While banking digs out of an abyss largely considered to be self created, the executives in charge of abyss-avoidance are feeling the heat of the spotlight, and seeing many aspects of their jobs re-imagined as the industry is remade. And that's just the risk officers that have survived - many haven't. "As a former chief risk officer myself, I think that as a risk profession, we need to do a soul search as to what went wrong, and what changes need to be made," says James Lam, a risk management consultant and former chief risk officer at Fidelity Investments who's regarded as one of financial services' first CROs.

That strategic soul-searching is going on in bank boardrooms and executive suites, but it's the chief risk officers that must carry out the emerging marching orders to accurately asses all forms of risk, and ensure that risk posture is in line with the institution's appetite. CROs are being charged with a broader swath of IT-related risk management, including deeper vendor due diligence and supervision, reconciliations of financial risk reporting among disparate and sometimes feuding bank departments, cross-enterprise data management, and merger conversions that in some cases involve target institutions with troubled risk profiles.

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