Are You Right for a Role in Risk Management?

What is a risk management firm?

Risk management firms offer advice on the potential outcome of investments, activities and relationships, assessing the level of risk associated with decisions – or maintaining the status quo – to protect the profitability and operations of their clients. 

These firms work closely alongside senior figures within an organisation, drawing up plans to minimise threats in areas of the business such as logistics, HR, IT and finance, based on the level of risk an organisation is willing to take.

As risk ultimately boils down to profit and loss, risk management firms play a key role in the finance sector, helping clients to seize opportunities and mitigate threats.

How are risk management firms unique in this sector?

Risk management firms analyse market trends, develop strategies, and conduct due diligence for their clients. Communication is their end goal, whether that’s to project financial gains and losses, or conduct policy audits – any of their findings have to be understood by the people who manage a company’s activities.

While asset management is a close cousin to this line of work, risk managers have no direct control of their clients’ funds. They can make suggestions and predictions, and provide safeguards for investment, but they exist solely in an advisory capacity. 

Remember too that ‘risk’ is a term that can be applied to any facet of an organisation. Risk managers have to gauge the outcome of scenarios such as missed deadlines, issues in a product’s development cycle and environmental disaster.

Roles in a risk management firm

Risk managers can perform a number of different functions, and there are several roles (ascending in seniority) available to anyone pursuing this career:

Business Head: Managing functions lying within a firm’s risk management policies, closely monitoring levels of organisational risk.

Internal Auditor: Preparing and reviewing independent assessments for effective risk controls.  

Risk Managers: Actually deploying risk management policies on behalf of the Risk Committee. 

Risk Committee Member: Passing orders to risk managers and reporting to the Board for the purpose of maintaining firm standards. 

Audit Committee Member: Categorically checking that independent audits comply with policy. 

The skills you need to attract employers

Natural and varied communicator – you’ll need to present your findings both internally and externally, to people with varying degrees of financial knowledge. 

Good with numbers – you can identify certain costs, and evaluate how they’ll affect corporate projections.

An inspiring attitude – persuasion is the name of the game, so you must be able to convince clients of your expertise and professional acumen.

Market awareness – ideally, you have some prior experience or interest in the market you’re looking to advise on, before you take a risk management position.

Attention to detail – you can sort and pick vital statistics from a wide stream of data 

Click here to view a more in-depth article on Risk Management Skills

Key risk management firms 

Both public and private bodies, such as the NHS or Lloyds TSB, employ risk managers, yet there are many dedicated firms including:

Did you know?

  • The term ‘risk management’ has only been around since the 1970’s, born out of a need to motivate a new area of services, separate from basic insurance, as the effects of globalisation kicked in. 
  • Robert Simons, a Harvard business professor, invented the Risk Calculator, which has become a universal tool for making risk assessments. He’s still teaching today.
  • Corporate influence on the environment is one of the hot topics of the 21st century, and has directed much of current risk management policy. 

Assessing your future

Risk management is a dynamic career, letting you delve into huge pools of data and resources to inform decisions at all levels of an organisation. A lot can ride on investment and security concerns, and you can be the one to pull them off without a hitch. 

Now that you know what risk management firms are after, you can start planning ahead. Check out our vacancies to see graduate opportunities in this sector.  

Next: Comprehensive List of Leading Graduate Employers in Risk Management