Supercharging your ERM Program

Supercharging your ERM Program

Q1 – Craig, can you tell the Center for Financial Professionals about yourself and your experience within the industry? 

I have over 30 years of governance, enterprise risk management, business development, technology and audit experience gained from working with the world’s top institutions (First Data, RBS, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Dean Witter, & Merrill Lynch). Currently, I am a Head of Enterprise Risk Management Strategy at First Data and also the CEO & Founder of RiskTao, LLC which specializes in Enterprise Risk Management training. I have represented ORM on several domestic and international senior risk committees.

Q2 – What are the opportunities and challenges managers are facing when evaluating their ERM function as a business?

ERM’s value propositions and Return on Investment are examples of an opportunity. While some challenges include aligning the needs of the business with the institution’s direction and risk appetite. There is also the challenge of participating in setting the institution’s strategic direction.

Q3 – We are looking forward to you leading the masterclass: Supercharging Your ERM Program, on 22 May at the Hilton Midtown. What, in your opinion, should be some of the ERM lessons learned in the financial crisis and how can these be used to drive businesses in future stress periods? 

It starts with getting the business to face reality and make smart decisions based on their true situation. Always “follow the money” and determine if sudden high profits fit into the institution’s business model. Also, believe in the possibilities of “Black Swans,” they are happening on a frequent basis.

Q4 – Without giving too much away, what would you say are the critical components of a successful ERM program? 

To begin, having a strong risk culture and training programs is key. Other components are as follows; a sensible framework approach, strategic business engagement, and superior ERM technology.

Q5 – What would you say are key skills required for an ERM function or individuals?

Skills include relationship management, risk expertise, ability to challenge, and leadership. Also, a sense of humor always helps.

Q6 – How do you see the industry evolving as technological and regulatory trends are changing?

Technology is driving major processes and business model changes that will be interesting to evaluate. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are a great example.

Q7 – You will be delivering a presentation reviewing ERM’s connection to driving business results. What are the key topics, which will be discussed during this presentation? 

There are three main topics that I will touch upon. To begin, building and shaping a risk function into a viable business that grows; this is highly respected and competitive for budget share. Also, understanding and driving the business to create achievable goals that will keep them within the institution’s risk appetite. Lastly I will discuss the idea of gaining an understanding of the financial crisis to guide businesses through normal and stressed conditions.

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