Information Technology is a Core ERM Building Block

As the year nears an end, many folks are looking to 2011 in anticipation of the regulatory impact beset by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. One of the primary impacts discussed today in Bank Systems & Technology magazine is the specter of the new Office of Financial Reform. Financial services companies of all shapes and sizes will soon be subject to the requests for data from this new agency to support its mission of reporting emerging risks to the U.S. Congress. Here’s an overview of what companies can expect.

The Dodd-Frank legislation establishes the Office of Financial Reform (OFR), a new department within the U.S. Department of the Treasury that is tasked with gathering and reporting to lawmakers information regarding potential risks and threats within the nation’s financial industry. To accomplish this, the OFR’s director can use his or her subpoena power to gather data from any financial institution.

Simply, says Michael Atkin, director of the Enterprise Data Management Council, a nonprofit trade association focused on managing and leveraging data, the regulation gives banks’ corporate leadership a new opportunity to examine the growing problem of managing skyrocketing amounts of data and finally to budget appropriately to meet the challenge. “It kicked the practice of data management into high gear,” Atkin says. “We’re now set up for addressing the data dilemma that we have because we finally have a reason that is not subject to the whim of a business case. It is a regulatory requirement.”

The OFR director, who has not yet been appointed, will make his or her report to Congress in 2012, adds Atkin. But that initial report, he notes, likely will be more on the state of the industry than a detailed analysis of its data, giving financial institutions a window of several years to prepare for potential requirements. “The implications from an infrastructure perspective are about getting the core building blocks of risk management in place,” Atkin relates.

Now is the time, as Atkin says, to get your “core building blocks of risk management in place”. Wheelhouse Advisors can help. Visit to learn more.