The 4 Essential Behaviours Of A Future CRO

Written by EO Executives on Mar 12, 2015

The high level of recent fines has served to highlight the fundamental importance of the CRO to the point that the acronym CRO could now stand for “Court Repellent Officer”!

A decade ago many financial services organisations considered a Chief Risk Officer as a luxury and not a “must have” executive.  As a direct result of this viewpoint the Risk Management space was often viewed as a career path to avoid.

How times have changed.

Our team have spent more than a decade networking with and representing the smartest minds in Risk.  During this time the CRO has undoubtedly become a true C-suite position and is now considered a critical hire.

The modern CRO is fundamentally a new role meaning that there are a limited number of individuals who have the specific skill sets that the job requires.  Because of this, organisations tend to hire on potential or look to develop Risk Management talent from within.

So, what are the 4 key behaviours should you look out for to spot an effective future CRO?

1. Leadership Behaviours

Successful CRO’s are able to drive and co-ordinate risk management teams while being an ambassador for the department at board level. Look for individuals who are structured and well aligned with the company and department values.

2. Communication Skills

A future CRO will be able to convey complex risk information to the board and others in a way that is understandable and makes sense.  Look for individuals who don’t just sit behind screens but are naturally disposed to be out in the company engaging, influencing and educating.

3. Ability to Challenge

A great CRO is able to deliver well thought out points of view and business cases to enable change. Your future CRO will be someone who naturally questions the norm, is able to navigate complexity and offer pre-emption of future issues.

4. Technical Interest

There’s no hiding from it – risk is a technical subject that is ever evolving.  A strong future CRO will show an interest in gaining clear understanding of regulatory and compliance issues and take pride in being at the forefront of any changes in the marketplace.  These individuals love gaining accurate knowledge and are not afraid to share it. 

What Next?

As with most leadership positions, finding a great CRO relies on your ability to identify the right behaviours during the assessment process. Introducing more rigour into how you hire senior risk individuals by using science and technology is a great way to start. Download our ebook ‘Eliminating Deception To Make Better Hires’ and learn how you can de-risk your hiring process.

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