Risk Management Top Concern Among CFOs

The current financial crisis has senior finance executives more likely to be concerned about their firms’ risk management practices (72 percent) than they are about their access to capital. A CFO Research Services study in conjunction with Towers Perrin, found that respondents were less concerned about issues such as accessing long-term debt financing (65 percent) and short-term financing (61 percent), in comparison to risk management. The companies surveyed also acknowledged they will need to retool their risk management practices, with 55 percent saying their risk management practices are likely to change at either the board or employee level.

When  asked which items contributed to the current financial crisis, respondents as a whole blame risk management practices at banks (62 percent), followed by the increased complexity of financial instruments (59 percent) and financial market speculators (57 percent). Additionally, 24 percent  said that fair-value accounting requirements were a major contributor to the crisis.  While the majority of respondents (62 percent) acknowledged that the financial crisis would dampen profit expectations and leave a potentially lasting dent on the world economy, only  4 percent said they feared a major negative impact on their financial results.

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