Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2016

Key issues being discussed in the boardroom and c-suite

Research conducted by North Carolina State University's ERM Initiative and Protiviti

Key Findings
  • Regulatory change and heightened regulatory scrutiny continues to represent the top overall risk for the fourth consecutive year for most organizations.
  • Economic conditions in domestic and international markets slightly elevated when compared to the two prior years. In particular Board of Directors and CEOs appear to have uncertainty regarding the global economic climate.
  • Concerns about cyber threats disrupting core operations is again ranked in the top five for 2016, and as the top operational risk overall and for the largest organizations.
  • Succession challenges and the ability to attract and retain talent made the top five risk list again – a risk especially prevalent for smaller organizations.
  • Privacy and identity protection ranked as a top five concern for the first time in 2016, which is consistent with the increasing number of reports of hacking scandals and growing concern over protecting personally identifiable information.
  • There are growing concerns about the speed of disruptive innovations and new technologies.
  • Boards of directors, CEOs and other members of the executive team report differing views of the top risk exposures facing their organizations.
  • CFOs and CAEs perceive a riskier environment.


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