Introducing: Martin van Wunnik, ARSIMA Projects

Martin VwLast week we launched our call for nominations for our 2015-2017 Council. Martin van Wunnik, one of our newest members of Council, has kindly shared his thoughts about the importance of the British Chamber not only for his own business, but for his own personal development too. For more information on the Council nominations process and timeline, please follow this link. If you’re interested but want to know more about being a Council member, or standing for President, contact Glenn for an informal discussion.

The first time I became associated with the chamber was when I worked as an employee for the major Belgian multinational dredging and construction company. Back then I used to go to the UK quite often for financial events, where I met Michel Vanhoonacker, the Chairman of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber in Great Britain. He introduced me to the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

So when…

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Treat Risk As A Trapped Cockroach!

 Alan Shapiro photographyImage:

(c) Alan Shapiro photography


Treat Risk As A Trapped Cockroach!

Risk management engulfs a lot of different risks and liabilities to consider and assess. It goes from the micro-economic situation of the company, its positioning, activities and processes, through the market in which she operates and her competitors, all the way towards the macro-economics and global geo-political situation.

To manage and report this complex and interrelated web, following compliance rules is good start because compliance reporting will be technically sound and, by definition, in compliance with the appropriate rules (think IFRS, Basel I II III, etc).

But does compliance reporting suffice?

Let’s take an analogy from the Doctor House series. In the E.R. waiting room, a man suddenly starts screaming in agony and running around in circles. Doctor House’s team suggest many different tests to cover all possible causes, to which Doctor House happily agrees in that episode, just for the sake to avoid having to perform hospital hours. But right before his team runs out, he tells them to also remove the cockroach trapped in the ear of that patient.

Being a risk manager, you do not have to be as witty as the fictitious character of Doctor House. However, building up towards your upcoming reporting cycle, use compliance reporting as a solid support to additionally consider to:

  • Question the obvious
  • Take extra time trying to further understand your own complex web
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions and pre-formatted reports, thinking all answers have thus been given
  • Simulate! Add more What-If scenario’s
  • Decide if solely the existing compliance reporting does indeed cover it all

As very often for many positions within a company, it boils down to aim to fully understand your own business, your company and its position on the market. Not in a “one-shot picture” way, but in an “ongoing movie-way”, over time, with simulations and possible scenarios.

Compliance is surely required and greatly helps, but haven’t you overlooked any small insect still trapped somewhere…?


Martin van Wunnik –– Independent Project Manager

March 1st, 2015