Navigating the Changing Risk Landscape 

The summit is GRI’s signature event that defines thought leadership in risk management for the financial industry

September 26, 2023

Globe and Mail Centre,
351 King St. E., Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M5A 0N1

The summit continues to be GRI’s highest-rated event — a full-day program featuring invaluable insights, renowned experts, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

Register today for this must-attend event.


Sonia Baxendale, President and CEO, Global Risk Institute

This new era is characterized by extreme risks and radical uncertainty that has now become part of the operational environment of business and government. Joining us to discuss how decision-makers can approach risk in this rapidly evolving context is the author of Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, the best-selling synthesis of our contemporary and long-run experience with risk and uncertainty.

Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Senior Faculty Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

Recession fears, persistent inflation, rising interest rates and the related credit risk, changing work patterns, new/increasing systemic risks like climate and artificial intelligence, and changing geopolitical dynamics are the risks contributing to a challenging environment and outlook for risk professionals in the financial services sector. In this session, you will hear from leading CROs, who will share their perspectives on some of the more prominent risks they are facing, how these risks are impacting business models and organizational strategies.   

Piyush Agrawal, CRO, BMO Financial Group
Antoine Avril, CRO, Desjardins Group
Deb Barnes, CRO, OMERS

From prudential regulator to a broader oversight mandate with a view to ensuring the overall stability of the financial system, this session will touch on a number of emerging priorities including a new focus on integrity and security in the face of a changing risk environment.

Peter Routledge, Superintendent, OSFI

Session 1 – “Sleepwalking” Towards a Global Polycrisis?

In this session, William White will address deficiencies in our global efforts to mitigate climate change. He will highlight challenges in identifying necessary actions and uncertainties about our capability and willingness to implement them. The conversation will then pivot to the imminent risk of a global polycrisis, where factors such as climate change, the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, political volatility and economic factors compound, leading to political, economic and social disruptions. See Mitigating Global Warming is Not Our Only Problem: Are We “Sleepwalking” Towards a Global Polycrisis?

William White, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada  

Session 2 – Navigating Geopolitical Risk and China Challenges

What are the major geopolitical risks impacting Canada and how do they impact the financial sector locally and abroad? The Russian invasion of Ukraine shattered international norms, triggering a humanitarian crisis and disrupting the fragile post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Meanwhile, persistent geopolitical and economic uncertainties in Asia, particularly China, continue to affect the financial sector across the Asia Pacific region.

Margaret McCuaig-JohnstonBoard member at the China Strategic Risks Institute, a global think tank, and a former senior official at Department of Finance

Session 3 – Delivering on the Climate Agenda

Expert speakers from academia, banking and asset management will share insights related to their respective organizations’ climate strategy, risk management practices, interaction and engagement activities with internal business and risk functions, and lessons learned. The session will provide insight into the recently released report titled, Transitioning from Rhetoric to Action which highlights the opportunity that exists for practitioners to leverage newly developed Climate Risk Matrices.

Kathryn Bakos, Director, Climate Finance and Science, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation
Keith RobertsonVP Environmental and Social Risk, RBC
Alyson Slater, Managing Director, Sustainable Investment, Manulife and Member, CSSB 

Session 4 – Managing People Risk in the Post-COVID Environment

This engaging discussion brings together industry experts to explore effective strategies to proactively manage people risk in a post-pandemic world. Gain valuable insights into identifying and evaluating potential risks such as talent attrition, succession planning gaps, navigating and addressing staff mental health, future of work and organizational culture challenges.

This session will leverage the recently published paper, Managing People Risk: A Growing Opportunity and Challenge in 2023 and Beyond.

Nancy Gour, Head of People and Culture, CDIC
Rodney Hill, Global Head of Technology, Data and Security, OMERS
Carol Ann Northcott, CRO, Central 1 Credit Union
Dr. Talia Varley, Physician Lead for Advisory Services, Cleveland Clinic Canada

Given the uncertain scope of the climate threat and its potential impact on the financial sector, how are organizations to weigh this risk into their decision-making? This session will cover some of the latest research on the potential impacts of climate change on the insurance sector, touching on the issue of uninsurability against climate change and the significant social, environmental and political implications. Using climate change as a springboard, we will explore the nature of decision-making when the future is uncertain, focussing on risks that lie beyond the realm of standard probabilistic risk assessment methods.

Samantha HillManaging Director, Sustainable Investing, CPP Investments
Juliette Kayyem, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, author
Dr. Robert Lempert, RAND Pardee Center for the Longer Range Future

AI presents decision-makers with a multifaceted dilemma. For economic decision-makers, it encompasses investment decisions as well as ethical considerations tied to productivity enhancements and workforce transformations. Technologists grapple with the same dilemma, considering how best to embed technological advancements within their organizations. Lastly, policymakers face a related challenge: How to regulate AI use effectively without stifling its creative and transformative potential. This session promises a lively discussion about the role of human judgment amid an increasingly automated world decision-making.

Dr. James MarroneEconomist, RAND Corporation
Bojan Pavlovic, CIOO, BMO Financial Group
Andres Rojas, Director Applied AI Projects, Vector Institute

Mark Hughes, Chair, Global Risk Institute


Click here to see speakers and bios.

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