More On Chief Risk Officers

My column in American Banker this week covers the Congressional testimony by the most recent and former Chief Risk Officers for MF Global. It’s a followup to my piece from January 19, 2012, “The Riskiest Careers in Financial Services, Finally Rewarded.”

I hope you all take the title of the column in stride. First of all, as often happens, it’s a title chosen by the editors, not me. Once in a blue moon I come up with an inspired title for my columns that’s both punchy and SEO friendly. That means the title catches your eye and catches the eye of the Google-bot.  More often my title choices lack one or both qualities.

Secondly, I do not believe the measure of a man or a woman is what they make. But in the case of the two MF Global CROs, the testimony they gave about their salaries, coming at the end in response to a question from a cranky Congressman from New Mexico, offered the perfect punchline.

The job of CRO is one of the toughest in financial services. In these difficult times, what’s needed is a CRO who will raise concerns, back them up with enough facts to convince even those most skeptical and take the consequences of his convictions. But if the CRO doesn’t have the right independence, expertise and stature in the organization, his objections will most likely be ignored and perhaps cost him a career.

Please read the rest at American Banker, “Judge Chief Risk Officers by Their Paychecks.”