INSEAD Participant Interview

The Science of Risk Management

Helen Dooley

Past participant of Risk Management in Banking
General Counsel
AIB Group

"It taught me that in terms of risk, even a small change can have a significant impact, both in the short- and long-term. You have to manage and mitigate risk and be aware of the consequences of actions. That is why in banking, risk needs to be taken into account in every decision."

Can you please introduce yourself?

I have been a banking lawyer for most of my career. I started in private practice and then moved into financial services, with the past nine years spent in-house in the banking world. I am currently head of legal and compliance at AIB Group, which is a retail domestic bank and which is 99.9% state owned.

Working in legal/compliance, what made you decide to come on the Risk Management in Banking programme?

Since working in the banking world, I’ve realised that asset and liability “risk management” is the engine room of a bank. Understanding how a bank’s balance sheet works is critical. For this reason, I think it is important to take every opportunity to learn and keep up-to-date with the latest changes and thinking in this regard.

In my role, I focus on the consumer side of compliance, but the programme helped me deepen my understanding of the prudential side.  

In addition, as a member of our senior management team, I am expected to contribute on a broader strategic level so anything that I can do to broaden my skills base is very helpful.

What were you expecting from the programme and were these expectations met?

A colleague had completed the programme the year before and highly recommended it. Partly as a result of this, I saw it as a valuable course that would give me a broad overview of risk management.

I came away with an even greater understanding of how critical it is in a bank to manage the balance sheet and the profit and loss levers and how sensitive they are to movement.

It taught me that in terms of risk, even a small change can have a significant impact, both in the short- and long-term. You have to manage and mitigate risk and be aware of the consequences of actions. That is why in banking, risk needs to be taken into account in every decision.

Ultimately, what the programme did was give me more confidence to contribute to discussions on capital and asset and liability matters. It also helped me get up to speed on the latest jargon and concepts.

What did you think of the teaching?

Jean is a very enthusiastic teacher and has a great love for the subject. He’s a great advocate for the course and he made it all very approachable. There’s a great mix of formal, traditional teaching and innovative learning (case studies and simulations).

Jean’s teaching shows that the science of risk management in banking is a deep field of research and he has a deep understanding of the workings of a bank.

Interested in the programme? Have a look at the Risk Management in Banking web page, or contact Mark Hoggarth, the programme advisor, on +33 (0)1 60 72 40 38 or at mark.hoggarth@insead.edu.

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