What Makes a Risk Manager Effective?

An interview published in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses the importance of risk management as a business discipline and the need for more formal training for professionals who dedicate themselves to the discipline. Gideon Pell, Chief Risk Officer at New York Life Insurance, provides his perspective on the increasing demand for risk management professionals.  He also offers some great insight on what makes a risk manager truly effective in an organization.  Here’s what he had to say.

It’s obvious that we’re living in an uncertain economy. The idea of having a disciplined approach to risk management, to be able to look at risks holistically across the organization, to make sure you’re not missing significant risks, is even more critical today than it was two or three years ago.

One lesson that we’ve learned from the last couple of years is that the institutions that failed had a lot of risk managers who were very smart and very quantitative but it didn’t help them save their organizations. If you’re not able to influence the organization that you’re in, you’re not going to be effective at your job. To be an effective risk manager, you have to have a good understanding of the business. You’ve got to have sound judgment and you have to be able to communicate effectively up and down the organization.

Mr. Pell is spot-on in his assessment of what makes an effective risk manager.  The challenge for many companies is developing talent to master both the quantitative and qualitative.  Risk managers must be practical and business focused in their approach to be successful.  For help designing a talent development plan, email us at NavigateSuccessfully@WheelhouseAdvisors.com.


About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at www.WheelhouseAdvisors.com.

One Response to What Makes a Risk Manager Effective?

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