Richard Steinberg 270004HRBG firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  grc risk_management | 0 Comments | 1,107 Visits
We know that MF Global, the firm run by Jon S. Corzine, recently imploded under the weight of bad bets and huge leverage. Reports say that Corzine, former U.S. Senator, Governor of New Jersey, and co-head of Goldman Sachs, did at MF Global what he did at GS – and that’s take large risks in trading. How, one could ask, could it have turned out so wrong?
Effective risk management processes have at their core identifying, analyzing and managing risks. It will be a while before we know all the details of MF Global’s risk management process, but it appears to have worked reasonably well. Wait, what – is that a misprint? Probably not.
Based on reports, Corzine knew the risks he was taking. Basically, he bet that the European leaders would act in a way to alleviate the sovereign debt crisis. He put over $6 billion of the firm’s money at risk, which with the associated leverage put the firm’s existence at risk. And the firm’s risk officers also knew, and they seemed to have done what they were supposed to – they brought the matter to the board of directors. Reports say a senior risk officer described the situation and the risks to the board, with Corzine present. The risk officer pointed out not only the nature and size of the risks, but also that risks included both potential defaults on the sovereign debt and the bonds losing sufficient value to cause a liquidity crisis at the firm. The directors listened, and decided to approve what Corzine was doing.
Now, we weren’t in the room with the directors, or inside their heads, so we don’t know whether they made a thoughtful and rational business judgment, or whether they rolled over under Corzine’s undue influence. If the latter, then they failed in their job. But if the former, then they determined that they and the firm had a risk appetite large enough to “bet the ranch.”
So, whether this is a failure of risk management will be decided as the investigations continue and more facts emerge. And of course the missing “segregated” client funds is another matter, likely centered on specific internal controls over that money and what control activities might have been overridden by more senior executives. Also at issue is whether regulators did their job effectively. It will be interesting, indeed, to learn more, as no doubt we will as the investigations unfold.
Erwin Boeren 270002C43V ERWIN.BOEREN@NL.IBM.COM | | Tags:  openpages research grc algorithmics enterprise ibm management risk | 1 Comments | 2,404 Visits
In the last 2 months three independent researchers have given their opinion on IBM’s approach to risk management. All 3 are very positive towards the areas of Innovation, Market Presence, Functionality and Enterprise GRC capabilities.
Forrester in the Forresterwave EGRC 2011: The OpenPages platform remains one of the most consistently strong enterprise GRC platforms on the market today. The company’s vision is to enable senior management to make strategic risk and reward decisions to improve business performance and reduce exposure to risks and loss on investments. The OpenPages platform’s GRC management and analytics features are just one example of where this mission will play out."
Gartner in its September update: The OpenPages platform has solid capabilities in all the core functions, has above-average support for ERM and ORM, and is rated very high on financial reporting integrity compliance. It continues to execute consistently on a well-planned road map.”
Chartis published its Risk Top 100 last November with IBM ranked the No.1 vendor in the area of Risk Management. With special rewards for Functionality, Market Presence, Innovation, Fund & Asset Management, Market Risk, Operational Risk and Enterprise GRC.
In the Chartis RiskTech 100 IBM was measured for the first time along the qualitative and quantitative risk capabilities (read the acquisitions of OpenPages and Algorithmics). In the Gartner and Forrester publications the latest Algorithmics acquisition was not taken into account.
Interesting enough researchers praise IBM for immediately adding value to its acquisitions. One year ago IBM was ranked number 7 in the RiskTech 100 and now IBM is on top of the list. Not because the individual products are that good but because the minimal overlap and immediate integrations create added value for customers.
Adding Risk to the area of Business Analytics (Business Analytics is one of the 4 key initiatives of IBM towards 2015, driven by our new CEO Gini Rometty) is a great step into Smarter Risk. Capabilities like predictive intelligence, driver based planning, regulatory reporting, scenario testing, forecasting, dashboarding, scorecarding, reporting and analysis will give a great boost if you apply this to risk. This is where the convergence of performance management and risk management create great value for our customers.>
Blog post from Erwin Boeren, Governance Risk & Compliance Leader IBM Europe