Magazine article Risk Management

Keeping Up with Wayne Salen

Magazine article Risk Management

Keeping Up with Wayne Salen

Article excerpt

Risk Profile

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This is not the same risk management field that Wayne Salen started out in. "The industry is expanding," he says, "but at the same time there's a confining that's going on as industries customize the skill sets they need from risk managers. It creates some difficulties for us. Ten years ago it was far easier for a risk management professional to move within industries. Risk management was operational risk management and you could assimilate, whether it was health care, utilities, municipalities or banks."

Change has translated into challenge for this twentyfive-year risk management veteran, but he has kept up with the times. Currently the director of risk management for Niagara County, New York, Salen was originally a part of environmental safety and health at Philadelphia-based FMC Corporation. He worked his way through the traditional operational risk management ranks, until he ultimately became a director. Over the course of his career, he has worked in a variety of industries including food production, agricultural chemicals, financial holdings and municipalities. His position with Niagara County involves multimunicipal employer groups, since New York allows for pooling of municipal risks for villages, townships and school districts.

Diversity has given Salen firsthand experience with the evolution and growth of the field. "There's no question that the breadth of risk management's involvement with operations has expanded dramatically. And I don't see that ending at all," he says. As the scope of risk management has increased, Salen has seen it expand into other areas outside of the traditional operational style, such as financial risk management and energy procurement.

"There's more focused needs in terms of our skill sets," he says. "That is going to make it tough, not just for those of us who have been around for a while, but even those getting into business now that really haven't gotten those skill sets either through education or experience."

On the positive side, "it does offer a lot more opportunity for our business to have a broader base of individuals with different views," he says. "It doesn't mean that the traditional operational risk manager doesn't have a significant role-there are other avenues. …

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