A day in the life of: a Senior Risk Partner

Andrew Glenister ResizedAndrew Glenister, CIRM
Senior Risk Partner
EE

How did you get your job?

I initially joined EE in September 2000 when they were still known as One2One and worked in various Change Management and Best Practice roles around Finance. In 2006, a new Assurance team was created including Audit, Controls and Risk and it was at this point that I moved into the Internal Controls team to help implement the new Sarbanes-Oxley Internal Control Framework. I had very little experience with risk management before but always felt that it sounded like a fascinating area to work; with the opportunity to get involved in, literally, every area of the business and add real value to the corporate governance and decision making processes. So, when a company restructure meant that there was an opportunity to take over the risk role in the team, I went for it.

What’s a typical day like as a Senior Risk Partner?

This really depends on where in the company’s “risk reporting cycle” we are. There are times, during reporting cycles, we are all hands to the pump to get reports on risk updated and refreshed; then there are periods where we can concentrate on embedding good risk practices and meeting with stakeholders, etc. (the good bit!).

What do you enjoy most about your job?

With this role, I get involved with every single area of the Company. Risks can arise in any area at any time; I need to be aware of what is going on across the Company commercially, strategically and operationally, as well as being aware of all compliance and reputational aspects. I also enjoy working with many varied stakeholders, with many different expectations and requirements, to roll out good risk and governance processes to, hopefully, provide benefits to their areas!

What are the challenges?

The main challenges, apart from tight reporting deadlines, are around convincing stakeholders to adopt risk and governance practices that can be seen as ‘just administrative and compliance activities’. The reward is bringing sometimes difficult stakeholders along a journey to a point where they understand and appreciate the benefits of risk and governance.

In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?

My IRM qualifications have helped in a couple of ways: firstly, and most importantly, the process of getting these qualifications has really helped to learn and embed the principles of risk management. Knowledge of these principles has helped me every day, even when not performing tasks that are specifically related to risk management. The second way that the qualifications have helped is giving me the self-confidence and belief in the advice I am giving to business areas and the respect and recognition from them that I am an expert in my field!

What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?

Do it. Simple as! The networking, knowledge-sharing and educational benefits that the IRM gives really are second-to-none.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

My role has developed in parallel to my personal development, to be honest. As I learnt more and gained more experience in risk management and governance, I have been able to take this into my role and develop the Enterprise Risk Management process in the Company.

Top Tips

Everyone in every role every day works on risk – get involved with your team management, look for opportunities to identify risks and threats in your area and, if appropriate, even start to work with reporting into your Company’s central risk team. I moved through Internal Controls into the risk field but Internal Audit is also another closely related area. If there are no opportunities in Risk itself, Controls and Audit offer the same benefits and always work closely with Enterprise Risk.

If you are already working in risk and don’t already have a qualification, I would strongly recommend the IRM Certificate and Diplomas; these are the Gold standard for risk and governance globally and really demonstrate a commitment to good practice.