The RMA and SRA Cohost 2nd Biannual Risk Maturity Framework User Group
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The RMA and SRA Cohost 2nd Biannual Risk Maturity Framework User Group

February 5, 2024

Watchtower Users Gather To Learn and Collaborate

On January 23, 2024, Strategic Risk Associates (SRA) and The Risk Management Association (RMA) cohosted our second biannual Risk Maturity Framework User Group Meeting. The meeting provided valuable insights into 2024 trends, reporting functions, and best practices for organizations implementing the framework. Over 40 power users of the Watchtower Risk Maturity Framework tool joined to learn and share valuable feedback. Below are some key highlights of the meeting for those who couldn’t attend, or those looking to advance their risk maturity in 2024.

2024 ERM Insights

The meeting kicked off with keynote speaker Avani Parekh, SVP Risk Executive Advisor of TD Bank who lead a discussion on ERM Insights for 2024. Parekh encouraged organizations to take a broader view of their investments, including their risk management teams. She acknowledges the increasing regulatory expectations and the dynamic nature of compliance standards.

“Today’s satisfactory is tomorrow’s requires improvement”

Parekh further called out the need for elevated standards within the realm of financial and non-financial risk, questioning how organizations can instill enterprise risk management as a fundamental mindset across the entire organization, not just within the risk department. Risk management needs to be connected to every part of the organization, from compensation to future strategy. She also touched on the increased focus around peer benchmarking analytics, establishing and evolving risk appetite, and getting back to the basics of risk management.

During the meeting, we asked participants their top three priorities for their risk department in 2024. Their responses created this word cloud, with the three most common priorities being:

  • Talent
  • Risk Assessments or implementing Risk and Control Self-Assessments (RCSAs)
  • Enhanced Reporting

Using Reports within RMA Risk Maturity Framework (RMF), Powered by SRA Watchtower

An exciting highlight of the meeting was a breakout session on how reports can be leveraged within the tool. Some participants highlighted best practices on how they use the Risk Profile with KRI reports to present risk to the Executive Committee and the Board. This report can give a summary or detailed presentation of risk and risk improvement activities for the entire organization. It also opens the door for discussions on risk appetite and risk maturity between key risk management leaders and the Board, to ensure alignment. Discussing current risk maturity and the associated tasks to reach risk appetite has been a useful effort to ensure strategy is in sync with the organization’s risk and performance objectives.

Lastly, many bank participants expressed that they have shared the RMF reports with their regulators. This proactive approach was been met with positive feedback from the regulators and allowed them to efficient conduct their examinations.

Challenges & Successes of Implementing the RMF

Participants recognized and stressed the importance of companywide adoption and socialization for the post-assessment concepts, but many have been facing challenges around socializing the findings. This goes back to creating a very risk aware culture from top down.

Most bank users complete the assessment annually, which works very well based on their size and performance outcomes of initiatives. All attendees unanimously agreed that the peer benchmarking dashboard that launched in 2023, is a true validation of risk progress, and have enjoyed the ability to track audit findings and compliance monitoring reviews through the Risk Improvement Activities (RIA).

Conclusion

The RMF User Group Meeting highlighted the importance of strategic integration, effective reporting, and continuous improvement in adapting to the dynamic nature of risk. Organizations shared their challenges, successes, and suggestions, contributing to a collective effort to enhance risk management practices. The commitment to improvement, as evidenced by the forthcoming reporting function revamp in 2024, underscores the dedication of both SRA and RMA to providing valuable tools for effective risk management in the financial industry.

On behalf of SRA and the RMA, thank you to all participants for being an integral part of this incredible gathering. Your passion for risk management and dedication to excellence have energized us to continue innovating and creating solutions that empower you.

We look forward to hosting more user groups like this in the future. Keep an eye out for more exciting updates and events from SRA and RMA as we journey together to unleash the true power of risk management.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, RISK LEADERS!

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