Risk managers should brush up on Shakespeare to learn risk's true meaning, the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers conference is to be told.

Investment and management consultant Peter Bernstein will be one of the key speakers at the conference, to be held in Birmingham from June 4-6. He says the study of Shakespeare will deliver an “insight into the nature of risk and the theory of decision-making under conditions of uncertainty”.

“Risk management consists of a bewildering and increasingly intricate set of weapons designed to bring the monster risk under control,” he said.

“We spend too little time asking ourselves what the animal is all about – what motivates it, feeds it and keeps it so elusive, despite all our efforts.”

However, Bernstein believes Shakespeare was a great illustrator of decision-making in the face of unknown risk. “We'll proceed to dig down to another layer in the nature of risk, a layer that will shed light on what the business of insurance is all about.”