Unlike in the past when chief risk officers (CROs) were only found in the insurance industry, these professionals are now getting more roles, especially in financial firms. Apart from the technical expertise that they have always employed in their day-to-day duties, the firms require CROs to be critical thinkers and have excellent leadership qualities.
I believe that the 2008 financial crisis spearheaded the introduction of CROs to the financial firms. These professionals were the only ones who could enhance transparency, accountability and risk management that was demanded by the financial regulators. The new roles require the professionals to augment their broad and independent view of their organization in order to anticipate any potential disruptions besides advising the firm accordingly.
Identification, monitoring and mitigation of risks are important to financial institutions as they determine the success of most financial services. This ensures that market risks, operation risks and credit risks are managed appropriately. I agree that in order to manage a company’s reputation and conduct risk analysis, CROs should work closely with compliance officers. This information was originally reported on The Wall Street Journal as posited in the following link Chief Risk Officer on a Broader Role.
John Olert, Fitch Group’ CRO, is an example of the close relationship that exists between CROs and compliance officer. He worked in the compliance department of the group for some years before becoming the acting chief compliance officer. During his time in the office, he was charged with managing regulatory risks for the company. Following the 2008 financial crisis, he was involved with setting up processes and structures that the group used to assess and manage risks. These efforts saw him become the firm’s first chief risk officer in 2010.
About Helane Morrison
An example of a chief compliance officer who works interacts with CROs is Helane L. Morrison of Hall Capital Partners LLC. She is the managing director and doubles up as the General Counsel of the firm. Helane serves on the Board of the Regional Parks Foundation and is a member of the American Bar Association’s Hedge Fund subcommittee. Morrison is also a speaker. She speaks lecturers on how private funds and investments advisers are affected by compliance and legal issues.
Ms. Morrison has worked with many institutions and influential individuals. She started her career as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun before joining Howard, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin as an attorney. She also worked at the San Francisco SEC office before joining Hall Capital Partners LLC in 2007. Helane has a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and studied law at the University of California.