportunities that arise from the survey results.

While the discussions may prove to be an end in themselves, the Opus College of Business anticipates that several ideas for “next steps” may arise from the forum; including possible future seminars, networking events, research and educational programming.

Who should attend?

While all those with a professional interest in risk leadership are invited to attend, a special invitation is extended to individuals who self-identify as risk leaders in their organizations. There is no charge for this event and attendees will receive a free copy of the survey results.  However, attendees must register in order to attend.

There are a number of adjunct questions that arise from these observations; notable among them are the matter of the risk leader’s formal relationship with the executive team and with the board of directors, and the ways in which risk leadership might be seen as a role played by all top managers and directors.

The Forum Host

The Opus College of Business is the institutional host for the Risk Leadership Forum. The forum will be led by Peter C. Young, Ph.D., who will present the survey results and will facilitate the breakout roundtable discussions.

Young holds the 3M Endowed Chair in International Business, and in that position is responsible for global business education initiatives at the Opus College of Business. From 1994-2011, he held the E. W. Blanch Senior Chair in Risk Management in the Opus College of Business. In that capacity, he was (and remains) responsible for the UST MBA courses and non-degree programs in risk management. He also serves as the principal advisor to (and co-creator of) the University of St. Thomas actuarial science program, which in 2011 received recognition as a Center for Actuarial Excellence. 

Young has been a visiting professor to City University in London and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, and has held a distinguished honorary professorship at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. Most recently, he was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the University of Nebraska-Omaha and was honored with the ALARM-UK Lifetime Service award. Additionally, he was recently selected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management in London.


8- 9 a.m.: Registration/Light Breakfast
9-9:45 a.m.: Plenary Session: Risk Leadership Survey
9:45-11:15 a.m.: Breakout Roundtable Discussions
11:15-11:45 a.m.: Summarizing Roundtable Discussions
11:45 a.m.-12 p.m.: Looking ahead/Conclusion

Event Details:
Tuesday, October 15, 8:00 AM

University of St. Thomas
Opus College of Business
1000 LaSalle Ave
Terrence Murphy Hall
Room 401
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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