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Client Story

Global operational risk management framework implementation

Delivering a complex, global strategy with lean resources

Our approach and involvement 

As is often the case with Berkeley engagements, our involvement with this particular client was based on a long-standing relationship with a member of the executive team. The organization was delivering one of the largest implementations of a risk framework strategy in the industry and didn’t have sufficiently experienced resource to shape and drive the transformation.

Berkeley’s track record of successfully delivering large scale programs in complex, high stakes situations was a key factor in our client’s decision to engage Berkeley to manage this three-year program of work. 

Need for change 

Our client was one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, serving over 50 million customers through four global businesses, operating in over 70 countries and across a broad span of regulatory regimes. 

Since the financial crisis, regulatory bodies tightened regulatory requirements increasing the burden on firms. Many firms found themselves exposed to: 

  • Increased risk of financial losses, regulatory fines, and reputational impacts 
  • Increased executive and regulatory expectations / imperatives 
  • An increasingly complex landscape within which to deliver improvements.

Like many other banks, our client had been growing headcount and associated spend on operational risk compliance, but was not seeing the expected and necessary improvements in the control environment. There was also a risk that additional capital loading could be imposed by the regulator. This regulatory ‘stick and carrot’ was being used to drive material improvements within the bank, the most significant of which was the global transformation of its Operational Risk capabilities. 

Program management backbone 

Berkeley provided the program management ‘backbone’ for the transformation. We were responsible for setting and managing scope, ensuring that business design and system components fitted together coherently, and that the delivery plan was robust and well bought into. We provided the overall Program Manager role and five key roles across implementation leadership. 

With responsibility across the breadth of the management team, Berkeley worked with a mixed team of client, contractors and third-party consultancies, drawing together the capabilities required to deliver the Operational Risk vision and its associated organizational and regulatory benefits. 

Managing global change 

One of the most significant delivery challenges was consistency and quality of delivery across the bank’s global footprint to successfully land new roles and processes. Ensuring that every person in the organization understood the role they played and activities they executed in the management of operational risk is crucial. 

Berkeley’s experience in multi-geography change implementation helped to guide the bank through its own complex environment. The delivery model was predicated on partnership between the centrally led program team working in collaboration with key accountable senior business leaders representing each of the bank’s global businesses and functions. This ‘handshake’ model was new for the bank but enabled the achievement of some significant high-profile commitments. 

The Berkeley perspective 

Building on a long-standing client relationship, the program demonstrated how a relatively small Berkeley team in key roles can make a huge difference in delivering a complex, global strategy. 

In implementing a risk management framework we learnt that the key to success was to strive for consistency across regions, countries and lines of business to achieve a truly global view of the risk profile and enable management to respond to the most material issues.