What is your educational background?
Did you know you wanted to go into the risk profession? If not, what was your journey to get here?
No, I didn’t. During law study I specialized in liability and corporate law. During an internship at a small company (broker of insurance and mortgage portfolios (of brokers)), I was made aware of an opportunity to work for a holding company (financial institution) to implement new financial supervisory legislation. That’s where I was introduced to compliance and customer and integrity risks. That grew into consultancy jobs widening my skills and knowledge including risk management. Now I’m responsible for a team that also has a focus on enterprise risk management.
How long have you been working in the risk profession?
In a way risk management has been a part of all roles I have had. From customer due diligence (risks associated to customers) to enterprise risk management. In my consultancy days, I supported risk assessments and provided advice on different compliance and risk aspects. In my time at Vodafone UK, I obtained more skills and responsibilities in corporate risk management. Since early 2017 I’ve been responsible for ERM.
What do you love most about what you do?
Not one day is the same, and no risk is the same (they are similar but never the same).
Has managing risk changed over the course of your career? If so, how?
As with many skill developments you start at the bottom by getting acquainted with the topic, becoming operationally active in the field, and then moving onto more strategic thinking and leadership. I am now in a role leading a team with different backgrounds, responsibilities, and skill sets. I need to ensure they use the same risk methodology in everything they do to maximize the benefits risk management has to offer.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their career in the risk profession?
It is not only what you can do for risk management but also what risk management can do for you. If you like to continuously swap between topics and depth (operational vs strategic), be part of all internal and external developments, and be able to analyze and have and opinion about it, then this is the job for you. If not, you need to be open minded and willing to learn, otherwise it will become a struggle.
Do you have a personal motto? If so, what is it?
The words “risk management” do not cover the meaning of the job anymore. I’m a strong believer of opportunity management.