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Risk in Focus: Graham Findlater IRMCert, Head of Group Risk, The North of England P&I Association Limited

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asks its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they'd share with people looking to move into the industry.

 

Graham Findlater IRMCert

Head of Group Risk

North Group

The North of England P&I Association Limited

 

How did you get your job?

I started out training as an Actuary working in life assurance then general insurance, after reaching roughly a third of the way through the Actuarial exams I moved on to become a management accountant working in pensions management and then back to general insurance in 2010, my experience and knowledge put me in a strong place to work in finance implementing solvency II which naturally moved me into the risk management role I have today.

What’s a typical day like as a Head of Group Risk?

Work is aligned to a quarterly risk reporting cycle and varies with project work, so a typical day will involve a combination of projects such as financial risk of climate change or cyber underwriting risk and regular reporting, meeting with risk owners maintaining the risk register and assuring identified risk and control gaps are closed.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy that a risk role requires you to learn and understand the whole business; you are continually gaining knowledge, identifying new risks and adding value by working with risk owners to mitigate risk.

What are the challenges?

Working with risk owners to add value rather than been seen as a bureaucracy and finding the opportunity to work with people across the business (other than risk owners) identifying risk from the bottom up.

What would you say to others thinking about taking the International Certificate in Financial Services Risk Management?

If you’re starting out, the certificate provides a strong foundation for a career in risk, and if like me you moved to risk by osmosis the certificate pulls together a structure of work and provides a foundation for reference.

What have you been able to put into practice in your job as a result of what you have learnt?

The certificate has provided structure to my work and this brings confidence, I think PACED is the best acronym I’ve learnt (proportional, aligned, comprehensive, embedded, dynamic), you can apply its principles to most situations.

Top tips:

  • Learn the business, it’s products and market and learn the balance sheet from an analytical point of view
  • Build relationships across the business, consider their roles from their perspective, this approach will provide you with valuable knowledge and support
  • Take ownership of tasks, hold your confidence when your challenged.

 

 

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