Management Centre Europe (MCE) has more than a quarter of a century organising risk management conferences, which is apparent in the depth and topicality of the conference programmes. The theme for this year's conference, taking place in Rome on 29 and 30 October, is "Risk management in the year 2000 and beyond. Are you ready?"

Chaired by BMW risk manager, Eberhard Knebel, the conference is organised under three headings: present and future risks, risk financing and skills for risk managers. Mr Knebel will give the keynote address on global risk management and risk finance - the perspective of a global customer. (An interview with Mr Knebel appeared in the June issue of Global Reinsurance.)

Under the heading of present and future risks comes the highly topical issue of risk and stakeholders' expectations. Ken Hall and David Frediani of J&H Marsh & McLennan will look at the effect of shareholder pressure and new governance and compliance requirements on companies' assessment of risk.

Corporate reputation is an associated topic, affecting, as it can, the share price of the business, and there will be workshops on crisis communication and contingency planning for business interruption.

Emerging markets present both the opportunity of higher returns and the threat of increased risks. Adrian Latimer, risk manager for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, will look at the overall picture, and Clive Pracy of Anderson Consulting will tackle the delicate issues of bribery and extortion in a workshop session.

While problems associated with the year 2000 are a major pre-occupation at the moment, IT risks will not come to an end as soon as we know the worst, so Glenn Ellis, manager risk financing and broking for British Telecom, will look at what happens beyond 2000.

On Friday 30 October, the topics will be risk financing and skills for risk management, and Professor Rhona Flin of Aberdeen Business School will link the subjects of the two days with a keynote address on leadership skills and crisis management.

Not surprising, under risk finance will come the sophisticated topics of the convergence of insurance and financial markets. Lani Bannach, risk manager for Swiss Bank Corporation, and Jon Roberts of Enterprise Re, will look at the benefits of taking an integrated approach to risk management. Three workshops will look at the subject in more detail, including one drawing on the practical experience of the financial industry.

As a result of these developments, the risk manager of the future will need increasingly sophisticated skills, both to do the job and to be effective within the organisation. In addition to the conference sessions, there will be a pre-conference workshop on financial tools for insurance and risk management to enhance quantitative skills including analysis of balance sheets risks, value quantification, risk control of derivatives and the development of new products, generally known as ART. An alternative pre-conference workshop deals with the role of the risk manager in mergers and acquisitions.

Others

Some events in the UK this autumn include the eighth conference of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) being held on 24 and 25 September in Cambridge under the title of a professional response to current risk challengers. Sessions include: raising the profile of people and the human factor in risk management, health sector liabilities and the distinguishing characteristics of a successful risk manager.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) meets in Birmingham from 7-9 October with the theme of managing our global business. One of the speakers will be Howard Davies, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (SFA), whose views will attract considerable interest in light of the extensive changes taking place in UK financial regulation.

Lee Coppack is co-editor of Global Reinsurance. She has been an insurance writer and analyst for nearly 20 years. E- mail: leecoppack@compuserve.com