QBE’s Mid-Sized Company Risk Report, now in its second year, discusses the macro and micro risks that most concern mid-sized company executives, whether companies have risk management plans in place to address each of these risks, and their top needs for reducing their risk exposure.

Key Findings in 2021

Financial, digital, business interruption and pandemic concerns top the list of macro risks for mid-sized company leaders. Compared to 2020, concern about risks related to climate change increased significantly, but it still ranks as the least concerning risk.

macro chart 

When analyzing the specific risks, or micro risks, within the macro concerns, employee-related issues emerge as a common theme. Six of the top 10 micro risks identified by business leaders involve employees: Fraud/theft, cybersecurity concerns related to working from home, attracting and retaining talent, accidents and health issues, organization performance, and internal bias/lack of a diversity framework.

Most concerning micro chart

Customized advice and insurance products top the list of risk management needs.

top needs chart

Additional Key Findings in 2021

woman wearing a mask while waiting for the train
COVID is still very much on business leaders’ minds as a top risk, but even after spending 18 months in a global pandemic, fewer than half (46%) of companies surveyed have a mitigation strategy for pandemic-associated risks.
landscape of power plants
Concern about climate change grew significantly as a macro concern since 2020. The research showed that concern about behavioral change and pressure from eco-friendly stakeholders has increased significantly. However, climate change is at the bottom of list of concerns, and is also the least likely to have a mitigation strategy.
person coding on laptop
Two-thirds of mid-sized businesses have unmet needs related to reducing risk exposure, with digital assets protection/coverage (17%) topping the list and risk management expertise provided by industry (15%) coming in a close second, both up significantly from 2020.
colleagues in a meeting room
Among the middle to bottom third of respondent’s most concerning macro risks, a gap exists between the level of concern and having a mitigation strategy in place. By contrast, little to no gap exists among respondent’s top concerns, suggesting that mid-sized companies may lack the resources to address all but their most pressing risks.
There was a general rise overall in Business Interruption concerns in 2021, with fragile supply chain risks and facility shutdowns identified as the top micro risks within this category.
people walking through building
Regulatory/Legislative risk made the biggest jump of any macro risk, going from eighth in 2020 to sixth in 2021. Changes in regulations topped the list of regulatory/legislative risk micro concerns this year (40%), vaulting to the second highest micro risk overall.
When looking at Litigation risks, wage/hour violations rose significantly as a top concern, perhaps due to companies putting greater demands on existing employees to manage through the labor shortage.

Full Report Download

Download the full 2021 report for a detailed exploration of the macro and micro risks that concern mid-sized company leaders along with their top risk management needs. The 2020 reports are also available.