Magazine article Risk Management

ERM in the Land of the Maple Leaf

Magazine article Risk Management

ERM in the Land of the Maple Leaf

Article excerpt

Risk management has undergone many changes in the past 10 years. As the field has expanded to encompass new disciplines, certain individuals have spurred the early adoption of innovation and served as a nexus for their peers. This description fits Mike Maida, corporate risk manager for Agricore United in Winnipeg, perfectly.

A native of Winnipeg, Maida has always stayed close to his hometown. A graduate of local Red River College, he began his career in the insurance brokerage and auditing fields but did not find them to be right for him. Encouraged by other risk managers he knew, Maida pursued a CRM (Canadian Risk Management) designation.

In 1996, Maida accepted a position as manager of insurance and properties with Manitoba Pool Elevators, a large Canadian grain distribution company. His initial responsibilities included making insurance buying decisions, handling claims and managing properties. Inevitably, events quickly changed the nature of his job and profession.

Within five years of joining Manitoba Pool Elevators, two mergers reshaped Maida's professional world. "Your comfort level in a merger depends on which company is in the driver's seat," Maida explained. For the first merger, in 1998, Maida was in a good position because the CFO he worked for was being retained, and he had a good relationship with him. Following the merger, Maida had new responsibilities and his employer had a new name: Agricore.

The second merger was more of a challenge for Maida. In 2001, Agricore merged with United Grain Growers, a publicly traded company. While his company did not in control this merger as before, Maida was ready for the change. His new boss, Mike McAndless, was a long time fellow board member for RIMS Manitoba Chapter. Additionally, Maida had been gathering information on a new risk management practice: enterprise risk management. Agricore was not ready to act on Maida's 2000 recommendations to adopt ERM, or integrated risk management as it was referred to at the time. Conversely, the newly consolidated Agncore United was ready and willing.

As Agricore United's corporate risk manager, Maida was tasked with building on risk processes previously established at United Grain Growers. …

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