Chief Risk Officers Are Taking on a Broader Role


The Wall Street Journal | May 1, 2016

The Wall Street Journal article, "Chief Risk Officers Are Taking on a Broader Role," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates' David Cookson about the expanding role of the Chief Risk Officer and the role they play in non-financial companies. The article is excerpted below.

As financial firms take a broader view of risk, the role of the chief risk officer is growing too, with CROs now expected to bring strategic thinking and leadership to the job, atop the strong technical expertise that’s always been an important part of the job.

The CRO was traditionally a role at insurance companies but became ubiquitous in financial services firms in the past decade and gained in stature after the 2008 financial crisis, which led regulators to demand greater transparency and accountability over risk management. More and more, the CRO is required to have a broad and independent view of the organization and be a strategic thinker, with an ability to anticipate potential disruptions and to influence decision making.


Although ubiquitous in financial services these days, CROs are still a rare breed in non-financial companies. But that may be changing.

“Because of what’s been going on in financial services, it has made non-financial companies interested in the CRO role,” said David Cookson, a recruitment consultant with Russell Reynolds Associates. Companies in other regulated industries, such as telecommunications and utilities, are starting to think about the role a CRO should have in their executive structure.

“Putting aside where they sit on [an organization’s] structure, they are looking for a strategic leader and one with a voice that will be heard across the organization,” Mr. Cookson said.

To read the full article, click here.


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Chief Risk Officers Are Taking on a Broader Role