Current methods of risk management focus on efficiency and do not provide operational answers to the basic question of how to optimise and balance the two objectives, maximisation of expected income and minimisation of risk. This paper uses the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) to derive an operational criterion for the optimal risk management of firms. The criterion assumes that the objective of the firm manager is to maximise the market value of the firm and is based on the condition that the application of risk management tools has a symmetric effect on the variability of income around the mean. The criterion is based on the expected consequences of risk management on relative changes in the variance of return on equity and expected income. The paper demonstrates how the criterion may be used to evaluate and compare the effect of different risk management tools, and it illustrates how the criterion should be applied to integrate risk management at the strategic, tactical and operational level. The paper concludes that the derived criterion for optimal risk management provides a valuable theoretical tool for the economic evaluation of the consequences of risk management.
firm value CAPM optimal risk management return on equity risk expected income