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Exploring the ‘Interconnection of Risks’ at GCOR 2024

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With the countdown on for GCOR 2024, the premier conference on governance, compliance, and operational resiliency, we sat down with Sylwia Czajkowska, RMA’s associate director of operational and enterprise risk management and host of this year’s event, to discuss the key themes and considerations that shaped the conference agenda. Scheduled for June 10-13, the virtual conference will explore the evolving landscape of risk management through a series of expert-led sessions and workshops. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time to sign up for this essential industry event. 

Could you provide insights into the process for selecting the theme of GCOR 2024? 

The theme, “Interconnection of Risks,” emerged from discussions at peer-sharing events that highlighted the need for a holistic view of risk. We aimed to address this by designing sessions that explore the intersection of various risk factors and encourage collaboration across departments.

By delving into strategies for integrating risk management practices, GCOR 2024 will provide the tools and insights attendees need to navigate the intricate web of risks in today's banking environment. 

Through interactive discussions and expert-led sessions, we will explain how different risk management areas intersect and teams can collaborate.  Operational risk management (ORM), for example, needs to work closely with compliance to ensure that new regulations are seamlessly integrated into operational processes, and third-party risk management (3PRM) must align with technology departments to manage cybersecurity risks introduced by an external vendor. This interconnected approach promotes proactive management of these challenges, ensuring resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving threats. Our thematic approach underscores our commitment to facilitating meaningful dialogue and driving positive change within the industry, ultimately strengthening the foundation of risk management across financial institutions. 

What were the key considerations and inspirations driving this year’s agenda? How did you pick the topics? 

The driving force behind this year’s agenda was a common refrain from our members: “What’s old is new again.” It reflects the idea that longstanding practices and principles are being revisited and revitalized to address current challenges, such as renewing emphasis on robust internal controls to prevent fraud and ensure compliance.  

By shifting our mindset, we focused more on promoting cross-departmental learning and methods for proactive risk mitigation. Banks have asked themselves: “What can we learn from our peers to enhance our own practices? Are there emerging trends that we can spot early by connecting the dots across different functional areas?”  It is heartening to discover a growing emphasis among risk professionals on collaboration and breaking down silos.

With knowledge-sharing and progressive thinking in mind, RMA curated GCOR topics that reflect the evolving needs of our industry. The agenda includes a wide range of topics, from culture and risk appetite to AI and fraud—all aimed at equipping attendees with practical strategies to navigate today's complex risk landscape. 

As the host of GCOR 2024, what priorities and challenges do you think are top of mind for attendees, and how does the conference aim to address these concerns? 

My top priority was addressing the challenges that risk managers, including line of business, oversight teams, and regulators, currently face. It took extensive collaboration with our councils and committees to understand the industry’s top priorities and concerns. Through these discussions, we built a four-day agenda that reflects the industry’s evolving interests while returning to evergreen topics such as culture, risk appetite, AI, fraud, third-party risk, concentration risk, and compliance. By offering sessions that engage multiple parts of the bank, we draw attendees into meaningful discussions and equip them with actionable insights to improve their practices. The conference is a platform for exploring the interconnections of risk and gaining new ideas for evolving risk management capabilities.  

Given the rapid advancement of technology, including the adoption of generative AI, how does GCOR 2024 address operational risk management for the digital age? 

 We’re exploring these developments in depth. The conference features sessions on the risks of and opportunities for AI in risk management. Attendees will learn about new tools and techniques for identifying and mitigating risks associated with digital transformation. By sharing real-world examples and facilitating discussions among peers, we will help attendees better prepare for a range of scenarios they might face in the digital age.  

How is GCOR 2024 addressing resilience, and what innovative approaches will we see? 

Resilience has definitely become a buzzword in the banking industry. At GCOR 2024, we will move beyond the buzz to the heart of the concept of resilience. Sessions will highlight innovative strategies financial institutions are using to improve their resilience. We’ll explore practical, real-world approaches to building and sustaining resilience and encourage its integration into core organizational processes and culture.  Attendees will gain insights into the latest developments and challenges in the industry and learn how to effectively manage disruptions and maintain stability in an ever-changing environment. 

How do recent news events and trends influence GCOR 2024 topics? 

News stories about operational risk events inevitably lead to more scrutiny from boards and regulators, who want to understand their relevance to the industry. Typically, these headline-grabbing events lead to changes in practice. At GCOR 2024, we will focus on strategies and best practices to help our members manage reputational risk associated with these events and avoid negative publicity.  Our approach provides practical guidance for staying out of the spotlight and strengthening reputational resilience.   

What can you tell us about the keynotes scheduled for GCOR 2024? 

We’re excited to feature prominent industry leaders as keynote speakers again this year. They will cover a range of critical topics, aligning with the GCOR tagline “organized by the industry for the industry.” These include the evolving role of boards in risk management; current issues in compliance; the transformative impact of generative AI on banking; and insights from senior regulatory officials on pressing risks and regulatory issues facing financial institutions today. 

These sessions promise to deliver valuable insights and strategies attendees can apply with confidence to tackling the challenges ahead. 

Will longtime GCOR attendees notice anything new about the 2024 conference? 

Absolutely! While we continue to feature members of our trusted councils and committees, which have been integral to the GCOR conference since day one, we’re introducing many new speakers this year. These voices bring different perspectives and insights, reflecting bank leadership’s confidence in designating emerging talent to speak on behalf of their institutions. In the past, we mainly featured high-level executives, but this year we’re broadening the range of voices, showcasing expertise and innovation from all levels of the industry. 

This mix of familiar and first-time speakers ensures a diversity of perspectives. You will hear from experienced professionals and have the opportunity to share ideas with developing leaders. We are also proud of the range of institutions represented, from large banks to small ones. This variety promotes a rich exchange of ideas, where even the largest banks can learn from the resourcefulness of smaller institutions. It’s about finding innovative solutions with limited resources and learning from each other’s successes and challenges. 



RMA’s 18th annual Governance, Compliance, and Operational Resiliency (GCOR) Virtual Conference

In today’s rapidly changing world, managing operational risk is a necessity not an option. As your professional association, RMA takes great pride in developing practical, thoughtful, and timely programs designed to enhance your skills and increase your value to your institution. GCOR is the only governance, compliance, and operational resiliency conference developed by the industry, for the industry.