A risk management approach

Director and Global Head of Risk Management Judy Adams explains our approach to managing risk across the global business.

The business continues to deal with a wide range of risks and uncertainties, which are constantly reviewed and actively managed. The company’s success during this period recognises and reflects the personal contribution made by all our people, who remain at the forefront of our risk management strategy to keep the business safe.

Managing market volatility

Wider market conditions are shifting in response to the conflict in Ukraine, continuing COVID-19 lockdowns, rising prices and supply chain issues, all of which are contributing to declining market confidence and concerns around project viability.

Consequently, we are preparing the business to respond to these warning signs by maximising conversion and resource utilisation while also refining our strategies that focus on growth areas.

In addition, our diverse strategies around growth markets, key clients and major programmes (which account for over 70 percent of our income), as well as our global footprint and breadth of sector and service offering, continue to help protect us to an extent from this volatility.

However, while not complacent to these realities, we use our strengths to react quickly - as one region or sector slows, we aim to build market share elsewhere - as our recent growth in the US demonstrates. Building capability in these new areas obviously increases our resilience.

As a result of this market volatility, bidding levels being seen are extremely keen. We are also seeing an emerging trend of clients beginning to defer or take work back in-house. As a result, we are tracking these trends, monitoring conversion levels more closely and adapting our strategy and commercial models to suit.

Finally, keeping a close eye on discretionary spend and overhead is always important, but particularly with the current warning signs. Despite signs of challenging times ahead, we continue to invest to keep the business relevant and accelerate activities that align with our strategic objectives.

Zero tolerance to bribery and corruption

Challenging markets are also often an early indicator of increased bribery and corruption risk. Our anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) policy and associated guidelines outline our zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are communicated regularly to our people.

In addition, our people are required to undertake ABC training and complete an annual declaration. This year, our independent ABC hotline has been made available externally to others working with Turner & Townsend, in addition to our people, to allow any concerns to be raised anonymously should they so wish.

Routes to market

We continue to work in joint venture (JV) for certain clients and see this procurement route as a way to satisfy our clients’ broad service requirements. But JV’s do bring both increased contractual and relationship risk.

Therefore, appropriate due diligence is essential when considering such arrangements and decisions on proposed partners and whether to progress an opportunity are taken at Executive Committee level. Given the additional risks involved we have also developed enhanced assurance for our JV programme this year.

Client engagement

Our goal is to deepen relationships with our existing clients while targeting new super clients from emerging markets. We want to create a new distinctive client experience, which is supported through transformative service delivery and assurance by our leadership.

To verify we are meeting this objective, we look to harness the power of data, by continuing to deploy our client care app to check performance and act quickly on the results, where necessary.

Investing in people

We are transforming our business and embedding our purpose and our vision across our existing people and our new starters. This is in the clear knowledge that the skills needed today may not necessarily be those needed for the future.

Even beyond our “hot markets”, there is increasing competition for talent at all levels, particularly as we grow in services such as digital. Our human resources team works with operational teams to develop strategies that keep our existing people engaged and productive and that attract new talent to the business.

A key to the longevity of our business is our localisation agenda, which focuses on the power of regional difference across our global activities. This year we have set out our bold commitment to inclusion, and these plans are at the heart of our business response to the need to expand our global talent pool.

Our culture is set at the top, underpinned by policies, processes and training to embed expected behaviours. Every year we assess human and labour risks, with a particular focus on modern slavery. As an ethical business, we are committed to eliminating any form of forced labour or human trafficking across our supply chain and within every aspect of our work with clients.

Understanding new threats

In March we took the decision to exit the Russian market. While economic sanctions across the globe are a necessity that every organisation needs to navigate, the conflict in Ukraine has been particularly challenging for businesses with a global client base.

As a result, we rescreened our existing client base and supply chain and continue to monitor the situation, reminding our people of this heightened risk and for the need to carry out appropriate due diligence, both pre-and post-appointment.

The number of cyber-attacks globally has also been growing, particularly over the last six to nine months. As a business, we continue to make our systems as robust as possible and ensure our people understand how and where their actions may make us more vulnerable.