Strategic Business Risks Mounting: Ernst & Young

    New report names Top 10 Risks for companies in Canada and abroad

    TORONTO, Nov. 8 /CNW/ - The greatest strategic challenge facing leading
global businesses in 2008 will continue to be regulatory and compliance risks,
says Ernst & Young.
    In a new report issued today, the professional services firm identifies
the top 10 global risks across 12 of the world's most important business
sectors. The study also names the five fastest-rising threats that could
significantly impact businesses over the next three to five years.
    "Not all strategic business risks are the same - they may be macro,
sector or operational - and they do not have the same impact in every business
sector," says John Murphy, Global Vice-Chair for Ernst & Young's Assurance and
Advisory Business Services. "This research flags the fact that all boards must
have strategic business risks on their radar. Boards will have to decide where
their greatest risks lie and how to deal with them. Ignoring them is not an
    Regulatory and compliance risks are closely followed by global financial
shocks (the recent global "credit crunch" is already making waves). Workforce
and consumer aging, and the inability to capitalize on the rise of the
emerging markets are also major concerns.
    "The continually escalating regulatory burden, as well as ever more
complex compliance challenges, means this is still the biggest business risk
to be addressed," explains Robin Hutchinson, Canadian Risk Advisory Services
Leader at Ernst & Young. "As companies become more and more global, compliance
becomes an even greater challenge, forcing them to manage diverse regulations
in different markets."

    The top ten strategic business risks identified in the report are:

    1.  Regulatory and compliance risk
    2.  Global financial shocks
    3.  Aging consumers and workforce
    4.  Emerging markets
    5.  Industry consolidation/transition
    6.  Energy shocks
    7.  Execution of strategic transactions
    8.  Cost inflation
    9.  Radical greening
    10. Consumer demand shifts

    The five most likely to become serious factors are:

    1.  The war for talent
    2.  Disease pandemic
    3.  The rise (and possible fall) of private equity
    4.  Inability to innovate
    5.  China setback

    About the report

    The Strategic Business Risk: 2008 - the top ten risks for global business
report was produced by Ernst & Young in collaboration with Oxford Analytica,
and sought the views of more than 70 analysts from more than 20 disciplines.

    About Ernst & Young

    Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to
restoring the public's trust in professional services firms and in the quality
of financial reporting. Its 114,000 people in 140 countries pursue the highest
levels of integrity, quality, and professionalism in providing a range of
sophisticated services centered on our core competencies of auditing,
accounting, tax, and transactions. Further information about Ernst & Young and
its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of
member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate
legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited does not provide services to

For further information:

For further information: on this report or to speak to spokesperson
Robin Hutchinson, please contact: Megan Bailey, (406) 206-5037,; Kelly Peace, (416) 943-3662,; or
Amanda Olliver, (514) 874-4308,

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