Brian Sims

Security Matters Podcast – Episode 14 now live to view

THE FOURTEENTH edition of the fortnightly Security Matters Podcast for practising professionals in the security business sector is now live to view. Each episode features a round-up and analysis of the biggest news stories published on the magazine’s website in addition to discussions with selected professionals from the security business sector.

Episode 14 of the Security Matters Podcast features interviews with Iain Wright CFIRM (chief risk officer for Europe at Canada Life and chair of the Institute of Risk Management) and Jamie Allam, CEO at the St Albans-based business Amthal Fire & Security which focuses on the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of integrated electronic fire and security solutions for myriad customers.

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) is the leading professional body for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). As a discipline, risk management involves understanding, analysing and addressing risk to make sure organisations achieve their objectives. Therefore, it must be proportionate to the complexity and type of the organisation involved. ERM is an integrated and joined-up approach to managing risk across an organisation and its extended networks.

Across the years, a number of standards have been developed worldwide to help organisations implement risk management systematically and effectively. These standards seek to establish a common view on frameworks, processes and practice and are generally set by recognised international standards bodies or industry groups. Risk management itself is a fast-moving discipline and, as a result, the standards are regularly supplemented and updated.

Commonly used standards across the risk arena include ISO 31000 2018 (Risk Management Principles and Guidelines), ISO/IEC 31010:2009 (Risk Management: Risk Assessment Techniques) and COSO 2004 and 2017 (Enterprise Risk Management: Integrated Framework).

An independent and not-for-profit organisation, the IRM exists to help build excellence in risk management and, ultimately, improve the way in which organisations work by dint of enhancing their risk management regimes.

Importantly, the IRM provides globally recognised qualifications and training, publishes key research, offers continual thought leadership for practising professionals and also sets professional standards defining the knowledge, skills and behaviours that today’s risk-focused practitioners need in order to meet the demands of what’s now an increasingly complex and challenging business environment.

The IRM’s members work in many roles, in all industries and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors all around the world.

Audit and corporate finance

As stated, Iain Wright is chief risk officer for Europe at Canada Life and chair of the Institute of Risk Management.

Canada Life provides retirement, investment and protection solutions to individuals, families and companies alike and boasts 3.4 million customers. It’s the UK-based subsidiary of the Great-West Lifeco Group of companies, in fact, which itself has operations in Canada, the United States, Ireland and Germany.

Iain graduated from the University of Sheffield back in 1986 with a BA (Honours) degree in Economics and Financial Management. He then worked across various audit and corporate finance roles at Deloitte for a decade before moving to the Financial Services Authority and taking up the position of head of insurance for major retail groups.

Chief risk officer roles at the Prudential and Sun Life Canada followed before Iain then went to work at Quilter plc in 2016 as Group chief risk officer.

A Chartered Accountant, Iain was appointed chair of the Institute of Risk Management at the end of last year. He served as deputy chair of the organisation from May 2018 and was appointed chair of the IRM’s Audit and Risk Committee in December 2016.

On Episode 14 of the Security Matters Podcast, Iain turns his attentions towards the ongoing response to COVID-19. What could – and should – be the role of risk management and risk practitioners in all of this? Further, how might companies look to build resilience into their day-to-day operations? Two core topics, then, that Iain addresses in great detail.

Further, Iain offers some detail on the IRM’s recent announcement about Modern Apprenticeships for Risk and Compliance before delivering a fascinating assessment of how the pandemic has impacted the financial services world in which he operates on a daily basis.

In closing the interview, Iain relates his views in terms of what he believes good risk management looks like in this day and age and also outlines what factors companies ought to be thinking about in their bid to assist with the economic recovery.

Electronic fire and security solutions

Our other featured guest interviewee on Episode 14 of the Security Matters Podcast is Jamie Allam, the CEO at Amthal Fire & Security.

Since 2000, Amthal Fire & Security has been helping to ensure the safety of people, properties and businesses right across the UK. An independent company that began life in the residential security space, Amthal now operates across many different sectors, among them education, hospitality, retail and the public sector, as well as partnering with leading property and commercial management agents.

When it comes to integrated electronic fire and security solutions, Amthal is dedicated to offering all-encompassing services right from the initial design process through to installation and on again to maintenance and monitoring.

The business actively recruits and retains specialist qualified technicians, providing dedicated in-house and leading product manufacturer-focused training to ensure that the very latest industry technology is embraced and also maintain the skill levels necessary to meet customers’ needs.

Graduating from the University of Hertfordshire in 2001 with an Honours degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Jamie joined Amthal Fire & Security in 2008 and spent eleven years as commercial director before becoming CEO in February of this year.

Amthal Fire & Security celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2020, but how has the company fared during the pandemic? In addition to answering that particular question, during Episode 14 of the Security Matters Podcast, Jamie also evaluates in what ways he feels the Coronavirus crisis has affected the security business sector as a whole.

Interestingly, he goes on to examine the key trends in security at the moment and looks towards future developments before reviewing the lessons that have been learned since Prime Minister Boris Johnson first imposed the lockdown measures in the first quarter of the year.

Listen to the Security Matters Podcast

You can listen to the Security Matters Podcast – kindly sponsored by The Security Event, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham from 27-29 April 2021 – for free on iTunes or Spotify. To download the Security Matters Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, all you need to do is enter the term ‘Security Matters’ into your chosen platform’s search box.

Alternatively, you can listen to the Security Matters Podcast online at or via the dedicated Security Matters YouTube channel by clicking here.

*If there are any particular topics or themes you would like us to cover on future editions of the Security Matters Podcast (which are live to view every fortnight on Wednesdays) please do contact us. You can do so on Twitter by using the hashtag #SecurityPod or simply send an e-mail direct to

**Don’t forget to follow Security Matters on Twitter at and make sure you access all of the latest news, views and opinion from the security world by visiting our website at where you can also sign up for our popular weekly eNews bulletins

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