On April 4, Edward
J. DeMarco Jr., General Counsel and Director of Operational Risk at RMA,
welcomed attendees to Day One of a sold-out GCOR XI in Boston. Throughout RMA’s
eleventh annual Governance, Compliance, and Operational Risk Conference,
industry experts discussed their views on cyber resiliency and third-party risk
management, with an emphasis on the role of culture.
Spyro Karetsos, director of Enterprise Risk Services,
SunTrust Banks, delivered the conference’s opening address, entitled “Alternative
Perspectives in Operational Risk Management.” He said operational risk is “an
avalanching scope of responsibilities,” and operational risk professionals need
to decide how to involve their operational risk teams.
Houston, senior executive vice president and chief risk officer, Huntington
Bancshares Incorporated, and RMA chair, then gave a thought-provoking keynote
address on lessons learned about identifying and understanding a proposed
M&A transaction’s impact on the risk profile, the importance of risk
management in M&A activities, the keys to successful due diligence, and the
challenges of merger integration.
Dean Yoost, author of the new RMA-published book A Director’s Voyage through Risk Management,
shared insights to help board members thrive amid seemingly overwhelming
demands. Among other tasks, regulators expect boards to provide a “credible challenge”
to management, help set a proper tone from the top, and have a much better
understanding of the financial services industry than many directors did before
the crisis. He said directors are also cautioned not to encroach on the duties
of management, because this could impair their ability to perform oversight
efficiently and effectively.
The conference also featured presentations on risk appetite,
cybersecurity and vendor risk management in ERM, blockchain, technology and
innovation, and more.
Panel discussions included topics on industry issues,
insights, and trends, and incentive compensation governance and risk.
A more detailed article on the highlights of GCOR will be
published in the July–August issue of The