08/02/2012 - 10:04

Risk tool has global appeal

08/02/2012 - 10:04

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Risk tool has global appeal
NO RISK: Grant O’Connell is surprised by his company’s growth, with Corporate Governance Risk servicing 12 companies in seven countries. Photo: Grant Currall

PERTH may be an isolated city but that hasn’t hindered local business Corporate Governance Risk in attracting blue-chip international clients.

Corporate Governance Risk secured its major international breakthrough when it was awarded a contract to supply Japanese company INPEX with a risk management tool to support the final investment decision for the $US34 billion Ichthys LNG project on the state’s north-west coast.

The business has followed this contract win with an agreement to apply the product to Xstrata’s iron-ore assets in the African nation of Mauritania.

Having started the business less than two years ago, Corporate Governance Risk chief executive officer Grant O’Connell said his six-person team in Claremont spent 12 months building and developing the product, called CGR Foundation.

The process was initially trialled with three mid-sized Australian companies and delivered “excellent outcomes” for their management teams, according to Mr O’Connell.

Competing against international players, Corporate Governance Risk then won the INPEX contract and, more recently, the opportunity to trial the product with Xstrata, providing the business with what Mr O’Connell described as a chance to demonstrate its risk product on the global stage.

Corporate Governance Risk is now servicing 12 companies in seven countries, a growth rate that has surprised Mr O’Connell.

“I didn’t think I would get to this point so fast, but it is the technology that is creating that,” Mr O’Connell told WA Business News.

“Technology is so clever nowadays. What you’re doing is looking at a basic business and you’re writing a language to help enable the executives, management and employees to manage it.”

He said an aspect of CGR Foundation that had attracted clients was its ability to be customised to suit the requirements of individual companies and their capabilities.  

In addition, the product has advanced beyond the typical Microsoft Excel spreadsheets Mr O’Connell said were widely used for the basis of risk management systems.

He said the idea behind Corporate Governance Risk came during his time as an employee at oil and gas risk specialist International Risk Consultants, a global entity with offices in three continents.

He believes the support the likes of INPEX and Xstrata have given Corporate Governance Risk should encourage other small WA businesses to work together with international companies. 

“The globe is nothing to these companies – it is their backyard,” Mr O’Connell said.

“I had a dream to create a program that could help to save lives, save the environment and now save bankruptcies – that is now what we can do by managing risk.”

 

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