Financial institutions are taking a broader view of risk, and at the same time, making the role of chief risk officers more defined. Other than the role of providing strong technical expertise, these officers are now charged with providing leadership and strategic thinking. Formally, this was a reserve of the insurance companies, but with the constant demand for more transparency and accountability over risk management, CRO is expected to be a broad thinker with the ability to predict potential challenges, and influence decision-making processes.
CROs are charged with establishing, monitoring, and mitigation of risks, which have been intrinsic to financial services like market risk and credit risk. They work together with risk compliance officers to manage compliance and conduct risk. Risk management has evolved into a more strategic role that calls for gaining the attention of board members, and the trust of mid-level management.
One company that exclusively deals with risk management and compliance matters is Hall Capital. Under its management is a renowned compliance officer, Helane Morrison, who is the Managing Director General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at the company. In addition, she is a member of Hall Capital’s Executive Committee. It is not easy to have three powerful women at the top of a leading company. Hall Capital, a risk compliance company in the Bay Area, is showing that diversity of education, gender, and background is an essential element in appeasing customers. The company prides in this as part of its diversification efforts.
Helane works alongside other like-minded professionals in the enforcement wing of the company to strengthen its presence and impact in the industry. She believes strongly that unless you understand the process, you can expect unpleasant surprises in what happens to them.
To handle and manage relationships, these officers require good leadership skills. For instance, remuneration committees will need the opinion of risk offers on whether or not other top managers have complied, a conversation that may not remain under closed doors. Previously, some regulators were appointed as head of risk management, and although they were good, they lacked the right skills to manage internally. However, as the CROs profiles evolve, they are also making their career path clearly. Their role may remain rare in the financial services, but that’s a narrative that is about to change judging from their current reporting line where in many places like banks, they report to the CEO and enjoy a direct relationship with the board.
Connect with Helane Morrison on LinkedIn.