Companies see significant value in better managing their enterprise-wide risks, a joint study by the Economist Intelligence Unit and MMC Enterprise Risk has shown.

The Enterprise Risk Management: Implementing New Solutions study was based on a survey of 200 senior finance and risk management executives in the US, Europe and Asia and interviews with a further 40 executives.

MMC chief executive officer and president Bob Khanna said implementing enterprise risk management (ERM) had the potential to improve companies' price/earning ratios and the cost of capital.

Almost 50% of companies in the survey said improving the ratio was the top goal for their ERM programmes.

ERM is most popular in Europe, where 53% of companies use it, compared to 34% of US companies and 33% of Asian companies.

The companies surveyed said the greatest threats came from risks related to customer loyalty, competition and operational failure.

However, the survey also showed that ERM required structural and cultural change.

Current quantification methods were said to be inadequate for intangible risks and few companies measured the integrated effects of risk across the entire organisation.