April 5, 2019
Aprio’s ARMOUR programme – a comprehensive reputational risk assurance and crisis mitigation solution – is gearing up for a busy second quarter 2019.
A leading South African corporate and investment bank engaged with Aprio to deliver a comprehensive reputational risk audit (the first step in the ARMOUR ‘Six Shield’ programme). As a result of the audit, Aprio will be moving into the second phase of the programme – the review and development of enhanced risk mitigation policies, protocols and playbooks in the reputational risk space. This will include a focus on cyber, facilities, social media and prejudice-related risks.
Selected elements of the ARMOUR programme are also being rolled out at a London-listed mining group, where Aprio will work alongside a Big Four audit firm in March and April to identify potential reputational risk gaps and design/refine mitigation policies and processes to address any such gaps.
Crisis simulations and stress-testing – the fourth shield in the ARMOUR programme – will be in the spotlight from June, with four major simulations booked by a global professional services firm for their financial services clients. These simulations will include a stress-test in London for a leading investment bank, and simulations in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia for another financial services group. “Businesses are operating in an increasingly volatile, complex and unpredictable world. The state capture ‘project’ – together with a number of recent incidents of corporate malfeasance and executive misconduct – have arguably contributed to what Aprio is experiencing as an intensified focus on corporate governance and reputational risk by responsible South African corporate enterprises,” says Alan Arguile, principal consultant for ARMOUR.
There is certainly no such thing as a low risk industry or sector these days, and it’s now more a question of when – rather than ‘if’ – a reputational crisis will strike your organisation. Reputation risk is inextricably linked to other business risks, many of which are already aggressively managed as part of a company’s day-to-day operations. “One of the big challenges for many companies, however, is to better understand how reputation risk relates to other risk areas, and to move from a traditional, reactionary approach to reputation risk management which views reputational risk as purely an outcome of other issues on the company risk register,” says Alan.
“A passive approach might have been good enough in a pre-social media era when bad news travelled relatively slowly and organisations had time to react and control the damage. In today’s highly connected world, seemingly obscure local issues can become global headlines in seconds. Which is why you need appropriate and well-rehearsed systems, structures and skills in place to sustain and defend arguably your most valuable strategic asset – your reputation.”
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