Following the 2008 financial crisis, experienced risk professionals are in high demand as most firms now require a stronger line of defence to minimise operational losses. Risk is currently one of the most sought-after areas of financial services.
Here are some insights on the challenging career.
Risk is a niche skill set
Working in risk is demanding and within a very niche area of financial services. Even though recruitment in the market is active, demand for positions still outweighs the supply of candidates. Those currently in a risk role are aware of how competitive it is to work in the sector. While it is a difficult industry to get into, professionals often rise very quickly relative to their counterparts in other jobs..
Debunking the myths
There is a common misconception that risk managers are often rigid because of the technicalities involved in the job function. However, such professionals also require soft skills to move up the corporate chain. The higher level the position is, the more emphasis is placed on communication skills as professionals have to deal with stakeholders across all seniority of the organisation. Ultimately, a good risk manager would be able to manage the expectations of both external clients and their employers at the same time.
Roles and responsibilities
As a risk professional, there are a number of responsibilities which include developing a risk management framework for the clearing of OTC (Over the Counter) financial derivatives products such as IRS, FXT, FRAs and Total Return Swaps. The focus will be on managing methodology, valuation as well as stress testing. Managing risk also includes mastering monitoring tools that will facilitate prompt reviews and analyses of exceptions to key risk measures. Implementing risk frameworks within the organisation will also take close relations colleagues, technology vendors, potential clearing members and potential partners in the clearing facility.
Your career path
Professionals usually begin by obtaining technical certification such as a Masters in Financial Engineering. Aimed with a post-graduate qualification, they can then apply for roles such as Assistant Risk Manager before finally becoming the head of the risk department. The entire process from entry to managerial level typically takes about 5 to 8 years.
Experienced risk professionals are in high demand as most firms now require a stronger line of defence to minimise operational losses.
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