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PwC study looks at boardroom attitudes to risk management

Significant changes in corporate governance are impacting boardroom dynamics, compelling directors to spend more time on board work and prompting them to reconsider their oversight approach, according to the 2012 Annual Corporate Director Survey issued by PwC US. Directors acknowledge that challenges remain and expect to increase their focus on critical areas including board composition, risk management and IT oversight.

In the area of risk management the survey produced the following highlights:

  • Allocation of risk responsibilities. More than one-third (37 percent) of respondents say their boards have no clear allocation of specific responsibilities for overseeing major risks among the board and its committees, while 57 percent are not comfortable with their understanding of the company's social media response plan in the event of a crisis.
  • Responding to the new US whistleblower rules. Most directors acknowledged that their companies took action to address the new whistleblower rules: two-thirds placed more emphasis on employee awareness around ethics and compliance policies; 42 percent enhanced follow-up policy on compliance-related complaints; and 42 percent increased reporting of such issues to the board.
  • Boards satisfy their risk appetite. A majority (97 percent) report they are at least "moderately comfortable" with the board's understanding of the company's risk appetite and 91 percent of directors are at least "moderately comfortable" with their understanding of emerging risks (e.g. the European debt crisis, natural disasters).

http://www.pwc.com/us/directorssurvey

•Date: 13th Sept 2012 • US •Type: Article • Topic: Enterprise risk management

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