Selecting and Using Risk Management Consultants

By Atkinson, William | Risk Management, April 2007 | Go to article overview

Selecting and Using Risk Management Consultants


Atkinson, William, Risk Management


Two or three decades ago, when one of the only responsibilities a risk manager had was to purchase insurance, the concept of a risk management consultant did not even exist. Today, though, with the exponential growth in the number of areas in which a risk manager must be involved, it seems almost a foregone conclusion that you will need to utilize the services of a consultant at some point.

"The first indicator that you may need a consultant is if you have to do something and don't know where to start," says Christine Ferrusi Ross, research director for Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and co-author of How to Hire Compliance and Risk Management Consultants. "Another clue might be that you think you know what you want to do, but you want some assurance that you have all the bases covered." A third indicator, according to Ross, is that you realize that you need someone to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. "You may know most of what you want to accomplish, but you need someone to provide assistance in a specific area where you don't have expertise," she says. Another need may occur when an auditor comes in and explains that you need to address a certain risk that you had not considered, and you need to hire a consultant who has that expertise.

Risk management consultants can provide services in a number of areas. Most of them are qualified to conduct organizational audits and exposure analyses. These include discovering what exposures your organization has, as well as what needs to be done to reduce these exposures and protect the organization.

Consultants can also organize and manage individual risk management projects, such as implementing the recommendations that result from an exposure analysis.

They can review and evaluate the organization's insurance program and make recommendations related to coverage improvements, administration and financing options. Mike Redman, vice president of finance and IT for the North Central Group in Middleton, Wisconsin, sees this as a particularly valuable service. "We feel it is good practice from a business standpoint to review our overall insurance risks with our consultant every two to three years," he says. "As our business and insurable assets continue to grow, we need to have our consultant's input on where our company may have increased exposure. They are the experts in this area, and we value their objective, independent perspective."

Consultants can also provide ongoing counsel related to risk issues as they arise. That is, whether you have responsibility for risk management full-time or part-time, you may elect to use a consultant on a regular basis to provide assistance and to be a sounding board for what you are wanting to work on. Of course, the larger your department is, the less need you probably have for a consultant. Still, even a large, well-run risk management department will never be totally devoid of the need to use someone from the outside. In such cases, it may make sense to place these consultants on retainer.

Certain risk management consultants may have specialized expertise and can offer services such as being an expert witness, evaluating third party administrators, assessing options for self-insurance, conducting claims audits and reviews, etc.

Another growing area for consultants is helping organizations introduce an enterprise risk management strategy. The reason being that ERM is such a comprehensive topic covering so many areas that few risk managers have the expertise and knowledge to fully understand everything.

Consultants can also be valuable in other circumstances, such as when the volume of work cannot be handled internally or when an internal issue is politically sensitive.

Narrowing the Field

According to Ross, the place you begin your search for a risk management consultant may depend on the type and scale of your needs. "In most cases, though, the best place to start is with your current auditor, who may offer risk management services," she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Selecting and Using Risk Management Consultants
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.