Resilience professionals predict 'peak risk' in Summer

Business resilience professionals predict 'peak risk' in the coming months, with geopolitical, war and economic risks dominating thinking – even before the invasion of Ukraine.

This is among the findings of Beazley’s annual Risk and Resilience research of firms in the UK, the US, Canada and Singapore.

Beazley undertook its annual survey of business leaders’ attitudes to risk and resilience in January, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At that point, only 25% of those surveyed felt they were operating in a high-risk environment. However, asked to project forward six months almost half (43%) of UK leaders and over a third (38%) of US leaders anticipate that they will be operating in a high-risk world by the middle of the year.

Other fast-rising risks in January 2022 include employee, intellectual property risk and energy transition risks, which have all broadly doubled compared with feedback in 2021. As last year, UK business leaders are notably less confident than their US peers.

Adrian Cox, CEO, Beazley commented: “Business leaders continue to face perhaps the stiffest test in a generation as the world reels from the economic whirlwind unleashed by Covid-19 to the unfolding horror and ensuing geopolitical dislocation caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Business resilience is under real threat as companies adjust to a new world order in which everything, from trading relationships, through commodity prices to supply chains, needs to be re-evaluated from the ground up. As insurers we must step up and help businesses work through this perfect storm of a high risk-low resilience world.”

Cyber risk stands clear of every other as a top risk to business but one to which those polled by Beazley say they feel particularly resilient – something which may reflect the fact that almost half of respondents say their top priorities are investment in improved cyber security (43%), risk management and loss prevention initiatives (42%).

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