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Practical Risk Management: An Executive Guide to Avoiding Surprises and Losses

ISBN: 978-0-470-84967-5
176 pages
August 2003
Practical Risk Management: An Executive Guide to Avoiding Surprises and Losses (0470849673) cover image


A proven way to manage risk in today's business world
Understanding how the risk process works is a critical concept that business professionals must come to learn. For those who must understand the fundamentals of risk management quickly, without getting caught up in jargon, theory, mathematics, and formulas, Practical Risk Management is the perfect read. Written in a clear, fast-paced and easily digestible style, this book explains the practical challenges associated with risk management and how-by focusing on accountability, governance, risk appetite, liquidity, client risks, automated and manual processes, tools and diagnostics-they can be overcome. After finishing this book, readers will have a solid understanding of the risk process, know which issues/questions are of critical importance, and be able to determine how their specific risk problems can be minimized or avoided.
Erik Banks (Redding, CT) is currently Chief Risk Officer for Element Re. Prior to that he spent several years at Merrill Lynch in market/credit risk management roles in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and the United States. He is also adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Connecticut, where he teaches MBA students. Richard Dunn (London, UK) works for Merrill Lynch. He single-handedly restructured Merrill Lynch's risk function post in 1998 into its current form.
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Table of Contents



Introduction: Financial Risks and Avalanches.


1. Losses: One-Hundred-Year Floods that Happen Every Three Years.

2. The Basics: A Common Understanding of the Risks.

3. Liquidity: The Heart of the Matter.

4. Suitability: Coping with Customers.

5. Process Risks: The Next Frontier.

6. Measurement: Quantifying the Risks.


7. The Risk Management Process: Building the Foundation.

8. The Financial Risk Mandate: Developing a Philosophy and Loss Tolerance.

9. Risk Principles: Creating a Code of Conduct.

10. Financial Governance: Assigning Accountability for Risk.

11. The Risk Framework: Limiting and Controlling Risks.

12. Automated Management: Automating Discipline on the Front Lines.

13. Manual Management: Enhancing the Automated Discipline.

14. Nuts and Bolts: Supporting the Process with Essential Tools.

15. Ongoing Diagnostics and Transparency: Knowing if the Risk Process is Working.

Conclusion: Can there be Heroes?




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Author Information

ERIK BANKS has held senior risk management positions at several global financial institutions, including XL Capital, where he was Partner and Chief Risk Officer of the Bermuda reinsurer's derivative subsidiary, and Merrill Lynch, where he spent 13 years managing credit and market risk teams in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and New York. Mr. Banks, an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Connecticut, has written a dozen books on risk management, emerging markets, derivatives, merchant banking, and electronic finance.

RICHARD DUNN became the youngest member of Merill Lynch's Executive Committee in 1998. Concurrent with this appointment, he was made Head of Market and Credit Risk and was instrumental in the Wall Street "bail out" of hedge fund LTCM. Prior to this, Mr. Dunn was Co-Head of Merrill's Equity Division, Head of European Debt, and Head of Asian Debt and Equity. His training was in debt and equity derivatives. Mr. Dunn holds a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics, speaks Japanese, French and Italian, and is an avid snowboarder.

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