Risk in Focus: Gervais Kasanga, IRMCert, M&G plc
Gervais Kasanga, IRMCert
Senior Risk Analyst
How did you get your job?
I was working in the 1st line of defence within wealth management, and I was offered an opportunity to join the risk team as a risk analyst. My career goal was to work my way into Compliance, but after doing some research I decided to take the role which was a sidestep at that time in my career.
What’s a typical day like as a Senior Risk Analyst?
At the start of the day go through and check my emails, and then go on to our Governance, Risk and Compliance System called MetricStream to scan for any events that have a significant impact so that I can go and ask the business some questions if i fell there may be some information I require clarification on. Then there may be a series of project meetings where I am involved to oversee from an operational risk perspective, which may involve challenging the business' decision making. Then when I have some quiet time, I like to spend my time reading the standards and policies which have been created by other teams in the operational risk team to get a better understanding of how it impacts the business.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The risk function is always privy to sensitive information and that is what I enjoy most about my job because I get to see decisions being made that drive the strategy of the business forward. I also enjoy the aspect of speaking to various colleagues in the business to understand the role they play in the wider company which gives me a well-rounded knowledge, as well as enabling me to support them with risk activities.
What are the challenges?
The biggest challenge is you will not be able to implement exactly what you want to do even though it is best practice, because it is more about getting buy in and achieving the goal in the long term. Another challenge would be ensuring roles and responsibilities remain within their respective lines of defence, as this is often blurred.
In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?
My qualification has helped solidify my understanding on risk jargon and the important role they play. This specifically helps me when speaking to the business to give them advice on best practice.
What would you say to others thinking about taking an IRM qualification?
IRM is one of the most recognised qualifications and so if you want to secure a role within risk management then this qualification helps to make you stand out.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?
This role has helped achieve two promotions within two years. Particularly when it comes to company restructures when you have a qualification it always benefits you.
My advice would be to learn more than you need to know in your role.
Take qualifications as early as you can to gain the benefit in the future; and
Never be afraid to make side-step moves in your career.