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Darina Yusof, CFA

Country Chief Risk Officer and Head of Operational Risk

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad

Darina Yusof joined Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad as the country chief risk officer in January 2019.

As a career banker, Darina has almost 30 years of experience in various areas of banking encompassing risk management, corporate finance and banking, small and midsize enterprise lending and strategy. She currently leads a team of more than 200 risk specialists ranging from credit risk to market risk to operational risk.

Before serving in this role, Darina was the country chief risk officer and senior credit officer in Standard Chartered Bank Indonesia.

Darina graduated with a bachelor’s degree (honours) in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. In addition to being a CFA® charterholder, she also graduated top three in her year for the basic cuisine certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia.

“Vision, commitment, a positive attitude, an ability to embrace change and failure, great communication skills, including listening, are some of the strengths that I've found in truly amazing leaders.”

Darina Yusof, CFA


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.


Thinking About Your Next Career Step?

A CFA charter can help boost your finance credentials. The CFA Program is designed to equip you with the kind of expertise and real-world skills in investment analysis that will help you advance your career. Once you complete all three exam levels and demonstrate the required experience, you can apply to become a charterholder.

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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.

Be inspired by CFA® charterholders and learn how theirachievements can guide your career path.


Be inspired by CFA® charterholders and learn how their achievements can guide your career path.