Can you describe your career path?
I'm a career banker but have moved flexibly within banking from investment banking to coverage banking to strategy to credit risk to operational risk and now to enterprise risk.
What does it take for an aspiring professional to be a chief risk officer?
There are certainly some technical skills one needs to grasp, if not master. These will depend on your area of risk specialisation. The chief risk officer (CRO) needs to also be a “jack of all risks.” The best way to get there is to be curious about everything and constantly learning and upskilling.
What are the important skillsets to excel in the banking industry and risk management function?
A banking career has many options for those with differentiated skillsets. This will range from model development to sales to fraud monitoring. Being numerate is a core skillset for most roles in banking and the CFA® Program certainly provided some of the tools I've needed over the years.
What made you enrol in the CFA Program and what were your first thoughts of it?
I had completed a generalist degree of philosophy, politics, and economics. Within days of my first job, it was patently clear that I needed to learn some finance and accounting. Within weeks, I realised that the job also required valuation skills. The CFA Program offered complementary technical skills beyond on-the-job learning with the flexibility of doing so independently.
How relevant is the CFA Program for a risk management specialist?
The breadth and depth of the CFA Program cover a wide spectrum of banking touchpoint. Accounting, economics, fixed income, portfolio management, and derivative modules have all proved valuable over the course of my banking career.
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To climb a corporate ladder, one must be good at her profession. Is it better to jump between different departments and divisions to gain vast knowledge of the industry or just stick to what one is good at?
A vertical climb within a specialised area used to be the norm. In an increasingly complex world, however, individuals who are open to developing broader experiences will find more doors opening for her.
In your opinion, how will the local and global banking industry evolve in the next three to five years?
The future of risk management in banking is evolving at a rapid pace. Beyond the traditional credit, operational, and market risk types, we're now looking very carefully at cyber-risk, technology risk, and climate change risk.
How will risk management function evolve concurrent to the industry?
There used to be only one path to move towards a CRO role — through wholesale credit risk. With more risk types coming to the forefront of banking, we now seen CROs from other risk types, such as retail credit risk and operational risk specialists. My view is that the increasing dependence on data analytics is unavoidable but is one that can lose in the matrix data. Risk management will continue to need to bring in practical experience and healthy scepticism to the table to help optimise decision making.
Disclaimer: The content was written in July 2021 and the video was taken in April 2021. Information, views, opinions, and recommendations expressed belong to the interviewees thereof. They do not necessarily reflect the views of CFA Society Malaysia. In no event shall CFA Society Malaysia be liable for any damages resulting from their opinions.