I am often asked “what are the key requirements that make a good risk manager?” My first response is “to be able to walk on water”. Such is the required varied skill set of a good risk manager.
The roles and responsibilities of the risk manager are many and varied depending on the organization they belong to. I will use the example of an organisation that has an independent risk management function where risk, and the day to day management thereof, is owned by the business. Let’s look at the key characteristics of the CRO and the staff of the independent function.
The main function of the independent risk manager is to review and challenge what the front line business is doing to manage risk. In addition, they should be seen as subject matter experts and assisters in developing and maintaining the risk management frameworks. They should be seen as value-adding and adopted by, and engaged with, front line staff.
What are the key skills and characteristics needed to be a success in this role? Here is my list:
- Risk management is to a large degree an art form. This requires a strong right hand (artistic) brain, able to cope with qualitative and inexact concepts and able to “see” into the future.