Is risk good or bad?

On April 24th, CRMER students had the opportunity to meet with Mike Bernard and talk about “Enterprise Risk Management” at the K-State campus in Manhattan, Kansas. Mr. Bernard is General Director for Capital Planning and Financing at Union Pacific.

Mr. Bernard’s presentation was a great fit for the purpose of the center. He discussed topics related to “Enterprise Risk Management” which is continuous process that must occur across the whole organization, not just specifically dictated by one individual. During the presentation, Mr. Bernard shared about Union Pacific’s perception and appetite about risk, which they have determined and evolved over time according to their past experiences and opportunities.

Is risk good or bad? Mr. Bernard mentioned that this is a deep question that many companies consider. It turns out that if people avoid all risk, they might be avoiding success. Some other things come into play when asking that question, such as, is the risk we are discussing rewarded or not? Different strategies might be focused on diving into new markets, acquiring partners or focusing on protecting current assets therefore minimizing potential losses.

As CRMER student fellows, we appreciated the opportunity to spend time and learn from Mr. Bernard’s experience within the Risk and Management fields. We very much appreciate his willingness to share with us such important knowledge and experiences. Thanks to Mr. Bernard for taking the time to visit K-State and engage with the Center for Risk Management Education and Research.

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