While the financial meltdown was a sock in the eye for risk management as it had been practiced, the crisis has also underscored the need for organizations to put in place a well-integrated and solid process according to a soon-to-be-released report from Marsh Inc.'s enterprise risk management (ERM) practice and GovernanceMetrics International, the corporate governance research and ratings group.

The report highlights the case of Tyco International, a $20-billion diversified industrial company, which seven years ago was a risk manager's nightmare. Its CEO indicted and later convicted of defrauding shareholders of $400 million and its books cooked beyond recognition, Tyco was often mentioned in the same breath as Enron and WorldCom. Today, broken up, restructured and under completely new management, Tyco has put risk management front and center in its strategic planning and operations.

"Today risk management is a component of how this company operates on a day-to-day basis," says John Jenkins, Tyco's corporate secretary. "So, for example, with strategic planning, it's not a matter of the risk manager sitting on the side and suddenly chiming in; it's just a component of the whole process."

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