Introduction to Risk Management

BFF5902 Introduction to Risk Management

Individual Assignment

Submission: Submit electronically via Moodle

Weight Assigned: 20 %

1. Instructions

  1. This is an individual assignment.
  2. This assessment is designed to test your achievement of Objectives 1 to 5 as detailed in the Unit Outline.
  3. The maximum word limit for this assignment is 2,500 words with a 10% allowance (2,750 words). The word count includes: the Title Page, Executive Summary, body of the report and all Appendices. The Bibliography, Table of Contents, figures and tables are excluded from the word count limit.
  4. The assignment will be marked out of a total of 100 marks, and will count toward 20% of the total marks for this Unit.
  5. Work submitted for assessment must be accompanied by a completed and signed assignment coversheet (link available on Moodle).
  6. The assignment must be submitted via Moodle by the due date and time. Please note penalties will apply to late submissions. A penalty of 5% of the total mark allocated to this assessment task will be deducted for each day, or part thereof, if it is late. Multiple submissions are permitted up to the due date and time.

2. Researching your topic

For the purpose of this assignment, you must research and write a comparative report about two companies in the same industry. You must select TWO companies from the same industry, as shown in Section 4.

Unless with prior agreement with the Unit coordinator, you must only use the companies listed in this assignment. Failure to comply may result in a zero grade. Should you have any queries regarding your selection of the two companies, contact the Unit Coordinator using only your Monash student email address and include “BFF5902 Assignment” in the subject line in the email. Be sure to include your name, student number and a valid telephone contact number in any email sent. The Unit Coordinator can be contacted by email at:

For this engagement you will have to research and analyse relevant information from internet sources and databases (e.g. Company Annual reports, 10-K forms, and other

governance/sustainability reports and investor information) sourced from company websites, Reuters, Bloomberg, NASDAQ and Yahoo Finance internet sites). Relevant electronic databases are also available from the Monash Library such as MarketLine IBIS World,Hoover’s, FACTIVA databases.

To use and analyse data from the EDGAR web site run by the Securities & Exchange

Commission (SEC) go to:

Think creatively in performing your analysis and make justifiable assumptions where necessary to overcome the hurdles you may confront such as any deficiencies in data availability about the company, its industry, and its competitors. When using other sources remember to cite them correctly.

You will find most of what you need from careful reading of the annual report and the company’s website including statements of the firm’s objectives. Note that the firm’s descriptions of risks will be set out in the 10-K form under section Item 1A or otherwise in an equivalent section of the annual report headed “Risk Factors” or “Top and Emerging Risks”. Corporate backgrounds, trends in financial performance, and profit/revenue segment information that illustrates the firm’s context is also available in the annual reports.

3. Style of your report

Your written report must include the following components (reports not in this format will be penalised):

  • A Title Page for the report;
  • An Executive Summary which highlights the scope of the report, and its most significant findings and recommendations (typically 1/2 page at most);
  • A Table of Contents;
  • An appropriate very brief introduction that discusses the purpose of the report, the report structure (which should reflect the scope of work performed) and any limitations;
  • The body of the report should include the outcomes of the research and analysis;
  • A conclusion that summarises the analysis and findings;
  • Appendices should be used for detailed and/or large tables and figures; and ● A bibliography of references used should be included.

As this is a professional standard report it is important to use general principles of good business report writing to communicate succinctly. Use of tables, figures, and summarised lists is encouraged. When using tables and figures remember to label them and reference and discuss their content in the text. Detailed analysis can be contained in tables and appendices in preference to the main text. Each section of the report should flow logically to the next and be consistent in argument. Remember diagrams are not included in your word count and may convey information more succinctly. An important tip – to avoid words being counted in your total, you can copy and paste tables and figures as embedded pictures.

Work submitted for assessment must be consistent with the guidelines set down in the Q Manual, which is the faculty’s student guide for producing quality work on time. Copies of this manual can be purchased at the bookshop or accessed online at:

Marks may be deducted where in-text citations and/or the reference list is not consistent with the American Psychological Association (APA) style, which is illustrated in the Q Manual.

4. Tasks to be completed

You must select one pair of exchange-listed companies from three alternative pairs shown in the table below. The companies you choose should be on the same row.

Unlike prior semester assignments the company’s shown are not limited to being US exchange-listed. You will now have the opportunity to compare global companies under different risk reporting guidelines.  If the company is not US exchange-listed, then there is no 10-K and you should refer directly to the published annual report where indicated. To make it easier, in the table below you are shown where to locate the key risks as reported in their 2020 annual reports.

Base your analysis on the most current information and most recent annual reports. Important: make sure you use the tickers provided in parentheses to find the correct companies when you are searching for information.

Table 1. Companies available for selection

Sector Company 1 Company 2  
Banking HSBC Holding Plc (HSBC)

Key Source: Annual Report 2020,Top and Emerging

risks, starting at page 110.

Standard Chartered Plc


Key Source: Annual Report

2020, Principal and

Emerging risks, starting at page 254.

Airlines United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL)

Key Source: Form 10-K, Item 1A.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY)

Key Source: Annual Report 2020, Opportunities and risk report, starting at page 71.

Footwear & Accessories Nike Inc (NKE)

Key Source: Form 10-K, Item 1A.

Adidas AG (ADDYY)

Key Source: Annual Report 2020, Risk and Opportunity, starting at page 172.

Once you have selected the two companies you must perform the following tasks and prepare your report.

1. Overview of Companies and Industry

Perform a comparative analysis of your two selected companies’ business operations and discuss the industry in which they operate. You must address the following questions as part of your analysis:

  • What do your companies make, sell or do? What are their key products and markets?
  • What is your companies’ size in the industry in which they operate? Choose industry relevant metrics to show (eg. level of sales, number of staff, total assets, funds under management, number of branches or stores, relative brand value, etc.)
  • How does your company’s performance compare to other companies in the industry over the last three years? (eg. profit and sales growth, market share trend, etc.)
  • Note any significant differences between the companies that may influence their risk profiles (product, business line or geographic mix differences that influence their risks).

2. Risk identification

  • List the major stakeholders and explain their objectives for both firms. Are they the same stakeholders for both companies? Discuss any key differences and how this may affect risk identification.
  • Identify and describe the main strategic objectives of the two companies and discuss any similarities and differences and suggest how this might affect their identification of risks.
  1. Risk Analysis

Select ONE of the following from TWO alternatives choices for your analysis.

Alternative A: Risk Taxonomy Comparison

Using the risks disclosed in the annual reports:

  • Complete a detailed risk taxonomy for BOTH companies summarising and mapping their stated risks into either strategic, operational, financial or compliance/reputation risks, and other subcategories of your choice.
  • Compare and discuss similarities and differences between the risk taxonomies of the companies including noting the difference in ranking of similar risks (Annual reports will disclose risks in descending order of importance unless otherwise stated by the firm). Consider and discuss possible sources of the differences including operational, regulatory, stakeholder or strategic reasons;
  • Complete a hypothetical consequence scale, a hypothetical likelihood scale and a hypothetical risk matrix for ONE of the companies (Note: If you choose Footwear and Accessories you MUST complete the risk matrix for Nike[1]);
  • Using this hypothetical risk matrix, rate the inherent AND residual risk of the three (3) highest ranked risks as reported by the company in its Annual report. Explain the reasoning for your choice; and,
  • Discuss the quality of the risk disclosure made by the companies from the perspective of an equity investor. Did one company do a better job at communicating? What further information would you recommend be added to the weaker company’s reporting?

Note: You may not be able to find detailed information about the risk levels for the risks identified by the companies. So, in order to answer this question, you may need to use the lecture material, recommended readings, and your own research to propose a reasonable hypothetical assessment.

Alternative B: Risk Analysis

Using the annual report risk disclosures, select ONE risk SUBTYPE that is common between your two companies (eg. Fraud subtype in Operational risk type), and:

  • Explain the nature of this risk discussing how it arises and what consequences it causes. You should reference the company’s own description of the risk and other sources if possible;
  • Perform a detailed Bow Tie analysis of the risk highlighting both the causes and consequences of the risk involved. As part of this answer be sure to propose and explain your own hypothetical controls and their intended operation and position on the bow-tie. You should reference any treatments or controls the company has itself mentioned as well as your own ideas;
  • Using your bow-tie diagram, discuss what hypothetical Key Risk Indicators could be used to provide leading indicators of changing risk levels; and
  • Describe an AS ISO 31000:2019 compliant risk management process to manage this risk. Explain what risk management framework components you recommend to govern and manage this risk; and,
  • Discuss the quality of the risk disclosure made by the companies from the perspective of an equity investor. Did one company do a better job at communicating? What further information would you recommend be added to the weaker company’s reporting?

Note: You may not be able to find detailed information about the actual controls and risk management process used by the company (unless described in the annual report). So, in order to answer this question, you may need to use the lecture material, recommended readings, and your own research to propose a reasonable hypothetical approach.

Word Limit

It is easy to write a lot in this assignment. Keep your discussion concise and use tables, charts and graphs to illustrate your arguments (it is a business report!). To save your word count, you can copy and paste tables as a picture.Remember to place large tables in the Appendix so that the body of your report is not interrupted for the reader.

  1. Criteria for assessment

The following rubric provides information regarding the criteria that will be used in marking.

Table 2 Assessment Rubric



Adequate 50% to 60% Satisfactory

60% to 70%

Good 70% to 80% Very Good 80% to 90% Excellent


Component Marks


Fails to satisfy the minimum requirements Satisfies the minimum requirements Demonstrates an average level of


interpretation, originality,

insight and presentation

Demonstrates a high

standard of


interpretation, originality,

insight and presentation

Demonstrates a very high

standard of


interpretation, originality,

insight and presentation

Demonstrates an outstanding

or exceptional standard of


interpretation, originality,

insight and presentation

Overview of the companies and industry and risk identification 20            
Alternative A or B 50            
Report quality and compliance 10            
Quality of analysis performed 10            
Quality and breadth of research 5            
Originality 5            
TOTAL 100            


[1] The reason will become obvious when you read the Annual report for Adidas!