How the covid-19 pandemic altered the future of risk

No one could have foreseen the degree to which COVID-19 would disrupt lives, economies, and markets worldwide— or could we have? And how can risk managers hope to hedge against future black swan events—that is, those highly rare, high-impact, widespread occurrences that shake up global markets and are only obvious in hindsight? 

In FactSet’s latest research with Forbes Insights, we investigated how prepared asset managers and owners were for a pandemic on the scale of COVID-19. How agile, creative, and successful were global executives and their firms in crafting their response to a crisis that has disrupted lives, economies, and markets worldwide? What strategies, technology, and tools contributed to positive results—and what hindered performance?

Most importantly, we examined what’s been learned so far from this global pandemic, and how risk management approaches and strategies will evolve as a result. How will shifts in risk technology, models, and enterprise solutions contribute to future preparedness? Overall, in what ways has COVID-19 driven risk managers to think differently about risk itself? 

To probe these and other related issues, we surveyed 101 asset managers and owners from around the globe. The C-suite and next-rung-level executives surveyed ranged from investment houses to insurance companies to hedge funds to pension funds, and from 10 nations including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Singapore, and Germany. Assets under management ranged from $250 million to $50 billion USD. For added context, we interviewed FactSet thought leaders Robert Robie, EVP of analytics and trading, and Dr. Boryana Racheva-Iotova, SVP and senior director of research, risk, and quantitative analytics.