At a time when unacceptable risk taking is rightly condemned, how can organizations still benefit from the upside of risk? Can risk still be good? Written by an author who has managed risk, teaches about risk, but most importantly of all has researched the theory of risk, this book will help senior executives dial up the right level of risk within their organizations in order to enhance performance. There are many risk management techniques that are known to work and risk management has logged many successes, but that doesn't mean managers understand why they work, how and why risks arise, and how organizations can be shaped strategically to optimize the benefits of well-judged business risks. Dr Les Coleman argues that finance and management risk has been a theory-free zone, similar to medicine in the Middle Ages, when physicians were aware of surgical techniques and medicines that worked, but did not know why and were impotent in the face of systemic illness. Today risk managers face much the same situation: They know of techniques that work such as audits, controls and procedure guides. Nevertheless, they rarely anticipate, much less prevent, serious failures. They have no comprehensive knowledge framework for targeting optimum risk levels. This timely book fills some of that gap with an outline of the nature and sources of risk in firms. It sets out a body of risk knowledge to support its management, particularly at the corporate level, in much the same way that our understanding of human physiology and the physical sciences support modern medical and engineering techniques. The reader will learn, for example, how risk attitudes and outcomes flow through an organization and about creative techniques such as asset-liability management. In this area of corporate finance so critical for executives and directors, Risk Strategies will help responsible CFOs and other senior managers, together with teachers and students of management, extend their knowledge and risk management skills.
Les Coleman is a senior lecturer in finance at the University of Melbourne and there undertakes research into the strategic management of risk. He is a member of the Investment Policy Committee of United Funds Management Limited. He completed a bachelor's degree in Mining Engineering at the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Science (Economics) from the University of London, a Master of Economics at the University of Sydney and a PhD in at the University of Melbourne (2004). His doctoral thesis was published by Springer as Why Managers and Companies Take Risks. Prior to returning to study in 2002 and then moving into academia, Dr. Coleman worked for over 20 years in senior management positions with resources, manufacturing and finance companies in Australia and overseas, including four years with the Mobil Corporation's Planning Group in the US. He has been a trustee and director of many concerns and a columnist in the business section of The Australian newspaper. He has written numerous scholarly articles and spoken widely on finance and investment strategies. He is a member of the editorial board of an academic journal. He was a joint recipient of a 2006 Australian Research Council linkage grant and is a member of the American Finance Association, the Financial Management Association, and the Society of Risk Analysts.
'Whether you are a Risk Manager, CRO, CFO or a student of risk this book will provide insights and strategies to deal successfully with our increasingly complex and risky business environment.' - Richard D Rhimes, Principal, Rhimes Consulting Pty Ltd 'This work is an important step towards making firm risk management more than just waiting for the infamous black swan materializing. While being as specific as possible it carefully sticks to the scientific approach and thus prevents giving popular but ungrounded ’one liners’ advice. No one calling him- or herself a risk manager can afford not reading it and contemplating its meaning for his or her daily work.' - Ira Helsloot, Editor, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management