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Press Release   •   Apr 29, 2013 14:01 BST

Innovation and risk management are now seen as two sides of the same coin by business leaders seeking to grow their companies.  According to a new report released today, company leaders are challenging the perception that managing risk stifles growth and instead making it part of their growth and innovation strategies.

The Risky Business Report by Allianz Insurance identifies a new growth approach where business leaders weigh up both challenges and risks at every turn of their decision making to help drive success. It is increasingly seen as a risk to businesses NOT to innovate.  These businesses are applying risk principles to innovation, ensuring they understand the risk of not entering new markets or developing new products as well as the opportunities they may present, according to the report.  It finds businesses are increasingly using risk management as an enabler to tackle challenges upfront and deliver growth through new ideas, expansion and originality.

Business leaders are taking an action oriented approach to overcome the risks their businesses may experience according to research commissioned for the report. For example, implementing a growth strategy is top of the action list with almost one in three (30%) having a plan to deliver growth during 2013. In addition when asked about their management priorities for 2013 innovation made it into the top three:

1. Training and development (24%)

2. Recruitment (23%)

3. Innovation and R&D (21%)

Allianz Insurance CEO, Andrew Torrance said: “Ambitious businesses going for growth do not see risk management as a barrier.  Companies who can utilise both risk management and innovation in parallel, will find sustainable ways to deliver growth and embrace change and innovative approaches throughout their organisations.”

The report finds company heads are changing the role of risk management, bringing it into the boardroom to support the drive for new ideas and strategies for growth.  But 43% are extending the principle even further and engaging wider teams to identify and plan for potential risks when they are looking at new developments such as product launches and expanding internationally. According to Allianz, this evolution will help business leaders to plan effectively for risks while they are focused on delivering growth and not just react post-event after the damage has been done – as 96% of business leaders admitted they have done at some point.

The distinction between a risk and a challenge is shifting in the minds of business leaders demonstrating the strategic mindshift.  For example customer satisfaction now sits much higher as a challenge rather than risk.  The Risky Business Report shows the top business risks identified by business leaders are data security, credit risk and internal fraud, demonstrating how changes in the wider environment are impacting business concerns.

Top Risks Feared By Businesses

Top Challenges Faced By Businesses

1. Data security

1. Customer satisfaction

2. Credit risk

2. Strategy

3. Internal fraud

3. Reputation

4. Liquidity

4. Skills & competence

5. Lack of customer satisfaction

5. Specialising in a niche area

N.B. As identified by business leaders

Andrew Torrance said: “Our report shows that businesses are increasingly considering the challenges and risks they face as an integral part of their planning. A debate it brings to the fore is that a lack of innovation is arguably the biggest risk to a company’s future, and that businesses should not see the potential risks of being innovative as something that stops them moving forward. They can be overcome. At Allianz we’ve implemented over 38,000 ideas submitted by our employees. These ideas were generated as part of a strategy to encourage employees to be open and share their ideas for improving the business. This, in turn, keeps us open to new ideas and ways of working, and thereby ensures we don’t stand still as a business.”

“Every type and size of business is open to a variety of risks and challenges that can be overcome through identification, planning and taking the advice of outside experts when needed. In some businesses the specific task of looking at the risks faced is not the responsibility of a particular employee, but a shared responsibility which is encouraging. We hope that the take away for businesses from the Risky Business Report is that by openly acknowledging and managing risk they can have an even brighter future – especially when it is used as an aid and not a hindrance to innovation.”

- Ends -


Notes to Editors:

1.  About the Risky Business Report

indexB conducted desk research, expert interviews and interviews with businesses to understand more about how firms are approaching risk management. In addition to desk research, an online survey was undertaken by One Poll of 500 business leaders in Q1 2013. Statistics in this report, unless indicated otherwise, are from this survey.

2.  Innovation at Allianz Insurance

Allianz Insurance has operated an innovation programme since 2006 through a dedicated  

innovation team charged with embedding innovation strategies within the culture of the business. So far, the company has implemented 38,000 ideas generated by its employees, delivering an annualised benefit of £18million. The company empowers different team members to be ‘Innovation Champions’ to promote innovative practises in their work areas

3.  About Allianz Group

The Allianz Group is the largest insurer globally and in March 2013, the Standard and Poor's (S&P) credit rating for the group improved to AA with a stable outlook.  

4.  About Allianz Insurance and Risk Management

Allianz Insurance is committed to working with our customers to help them manage risk and make it an activity that they can revisit as their growth plans change.  We have specialist teams dedicated to providing our customers with the expertise to identify and manage risk as well as providing a range of solutions to a broad spectrum of businesses from one man operations to large corporate entities.

For further information contact:

Katie Spreadbury/Helen Braddock, Consolidated PR

Tel: 0207 781 2300

Mob: 07980 928 560


Mark Bishop, Group Communications Manager, Allianz Insurance

Tel:  01483 552731

Mob:  0779 2567449


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