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9 Signs You May Have a Career as a Financial Risk Manager

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Financial risk managers (FRMs) spend 50% of their time managing risk despite having other duties according to a Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) survey.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, risk management has become more valuable for companies than ever.

A Deloitte poll found that 85% of the respondents attested to the fact their board of directors spent more time on risk oversight than a few years previously.

An FRM not only assists the firm to see where potential risks lie but they also point the organization to potential opportunities.

In a sense, FRMs are the bridge between where the firm needs to go (or not go) and those steering it. Consequently, many people are attracted to this career path.

Read on to learn the essential skills you need if you plan on becoming a financial risk manager.

1. Capacity to Work Under and Endure Pressure

As an FRM, your job entails working in a highly dynamic environment where situations can turn on a dime. Essentially, your career will be waking up every day to put out a new fire.

When an outcome that does not work in your favor occurs, you will need the capacity to think clearly while on your feet.

You have to possess the capacity to rationally assess sudden situations that put you under pressure and be the calm head that prevails in the room.

To help you make clear decisions under high tension, sign up for self-improvement classes. They will give you techniques that will assist you to cope with high-pressure situations.

2. Be a Problem Solver

Do you and others around you consider you a problem solver? Do you find people coming to you when they need a solution to an issue?

A financial risk executive exists not only to identify problems but to offer solutions to them as well.

Thus, if you do not have the ability to be an effective problem solver then you might find the job is not to your liking.

At higher levels, your job will entail crafting financial risk management processes solutions for the entire organization.

Therefore, you must learn the art of unpacking a problem to identify how to resolve it.

3. Financial Prowess

If you are looking to get into a career where you will be primarily concerned with assessing risk in finance, you need to be skillful with numbers.

While financial prowess does mean you need to understand your numbers, it goes beyond just that.

You will need the skill and expertise necessary to grasp and master various indicators tied to the firm’s financial universe.

It will be your duty to translate concepts that aren’t as objective and clear cut into specific and measurable ones.

Financial acumen will help you make clear and fast decisions. Pursuing financial education and skills is, therefore, a mission-critical priority if you are going to deliver on your targets.

4. Finance and Risk Academic Credentials

Strong FRM certification is one thing that potential employers will look for in your resume without fail.

Recruiters and hiring managers pay special attention to exemplary finance academic achievements. Such qualifications prove that you possess the necessary academic skills.

More than that, however, they inspire confidence that you have gone through a rigorous course that has instilled in you, habits that can make you excel at your job.

For example, you need to be an organized individual to achieve top marks in any reputable FRM program (click here for tips on how to get highly organized).

When any recruiter sees your qualifications, they immediately know that you can work with little supervision.

To work as a financial risk executive, you need to study and pass the FRM course by the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

5. Know How to Handle Regulators

A great part of your job as a financial risk executive will be to coordinate with regulators.

After the 2008 financial crisis, the government set even tighter regulations in sectors like banking.

Therefore, a significant part of your job will be to continuously research relevant regulations affecting your firm and industry.

Additionally, you will be expected to work closely with the compliance department

6. Networking Skills

You need to constantly be aware of developments in your industry if you are to successfully deliver as a financial risk executive.

Networking comes in as an excellent way to meet your peers and learn about what others are seeing that you aren’t.

You need the competency necessary to build and develop networks that can help you go the extra mile in growing your skills.

They say that your network is your net worth and that has never been truer than in finance risk control.

7. Excellent Communication and Presentation Skills

The work you do as a financial risk executive will be used by the board of directors and other senior officers.

Additionally, you will be collaborating with other departments where you will have to be presenting your work now and again.

If you want to work in finance risk control you need the ability to make your information relevant to non-fiance staff.

Effective communication and presentation skills enable you to help others make sense of important data.

8. An Eye for Detail

A financial risk executive often straddles two worlds. One is the industry at large where you have to keep up with the big picture and the other is the daily operations of your firm.

An eye for detail is a prerequisite for anyone interested in this position. You need to learn how to take notice of intricate details in your office and tie them to the larger context.

9. Domain Expertise

An effective financial risk manager must possess deep knowledge of the industry.

Once you decide you want to pursue this career, you should look for an older, more experienced team or officer to learn from.

That way, you get to benefit from their years of experience so that you can offer exceptional insights once you are employed.

Become a Valued Financial Risk Manager

The role of the financial risk manager in today’s corporate America is more vital than ever. As companies increasingly focus on risk management, career prospects for FRMs are only set to get better.

If you are weighing career prospects, check out expert life and career tips that can help you determine your next step.


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