Riskonet Down Under

February 16, 2024

For businesses looking for effective risk-management services, the recent opening of a Riskonet office in Australia will add new meaning to the local turn-of-phrase “no worries”.

Janet Short had several good reasons to move halfway across the world from South Africa to Australia and open a new Riskonet office. First and foremost, the opportunity to relocate to a country with the same language, similar climate and culture, as well as better long-term prospects for her children, was too good to pass up. A strong currency, well-developed government and a very high employment rate were also beneficial, she added. “And having the support of Riskonet’s Ron de Bruijn, Tom de Nooij, Chris Brits and other global partners in establishing a Riskonet office in Australia sealed the deal.”


Janet believes she is well-prepared to launch and grow Riskonet Australia, having earned a degree in project management and an MBA. With nearly 20 years’ experience in risk consultancy, the majority of which was with Riskonet South Africa, she has gained extensive knowledge of how to run a consulting firm, as well as exposure to a wide range of risk-management issues.

Appetite for risk-management services

Australia definitely has the need and appetite for Riskonet’s services, assures Janet. The continent is the last to be covered by Riskonet, but this is due its remoteness and vastness rather than a lack of appetite for risk-management services. “There is clearly a demand. Risk hazards abound, as they do everywhere, and the market is vast. An advantage here is that there appears to be a high level of collaboration in the industry, making it less competitive and cutthroat. Riskonet’s unique methodology, in which we strive to be a trusted partner to our clients, both locally and globally, makes us an asset to any client seeking to improve their risk management, regardless of location.”

“Risk is universal; wherever you are based, risk factors will always be present and will need to be addressed”

Janet Short

Full range

The goal, according to Janet, goes beyond simply providing Riskonet services to the Australian market and clients. She also intends to use her knowledge of the Riskonet business to improve its global offering through strategic collaboration projects, thereby improving service delivery and supporting existing clients worldwide. Riskonet Australia will provide clients with the full range of Riskonet services, she insists. “The great thing about our global network structure is that our offering extends beyond my own expertise and skill set. Riskonet Australia will be able to draw on Riskonet’s global knowledge base to help clients with whatever risks they face. The backing and support of all the global Riskonet partners will undoubtedly be beneficial.”

Differing risks

Janet acknowledges that there are differences between the South African and Australian markets. Australia has a more robust and diverse economy, she claims. It is also highly regulated and has good infrastructure. South African clients are frequently challenged by service-delivery issues, such as electrical outages and lack of emergency services, whereas Australian companies have significantly fewer worries in these areas. “That said, Australia faces greater geographical and climate risks. In contrast with the risks commonly faced in South Africa. Australia’s primary worries appear to be bushfires, floods, and cyclone exposure.”

Passion for risk management

She admits that she will need to quickly gain an understanding of how the local market works. That strong regulation she alluded to earlier also differs per state, she explains. Rather than one over-arching national set of regulations, it means having to become familiar with different regulations and industry standards. “In South Africa I accrued nearly 20 years’ experience understanding the workings of the insurance market, brokers’ thinking and how the market was changing. That’s now what I’ll have to do in Australia. Furthermore, in order to better serve our clients, I will need to find local experts who share our passion for risk management and the Riskonet way of thinking. This will allow us to gain knowledge faster and thus better serve our clients.”


“Most definitely” is her response when asked if she is confident she can rise to any challenges. She believes that the full support of the Riskonet global network makes a significant difference. “Riskonet Australia will not be a stand-alone entity, but rather part of a working global network in which we can draw on each other’s expertise and knowledge base. If a problem arises, no matter where it is, effective help will never be more than a phone call or email away. The Riskonet collaboration just works! And that gives me the confidence that we’ll be able to tackle any issue that arises and thus serve a client no matter what that issue may be.”

No hard sell

There are other factors underscoring Janet’s confidence. Australia has a strong, diverse economy that is growing at a rate that will always present opportunities for businesses to expand and build new facilities, as well as for new businesses to enter the market. This will fuel a need for risk-management services. “Risk is universal; wherever you are based risk factors will always be present and will need to be addressed. Climate-change-driven shifts in weather patterns in Australia are another area in which Riskonet can assist clients prepare for the consequences and natural disasters. Given the regulatory culture and the compliance mindset of Australian businesses, the need to for cost-effective risk management will not be a hard sell.”

Short and long term objectives

Janet envisions a two phase future. In the short term, she expects the initial focus to be on assisting current global clients, such as those based in the Netherlands with local offices in Australia, to achieve global compliance with the Riskonet standard to which they have grown accustomed. In the long term she hopes to support the new office’s growth by involving local expertise and like-minded professionals, as well as forming partnerships with local insurance players. “The aim is to establish Riskonet Australia as a fully operational risk-management consultancy business.”

Vast opportunities

In conclusion, Janet hopes that first impressions will be lasting impressions. Since arriving in November 2023, she has found the market to be incredibly friendly and amenable. “Australia is a culturally diverse country. Its people are accepting of others, open to discussion, helpful and they always appear eager to assist and advise. I’m convinced that if we take our time to get to know the lay of the land, there are numerous opportunities here. And, of course, having the support of all the other Riskonet branches will make things a lot easier.”

Local offices


Ron de Bruijn

The Netherlands
+31 85 043 79 40
[email protected]


Tom de Nooij

The Netherlands
+31 85 043 79 40
[email protected]


Özlem Emgen

+90 533 21 12 051
[email protected]


Leszek Golachowski

+48 663 336 844
[email protected]


Chris Brits

South Africa
+27 83 456 7424
[email protected]


Janet Short

Coal Point (Sydney)
+61 (0)49 3868111
[email protected]

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