Elena Pykhova

Elena Pykhova is an expert in risk and resilience matters and author of a best-selling book, Operational Risk Management in Financial Services: A Practical Guide to Establishing Effective Solutions. Based in London, she is a renowned educator, who for many years has run public and in-house training courses in the UK and internationally for world-leading organisations including the London Stock Exchange Group Academy, The Moller Center, Cambridge University and Risk.net. Elena is also a thought leader, influencer and founder of a prominent industry think tank, the Best Practice Operational Risk Forum. She is a former Director for Education at the Institute of Operational Risk and chair of the Operational Risk Expert Panel for the Association of Foreign Banks. Elena founded her training and consulting practice, The OpRisk Company Ltd, after 20 years of experience in senior roles at Fortune 500 companies, such as Citigroup, American Express, Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and writes articles for Thompson Reuters, Advantage Talent Inc, Operational Risk and Regulation and other publications.

ECB Supervisory Priorities 2022-2024: What Operational Risk Professionals Should Focus on

03 May 2022
Knowledge Base

by Elena Pykhova

The three-year priorities published by the European Central Bank1 is a must-read document for risk practitioners. It outlines important areas of focus for the supervisors – and, equally, banks and their risk teams, who should be analysing and leading the organisational thinking by ensuring maximum awareness of the environment, comprehension of its impact and hence enhanced preparedness necessary to withstand the next crisis. In the post-pandemic environment, it is not surprising to see credit risk and market risk high on the regulatory agenda. As it relates to Operational risk, while it is explicitly mentioned only in relation to IT Outsourcing and Cyber resilience, it has in fact multiple touch points and direct correlation with other areas, whether linked to business model, governance or climate and environmental risk.  Continue reading…

Elena Pykhova

Elena Pykhova

Expert in risk and resilience matters and author of a best-selling book, Operational Risk Management in Financial Services

Positive Outlook for Risk Practitioners in 2022: Risk Recruitment is on the rise

13 December 2021

The importance of the risk profession has been increasing even pre-pandemic, and the demand for practitioners is on the rise. To quote Bloomberg, ‘risk management is suddenly a hot job’1, with firms looking to employ more resilience and crisis management experts. The regulatory landscape also influenced the hiring drive, with focus on hot topics such as cyber and third-party risk management. A survey conducted by the Best Practice Operational Risk Forum, comprised of risk professionals from over fifty international financial services firms, noted that risk recruitment in fact accelerated during 2021, with 45% of firms increasing the size of their risk teams. 74% remarked that the composition of the team has changed, with more focus on specialist roles.  Continue reading…

Operational Resilience: Industry study reveals progress in implementation, but notes action needed for assessing change initiatives

05 October 2021
Knowledge Base

by Elena Pykhova

Operational resilience has always been part of the agenda of financial services firms. During the past 18 months of the widespread long-lasting disruption, it has been put to the test, and it is not surprising that regulatory emphasis on maintaining continuity of critical operations has resulted in multiple recent publications. The Basel Committee’s principles for operational resilience1 urge the firms to up their continuity and recovery capabilities. UK regulatory guidance2 goes a step further, setting out a clear plan and roadmap for firms to define business services and their impact tolerances by March 2022 and ensure their ability to operate within set tolerances by 2025. So, how far advanced are financial services firms in complying with the new set of requirements? Continue reading…

Elena Pykhova

Elena Pykhova

Expert in risk and resilience matters and author of a best-selling book, Operational Risk Management in Financial Services

Firms continue to assess whether Working From Home (WFH) is reducing the effectiveness of the 2nd Line Risk Function

12 August 2021

Working from home has become a normality of the new reality. According to Eurofond1, as a result of the pandemic, almost half of the working population in the European Union was working remotely either fully or partially; a significant increase from the 10% of home-workers pre-COVID-19. During WFH, maintaining a sound control environment and exercising prudent risk management is essential. Risk management department plays a crucial role in achieving this objective. According to the 3 Lines Model2, updated and reissued by the Institute of Internal Auditors in 2020, Risk function assists by providing ‘expertise, support, monitoring, and challenge related to the management of risk’. But is WFH, with a somewhat strained informal interactions and communication channels, reducing the effectiveness of the second line function? Continue reading…

Operational risk management during COVID-19: Lessons learned

05 July 2021
Knowledge Base

by Elena Pykhova

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to dealing with financial challenges such as a drop in assets or liquidity, organisations are faced with issues that go to the core of operational risk management – people, systems, processes and the external environment. The crisis acted as a real-life stress test of existing frameworks and processes, and lessons learnt from the pandemic will trigger changes to how firms view and manage their operational risks.  Continue reading…