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The enterprise risk management department at RTI International, a not-for-profit that provides research services to government and commercial clients, was charged with developing a risk tolerance matrix for the organization. And because RTI was seeing a change in the type of work it was getting, the matrix would encompass not only critical indicators such as loss of life, loss of business or negative impacts exceeding $5 million, but also factors related to the effect projects could have on the company’s overall financial position.

“What we have seen recently, certainly in the last three years, is a shift from fee-bearing work to non-fee bearing work—grants and cooperative agreements,” says E. Ward Sax, RTI’s treasurer and chief risk officer. “RTI has had to respond to that business model in terms of understanding what those terms.”

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