The Modern Chief Risk Officer

The “Chief Risk Officer” is a recent invention, James Lam is widely credited with creating the term in the early 90s, and for much of the time, we’ve had Chief Risk Officers they’ve been seen as overbearing protective figures, restricting growth through extreme risk aversion in the name of stopping anyone from getting into too much trouble.

As with so many other areas in the worlds of Finance and GRC, I think the role of the Chief Risk Officer has changed dramatically in the last five years. With Compliance and Risk becoming much more central to Financial Services and Banking organisations in the wake of the global financial crisis, I think there’s now a much better understanding of how a CRO can guide a company and a more positive attitude to Risk in general.

Rather than blocking growth opportunities, Chief Risk Officers play a crucial role in enabling their organisations to make better business decisions, making the whole company stronger in the long term. Regulatory Risk is obviously a very high priority for anyone in finance right now. There are more regulations than ever before, and they’re changing more frequently too. As we have a specialist Compliance Team working alongside me (and my Risk specialism), Kind Consultancy is perfectly positioned to understand Regulatory Risk roles and find the best possible people for your wider Regulatory team. But we also recognise that there’s more to Risk than Compliance, and I’ve seen a huge rise in demand for highly skilled Operational Risk personnel over the last two years.  As compliance becomes better understood by customers as well as those inside the industry, the need for Reputational Risk staff is becoming more and more important, and the move towards an integrated Risk approach makes dedicated Financial Risk staff highly valuable. A truly modern CRO will understand and appreciate the importance of all of these areas, collaborating with the strategic, reputational, operational, financial, and compliance specialists to build an infrastructure which can not only establish, communicate, implement and maintain changes but also provide support and guidance as a core function of any successful organisation.

For a confidential conversation about your Risk recruitment needs, or if you’re a Risk professional seeking career advancement, contact us on or 0121 643 2100.

One issue facing modern Chief Risk Officers is the matter of conduct risk and who’s responsible – read more on that here

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