Risk: there’s always more to say

In a new publication, “Risk management perspectives: ten conversations,” I describe a series of conversations that I had with colleagues and with other industry experts over the past few months.

10 perspectives is better than one

Each conversation was on the subject of risk management, but each covered quite different ground. The ten conversations provide plenty of meat for investors of all sorts.

The differences in perspective can be seen even in the very first topic that each interviewee chose to mention (the first question, in most cases, was a fairly open-ended one.) The ten opening gambits were: investor objectives; knowing your limits; stakeholders; bailing out; loss of principal (twice); benchmark–relative performance; manager oversight; how to categorize risk; and, the governance process. And the topics continued to vary from there, ranging from peer groups to leverage, from modeling to currency via transparency, psychology, and a whole raft of other topics. They varied in tone almost as much as in content.

And if I were forced to sum up the conversations in one sentence, it would be this: that no matter how much is said about risk, there’s always more that could be said. Even though 10 perspectives is good, it’s not the whole story, and 100 perspectives would not be the whole story, and 1,000 perspectives would not be the whole story.

So I hope that every reader will find something to ponder, even though there is no last word on this subject.