Chubb head calls for more chief risk officers

Dean O’Hare, chairman and chief executive of Chubb Corporation, believes companies without a chief risk officer are not handling risk management effectively. Speaking at the Risk & Insurance Management Society’s annual conference in New Orleans today, O’Hare said the creation of a senior-level chief risk officer is vital for good corporate governance.

“Chief executives and board members have to stop managing enterprise risk in silos,” said O’Hare. “Risk managers are no longer just an expense item on the corporate income statement. They are absolutely vital to protecting the continued viability of the enterprise.”

O’Hare said risks related to IT and finance tend to be left to the heads of those departments but should be handled by a chief risk officer.

When asked by RiskNews how companies should split financial risk management responsibilities between the chief risk officer and the chief financial officer, O’Hare said non-financial corporations should have chief risk officers handling financial risk assessment that report to the chief executive. But O’Hare, who is appointing a chief risk officer at Chubb that will report to the chief financial officer, believes the latter set up probably works best for financial institutions.

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