I recently read an online article about chief risk officers on Wall Street Journal.com. According to the article, CROs not only have to provide risk management, but they are also asked to provide plans and leadership to their jobs. This position started out in the insurance market, says the article; however, more financial corporations hired them after the crisis of 2008. They needed the transparency and risk management that a CRO can provide.
The article interviewed John Olert, the CRO with a financial institution called the Fitch Group. Olert stated that CROs get a lot of independence; however, they have a lot of responsibility overseeing the different types of risks that are involved in their company. They must also work together with other compliance officers, says the article.
Olert has been involved with his firm since 1995, reports the article, and opines that the roll of CRO is becoming more complicated. The article talks about how important CROs are in the banking business. It lists different surveys about how the majority of CROs report directly to the CEO, while some report to the board of directors.
Since CROs work with middle management as well as upper management, states the article, they need to have the ability to report to both effectually. They need leadership skills to help corporations make crucial decisions depending on compliance, says the article.
The article also interviewed Eric Yoss, the CRO for Mizuho Bank Americas. Yoss has an extensive background in risk management, ranging from Barclays Bank PLC to Deutsche Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., says the article. Yoss says that although CROs are more prevalent in the financial markets, things could change as the role of CROs continue to expand. Diatmar Serbee, another expert quoted in the article, says that CROs have a “unique perspective” and should be consulted in areas such as product development and client relations.
I have read a lot about different compliance officers, including Helane Morrison. She has worked with Hall Capital Partners LLC since 2007. Morrison started as a newspaper reporter and went to Northwestern University, where she earned her B.S. in Journalism. She attended law school at UC Berkeley and was admitted to the bar in 1987.
Morrison has held a number of positions in prestigious law firms. She also was Regional Director for the San Francisco Security and Exchange Commission from 1999-2007. She is uniquely qualified for the expanding roles that she will be facing as a CRO.