A decade ago, the staggering attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center brought down the Twin Towers, shut down New York's financial district and sparked the global war on terror. It also elevated the role of risk managers in the corporate hierarchy.

The next few years brought a focus on business continuity planning, backing up corporate records, hardening central offices and key facilities, plans to protect employees and, of course, buying terrorism insurance.

"Many more risk managers now have the letters VP or SVP in front of their names," notes Janet Kerr, vice president for risk management at Boston Properties, and the job has become more complex.

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