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How the Risk Management Section Got its Start...

How the Risk Management Section Got its Start...
by Jacque Kirkwood

If you ask Dave Ingram what risk management related innovations or accomplishments is he most proud of, the answering is a quick and resounding, "the work I did with the SOA's Risk Management Task Force."

Ingram was charged by the Finance Practice Area Committee to form a Risk Management Task Force and conduct some research on the subject. Jumping right in, he put together a committee of about a dozen people. The group met for well over six months, hashing over what exactly it was they wanted to accomplish.

"Eventually we decided we weren't going to come to a consensus and so we decided we didn't have to agree," said Ingram. "We developed this principle that I called voting with your feet. It's usually meant to talk about people opting out of something, but I used it for people to opt into things–jumping in and trying something new or just different. So one February day we broadcasted an e-mail to the entire SOA membership looking for volunteers. It listed six or seven different risk management initiatives that this committee I had led had formed, and we received about 100 responses from people wanting to volunteer."

Ingram was charged with the role as facilitator–ensuring that volunteers who came forward were connected with the right projects and able to make a contribution. Most of those who answered the call never volunteered before, and Ingram pioneered the effort of creating a volunteering framework."In my mind it was really remarkable and maybe even unique in the profession," he said. "The exciting thing for me is that I didn't think that all seven of our original ideas would fly. We ultimately wound up with 10 or 11–an awesome achievement that was attainable with the help of every person involved. To see a project from conception to delivery is truly an exciting experience.

"Ultimately, the hard work, tenacity and the level of teamwork that permeated throughout the group led to the formation of the Risk Management Section. In its third year, the section is 3,000 members strong. This was definitely a shining moment in my career–seeing so many people working together for the same cause and never missing a beat–it was a challenging and inspiring time for all of us!

Ingram has served on the council since its inception and currently serves as chair of SOA's Risk Management Section. Last spring, the section make the unprecedented move of making the risk management section a joint activity with the SOA and CAS as sponsors.