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  • Final Activity Report Summary - RMGIC (The interface between risk management systems, corporate governance and internal control: implications for EU competitiveness)

Final Activity Report Summary - RMGIC (The interface between risk management systems, corporate governance and internal control: implications for EU competitiveness)

In 2005, a 'Federation des experts comptables Européens' (FEE) discussion paper concluded that "there is an overall need for more research and learning from experience to direct developments in risk management and internal control" (FEE, 2005). The project, in the form of a series of four linked conferences on risk management systems, governance and internal control was a direct response to this call and sought to provide an exceptional training ground for the next generation of academic researchers, regulators and practitioners. The aim of encouraging academic debate in this area proved to be extraordinarily timely because mid way through the project the global banking system faced a series of crises, the effects of which are still being felt today. The project comprised a series of four conferences which brought together academics from financial economics, mathematical finance, accounting, audit and psychology together with industry experts to create a unique and distinctive cross -disciplinary network in risk, governance and control.

The inter-disciplinary format of the conferences has been one of its key strengths, as it has engendered learning that would otherwise not have been possible. The opportunities provided to engage in cross disciplinary debate and learning were a key achievement of the project. This was evidenced by the backgrounds of the key note speakers and participants at all of the conferences.

Across the four years, the keynote speakers were drawn from the complementary disciplines of economics, accounting, law, banking, and risk management. Participants straddled the disciplines of economics, accounting, engineering and operations management, and mathematical finance. Over the course of four conferences, 104 early stage researchers received funding and the total number of conference attendees was 265. The conferences focused on a series of inter-related themes - risk management, governance and risk and accounting, and one of the outcomes of the project has been the development of research projects and academic papers which draw on these related ideas.

The scientific committee are aware of many projects and papers at various stages of development, including 17 papers being prepared for submission to international academic journals, together with a number of major research bids in progress. To date, at least 9 peer reviewed books and monographs, 6 chapters in books and 11 articles in academic journals have emerged from the project. Additionally, a number of PhD students from across Europe, New Zealand and the United States have presented their work at the conferences and since completed their doctoral studies. At least two such students have consequently been able to gain permanent academic employment in a non native European Union country as a result of work developed during their time in the network. Other young researchers, most notably from Australia and New Zealand, have been recruited into the European Union or expressed an interest in working in Europe. These examples illustrate the project's achievements in terms of strengthening the European research area.

One objective was to encourage research activity which would help in the formulation of a policy roadmap in relation to corporate governance. This has been achieved, for example, by the submission of comment letters from network members to a range of regulatory bodies including the IASB and Unit F4 (auditing) of the European Union's internal market and services.

The most important achievement of the project was the establishment of a permanent network of researchers from Europe and the rest of the world, all working in related areas of risk management, governance and control. Long standing academic links have been forged, and complemented by a web of ongoing and expanding links with practitioners and industry bodies such as CIMA, ICAEW, and the institute of risk management. The last conference of the project took place in September 2010 but plans are already underway for a small conference in London in September 2011 and a much larger, Europe wide conference in Luxembourg in 2012.

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