Commercial Risk Management: What is it about?
5 years consulting: lessons learned
My furthering journey at TriFinance Financial Institutions
July 2020 – Persistent low interest rates, significantly increased credit risk and economic challenges caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic put financial institutions’ business models under severe pressure. In addition, commercial departments of banks and insurance companies have to stay on top of rapidly evolving customer expectations, monitor market evolutions and make sure that emerging risks are managed properly.
Get a glimpse of my day-to-day activities as a commercial risk consultant at one of Belgium’s largest retail banks. Find out more about my work, the lessons I’m learning and how I further myself and my career at TriFinance.
Interested to read more about my first three years at TriFinance? Click here!
As a first line commercial risk expert, my goal is to provide risk management continuity within a financial institution’s commercial organisation and strengthen its relationship with the second and third line of defence. Together with non-financial risk SPOCs of different commercial departments I carry out the identification, controlling, managing and reporting of (non-) financial risks (e.g. compliance-, third-party-, business continuity-, security- and process risks).
In order to provide continuity and ensure follow-up, I’ve installed a Commercial Risk Committee during which members (i.e. CCO, Commercial Directors, first line NFR SPOCs and 2nd line experts) and guests follow up on (non-financial) KRI’s, incidents, results of internal controls, recommendations and ad hoc topics & evolutions (e.g. Covid-19).
Furthermore, I provide ad hoc risk support & expertise on topics such as MiFID II suitability requirements. During my assignment, I supported the client to prepare the ESMA Common Supervisory Action (CSA) 2020 on the application of MiFID II suitability rules conducted by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). This included supporting the overall coordination of the inspection at the client’s side, providing input to complete the survey, gathering the required data and reporting to c-level executives.
"Carefully maintaining relationships between all stakeholders is a tough challenge but determines a mission’s success. "Wouter Spitaels - Project Consultant
Working as a commercial risk expert has been my 8th mission as a TriFinance Project Consultant. Being able to work at multiple clients within different company cultures enables me to grow tremendously as a risk professional. I learned several valuable lessons throughout my journey. It all comes down to this: be more like a llama. A llama is a very social animal and extremely curious. They will approach others easily and are protective of their herd. More specifically:
"In my opinion, 'creativity'is a fundamental consulting skill, which will soon become even more important when new technologies and financial ecosystems will disrupt the financial landscape as we know it."Wouter Spitaels - Project Consultant
Apart from the on-the-job experience and ultra (trail)running, which became quite addictive I must admit, I’ve furthered myself in different ways during these past 5 years. TriFinance offers a work environment in which knowledge and ideas can easily be shared. As a true Me inc.®’er, I take full advantage of the tools and opportunities offered:
After finishing his Master in Banking and Finance at UGent, Wouter Spitaels started his professional career at TriFinance. As a member of TriFinance’s Young Hub Program, TriFinance’s Young Innovation Board and Risk Management & Compliance Practice, Wouter worked on several risk management projects at four major clients within the Belgian financial sector. Currently, Wouter is working as a Commercial Risk Expert at one of Belgium’s largest retail banks.
For more info you can always contact Wouter Spitaels via firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 494 60 58 68.