“Protect reputation and assets through risk management: policies, implementation, processes and controls.”

Twenty years ago having a strong internal control system was enough. Today, a business must be aware of the risks it faces on a 360 degree basis, and manage them appropriately, be it through acceptance, avoidance, mitigation, prevention or insurance. Compliance with rapidly evolving and constantly tightening laws and regulations is nowadays more essential than ever before.  Doing this effectively in businesses whose main purpose is still to grow sales and profits requires clear and appropriate governance structures.

If risk analysis, compliance and governance can be made useful to the daily business rather than just an oversight burden, it becomes much easier to implement appropriate systems.  Examples of initiatives I have led in this area include:

  • Proposing and implementing a new approach and organisation for group enterprise risk management, harmonizing and streamlining existing resources and processes, eliminating duplication.  Introducing checks and balances by segregating responsibility for operational risk management from risk assessment.
  • Redesigning the internal audit approach, where limited resources were available, to re-focus for a period on high risk and working capital areas, as well as education to line management on their duties for but also benefits of control and compliance.  Once the audit function was perceived as “useful”, a number of operations actually requesting to be audited.
  • Encouraging a business to take a leading role to evolving conflict-free minerals regulations.  This led to achieving a number of “industry firsts” in certification, giving rise to significant reputation enhancement, marketing opportunities, and several appointments to influential industry bodies.
  • Established a global helpdesk and knowledge sharing network for duties and tariff compliance in respect of complex shipments of commodities.

I have a clear understanding of the sometimes difficult interaction of doing business and being compliant, having served on a compliance committee responsible for vetting of all potential customers, and rejecting business for possible concerns about money laundering, tax evasion or corporate and social responsibility.

For businesses contemplating a sale of fund raising, effective risk management is an important part of being Due Diligence Ready.

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