The 2011 Lloyd's Risk Index

Despite record unemployment levels across much of the US, American business leaders say one of the biggest risks they now face is a talent and skills shortage.

That’s according to the 2011 Lloyd’s Risk Index, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which polled 500 C-Suite and board level executives in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere to assess corporate risk priorities and attitudes around the world.

The prioritisation of 'talent and skills shortages' shot up to the number two risk facing businesses from 22nd place in the 2009 index, as businesses face demographic, competition and productivity pressures. 45 percent of respondents in North America rated talent as a high or very high priority.

The number one risk in the US and Europe was loss of customers - a stark reality for many businesses during the prolonged economic uncertainty.

The risk perceptions of business leaders are in sharp contrast to those raised in the inaugural survey in 2009, in which the top three global risks were related to the liquidity crisis; cost and availability of credit, currency fluctuations and insolvency.

The Lloyd’s Risk Index 2011 was carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit in August 2011. The survey measured attitudes about risk across five categories:

  • Business and strategic risk
  • Economic, regulatory and market risk
  • Political, crime and security risk
  • Environmental and health risk, and
  • Natural hazard risk

Survey respondents were distributed across Europe (35 percent), North America (27 percent) and Asia-Pacific (27 percent), with the rest of the world comprising about 10 percent. Financial services provided the largest number of respondents at 19 percent, followed by professional services at 13 percent, manufacturing at 10 percent and technology at 10 percent. The remaining 48 percent of respondents represent a wide range of other industries. Around one-half of respondents represent corporations with annual revenues of over US$500m.

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