CEO’s Day Out With Risk Managers

CEO’s responsibility for risk management has increased after the financial crises. Risk managers wish that they could read a CEO’s thoughts when they have meetings to do a better job. The big question is – What is really going on in a CEO’s mind?

Here is some telepathy from a CEO on his day scheduled to meet his risk management teams.

9 a.m.: Head of Internal Audit

This is going to be a long day. Let me understand what internal audit team has done the past month. After having three meetings with them I still don’t have the hang of things.

They carry on talking of ERM, ISO 31000, COSO, GRC and a number of other jargons. I don’t have the slightest idea how these will help meet the strategic objectives of the company.

Last time I asked a simple question – “is the organization SOX compliant?” I received a long explanation of the “C” of GRC standing for compliance or internal audit. How do I give a damn? Why can’t they respond with a simple yes or no?

Let it be, the regulators are not knocking at the door, so the team must have taken care of it. The CFO can deal with them.

11 a.m.: Head of Fraud

Oh no, whenever I see this man’s face I break into a cold sweat. He is always delivering one bad news one after another. I can’t take this anymore.

Maybe, I will put his beautiful deputy as the head of the department; at least my heart will race for the right reasons. Stop! That deputy is head of recently formed sexual harassment committee. My fate will be worse than Mark’s. Poor chap. One small indiscretion and the whole roof crashes. CEO’s are not God, why don’t they get it.

I hope this man has everything in control. I hate that competitor’s CEO, but didn’t wish that massive fraud on him. The market price of his company went down by 10% in 5 days and he is not going to meet his targets this year. If something like this occurs here, what will happen to my bonus and stock options?

1 p.m.: Lunch with Physical Security team

It is nice to have lunch with an energetic team. With terrorism and crime, increasing each organization needs these men.

Hey, wait a minute, why are they describing the gruesome details of the recent terrorist attack at lunch. How can they talk about bombs, blood and food in the same breath? When that man was eating the strawberry, I for a minute thought he was swallowing raw liver. Something is wrong with their psyche. Can’t say that to them. I am in my 50’s.

Never mind, they keep the offices and premises secure. Better, pat them on the back for doing a good job.

2.30 p.m.: Head of Business Ethics

Hold on, I got distracted there. What is he saying? He has turned vegan and now he wants me to issue some orders about the non-vegetarian food served in the canteen.  Aha, something about animal fat oil used to cook vegetarian food.  I don’t even know the name of the oil used at my home and he expects me to worry about office canteen food!

What is wrong with this man? Next, he will be talking about having morning prayers in office.

3.30 p.m.: Head of Information Security  

I wonder if his team is reading my mails. Last week when I passed his two confidantes, they were sniggering. That fiasco occurred the same day. Maybe I should get some external consultants to check it. What is the use? The systems are in these guys’ hands, they will again revert to reading my mails. I just hope they don’t leak out confidential information to competitors or have someone hack the systems. With the hackers targeting all big companies, I can’t stop worrying.

 4.30 p.m.: Chief Risk Officer

Welcome, the master of them all! Last week when I crossed him in the corridors, he didn’t wish me. Nowadays he has a frozen look on his face. Completely expressionless ! Maybe dealing with all the bad news is getting to him.

No, wait a minute, why does he have a condensing look on his face. Maybe I have got this wrong. Previously he used to bow in respect, treat me like God. Now he ignores me. Oh, he knows more about what is wrong with the company than I do. I am dependent on him and he gets that. I can’t even fire him without board permission.

I will have to figure out how to set him right.

5.30 p.m.: Day-end

 Thank God, the day is over. I still haven’t figured out how to deal with the Board’s Risk Management Committee. Last month I could pull of the excuse that my throat was bad due to flu and didn’t say much. These risk managers did all the talking. What do I do this month?

If Vikram had managed Citi better, I wouldn’t have to swallow this bitter pill every month. Now CEOs are responsible for risk management and Vikram takes away a cool $200 million payout for all the trouble he has caused us.

What an odd bunch to deal with. At least they are off my back for 30 days. I will just keep my fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong meanwhile.

I need a couple of drinks tonight.