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Why CROs and Compliant Officers like Helane Morrison are Critical in the Corporate Word


The role of chief risk officers (CROs) is getting broader as financial companies change their perspective on risk. Apart from technical expertise, which is critical for the job, CROs are now expected to bring leadership and strategic thinking to the job. Traditionally, CRO jobs were synonymous with insurance companies. However, this situation changed with the role becoming prevalent in financial service firms over the last decade, especially after the 2008 financial crisis. The crisis led to a greater demand of accountability and transparency in risk management from the regulators.
In my view, a CRO should be a strategic thinker and have a wide and independent view of an institution. Additionally, the ability to foresee potential problems is important. The CRO role requires independence. From monitoring, identifying, and mitigating risks that are inherent to financial services like credit risk and operational risk, CROs work with compliance officers to conduct risk and manage compliance. This information was originally reported on The Wall Street Journal.
One of the top compliance officers that come to mind is Helane Morrison . She serves as the General Counsel, Managing Director, and Chief Compliance Officer for Hall Capital Partners. Helane Morrison is also a member of the company’s executive committee. She joined Hall Capital Partners in 2007. Before joining the firm, Helane Morrison served as the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco Office between 1999 and 2007. In her role as district administrator and regional director, she was responsible for regulatory matters, securities enforcement and litigation in Northern California in addition to five Northwest States.
According to Duncan Martin, a managing director and senior partner for Boston Consulting, London, cases of former regulators being appointed as head of risk management are not new. This is because they have been found to have the right skills. Helane Morrison has served as a regulator with the San Francisco SEC office . From 1996 to 1999, she was the head of enforcement and represented SEC in business, legal and financial communities as well as other government agencies. In addition, Helane Morrison has previously practiced law at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin based in San Francisco from 1986 to 1996. She became a partner in the law firm in 1991. Her practice specialized on business litigation and defense of SEC matters and private securities.
Because of the happenings in financial services, non-financial companies are becoming more interested in the CRO role. This is according to David Cook, a recruitment consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates. Things are changing and CROs are being viewed as generators of innovation given that the roles are evolving.
Connect with Morrison on LinkedIn.

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