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Brand damage, economy give risk managers the jitters

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Australian companies have named reputation or brand damage as their top business risk in a biennial Aon survey, followed by economic slowdown and business interruption.

Increasing competition places fourth, followed by cyber attack, cashflow or liquidity risk, and failure to attract or retain talent.

Rounding out the top 10 are failure to innovate or meet customer needs, regulatory changes and accelerated market changes, which is a new entry on the list.

Worldwide, businesses are also worried about market changes amid trade tension and financial market volatility.

“The risk category did not feature in Australia’s top 10 in 2017,” Aon Australia MD for Large Clients Bruce Gordon said.

“The movement in the global ranking from No.38 in 2017 to No.3 [this year] is even starker.

“The re-emergence of protectionist international trade policies, growing geopolitical tension, financial market volatility and rapid technological advancement have put Australian business leaders on alert in an environment where they are already witnessing slowed economic growth, a weaker Australian dollar and the fallout from the Hayne royal commission.”

The Global Risk Management Survey suggests the business community’s risk preparedness is at a 12-year low.

More than 2600 risk managers across 60 economies took part in the study.