And the IRM is doing better too. Andy Cook reflects on Airmic 2003

The mood at last week's Airmic conference was difficult to gauge. Many of the workshops were informed by the crisis of capacity that followed 11 September, the recent stock market depression and SARS. They provided encouraging glimpses of how risk managers are now leading their organisations rather than just being asked to tick boxes for regulators. On the other hand, especially in the airlines workshop, the doom was suffocating.

I was delighted to see the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) back on its feet and feeling confident. Exiting head Steve Fowler is due to leave in July after managing a successful business transformation and I only hope that the good work can be consolidated. Many institutes are not cash-rich and the IRM is no exception, I just hope that the recruiting team can tempt the right candidate. It is very important that those at the top of our cashflow stream set the right standards for those lower down.

And I reckon that risk managers take their continuing professional development extremely seriously, judging by the note taking in the workshops that I attended.

The conference was managed with enthusiasm and some imagination by Airmic executive director David Gamble and whoever booked magician Paul Kenyon as the after gala dinner entertainment was truly inspired.

The only thing missing was a few more delegates. But perhaps like most of us in the post-11 September world, there is too much work to be done back at the ranch to spare a couple of days out of the office.