Citing a significant rise in salaries for risk professionals over the past decade, with risk officers making in the millions these days, James Lam, founder and vice chairman of eRisks, presented an online conference on the evolving role of the chief risk officer. Over 150 risk professionals joined in to the conference, which was co-hosted by recruiting firm DDJ Myers and highlighted a move toward enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) and a more heightened awareness of risk management in the financial services workplace.
Lam outlined the increasing need for ERM in the wake of past risk management disasters, as well as more recent trends in globalization, evolving financial products and technology advances. Overall, he adds that an ERM program can improve management effectiveness, reduce losses and increase shareholder value. According to online polls taken throughout the conference, more than a quarter of the respondents have more than 10 years experience working in the risk management field while another 9% had 7 to 10 years experience, 21% have 4 to 6 years of experience and 16% had 2 to 3 years of experience. The overall presence of a chief risk officer at the companies of the conference participants seemed to be divided down the middle. When asked whether or not their firm has a chief risk officer in place, 23% already had someone performing in that capacity, while 25% did not, but planned to in the next two years. The remaining 52% did not have any plans in the next two years for a chief risk officer.