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Integrate Risk Management Into Your Strategic Planning

Kevin Malicki keeps financial institutions up-to-date on Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) as Director of Product Management at Harland Clarke.


How SMART is your financial institution’s risk management program?

By SMART, I mean: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

As enterprise-wide risk management continues to mature in financial services organizations, growing pains are inevitable. Cohesion becomes a major challenge due to increased complexity of the regulatory environment.

This makes it all the more important that your risk management program is integrated into your strategic planning processes. This will strengthen your approach to identifying and assessing risk in a SMART way.

An enterprise risk management — or ERM — approach affirms a top-down process that provides a holistic view of key risk exposures. These can impede your institution’s ability to achieve its business objectives. This is why it’s crucial to include ERM in your strategic planning.

Adopting a few basic principles can help you achieve this. Such as:

  • Provide exposure to Boards and senior executives by sharing knowledge of risks with the goal of preserving and enhancing stakeholder value
  • Incentivize risk management by including it when determining roles and responsibilities and compensation
  • Develop layers of defense and the expectation required by them to manage risk
  • Strengthen risk leadership and calls for increased involvement
  • Provide risk goals and tracking mechanisms

Risk management can’t exist in a silo. It must be integrated into your institution’s strategic plans. The last thing you want is an exposure that negatively impacts your business.

Remember: Be SMART.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

>>Ready to improve your institutions’ risk and compliance efforts? Click here to get the 40 question checklist, “Questions Institutions Should Ask When Assessing Data Breach Risk.

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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