BOSTON—Students from Saint Joseph’s University won the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge at RIMS 2019. Comprising team members Joseph Angelina, Katherine Branson, Ashley Myers, Daniel Tan, and academic advisor Michael Angelina, the winners earned $4,000 for the risk management program they developed and presented at the conference here in Boston this week. Second and third place went to St. Mary’s University and Butler University, which won $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
The case study for this year’s challenge came from Robert Zhang, RIMS board director and the risk and compliance director for IKEA China. Zhang tasked the students with identifying the top five risks of integrating new physical and digital commerce options for customers.
In determining a winner, the fine print proved critical, with the best presentations specifically focusing on the core part of the prompt: given digital transformation and shifting consumer preferences, what are the key risks involved as such a massive company innovates and evolves?
The winning team took a useful, strategic approach to risk management that could be flexible for the company to adapt and use going forward.
“They provided a true strategic view of IKEA’s risks as they transition from traditional brick-and-mortar into a multi-channel retailer, and they provided IKEA with a strategic framework that can be built out with tactical options,” said Andrew Bent, risk director at Sage and one of the challenge judges.
This year’s Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge drew more entries than ever before, with teams from 28 schools initially submitting papers on the case study. And the competition was strong—according to Louis Drapeau, who served as a judge, they could not pick a top eight submissions, as anticipated, so they invited nine teams for the in-person presentation rounds here in Boston.
Poise and pertinent PowerPoint slides reflected the strong presentation skills of the top three teams, Drapeau noted. RIMS CEO Mary Roth had a similar impression, praising all of this year’s participants as impressive aspiring additions to the risk management community. “Beyond the remarkable presentations delivered by each university team, our Spencer-RIMS Risk Challenge students continue to demonstrate the highest-degree of professionalism and an exceptional grasp of sophisticated concepts,” she said.