Risk management within a positive corporate governance structure should be the objective of all organisations hoping to have a successful future in the new millennium, according to Jonathan Bloomer, deputy group chief executive of Prudential.

Companies which consistently suffer a poor risk track record will destroy shareholder value, inevitably leading to the withdrawal of capital from companies.

"Risk management should be used by board members in their decision-making to help remove doubts and the fear of failure which can blunt competitive edge and slow corporate performance and progress," he said.

"Risk management awareness needs to be embedded within an organisation as a culture, with a commitment from the most senior levels being channelled to all employees."

Bloomer felt it was especially important as new areas of business opened up such as e-commerce where the dangers range from failure of IT equipment to hackers and slander. He felt, though, that the greatest risk in this area was through delay in capitalising on e-commerce opportunities.