What is a Risk Analyst and what do they do?
As a Risk, Regulation and Compliance (RRC) Consultant, you play an important role in protecting your business from outside threats, criminal activity and data breaches. You are responsible for ensuring your business is compliant with regulating authorities, practicing due diligence and KYC and delivering remediation projects when required.
After training to become a Risk, Regulation and Compliance Consultant, you can go on to work as a Risk Analyst. Risk Analysts have a very niche role with their main duties including:
- Working across business functions such as Operational Risk or Credit and Market Risk
- Conducting risk assessments and monitoring business systems to identify potential threats
- Mitigating potential risk and proposing appropriate solutions
- Reviewing existing risk techniques or business processes to make improvements
- Carrying out reporting on a regular and ad hoc basis
Risk Analysts can work across a variety of industries, such as finance, banking, IT, healthcare, the public sector and much more, therefore their duties and responsibilities may differ slightly for each.
How to become a Risk Analyst
In most cases, in order to become a Risk Analyst, you will need an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as business, as well as appropriate work experience and qualifications.
At FDM, we offer you the opportunity to kick-start your career as a Risk Analyst without the requirement of a business degree or technical background. We will provide you with expert training and all the necessary qualifications to become an RRC Consultant, followed by the opportunity to work with our leading clients on an exclusive two-year placement. From this, you will have everything you need to go on and follow a career as a Risk Analyst, or many other exciting Risk, Regulation and Compliance roles, such as Project Analyst and Regulatory Analyst.
A Day in the Life of a Risk, Regulation and Compliance Consultant
We caught up with two of our graduate consultants: Dhimant Mehta, Regulatory Support Business Analyst, and Michael McGrory, Project Analyst, to find out what the typical day of an FDM RRC Consultant looks like and what they’ve learnt along the way.
What are your main roles and responsibilities?
Dhimant: During my first placement with FDM, I was a Regulatory Support Business Analyst within the Anti-Financial Crime division of a global financial institution. My team was responsible for conducting assurance reviews for all remediation work completed by stakeholders and addressing any recommendations made by regulatory bodies. I was in charge of tracking the delivery of the remediation and facilitating its review. Additionally, I was also required to assist stakeholders with the completion of deliverable lifecycle events in the bank’s Findings Management system.
Michael: I worked at an investment services provider as a Project Analyst within the Compliance and Ethics division. I was involved in a project focused on internal working policies, limitations and prohibited activities, aimed towards reducing the number of queries from employees to the regional ethics officers globally.
The final deliverable of the project was a virtual chatbot operated on a 24-hour basis that could provide employees with helpful user guides and relevant information. My main role was to manage the content and development of the usability within the chatbot, making sure all of the internal policies were accounted for. I was also involved in a new ethics entry system rollout across the organisation along with producing analytic reports, which were circulated to the ethics officers in each region of the business.
What is your favourite thing about your role?
Dhimant: I really gained satisfaction from providing value to stakeholders and helping them out with various tasks - from using the bank’s systems to supporting them with information on specific deliverables. Secondly, throughout my placement I was able to interact with a wide variety of stakeholders, including some extremely senior employees. This allowed me to build valuable and lasting relationships, even after my placement has ended.
Michael: My role was extremely varied - each day was different and brought in new challenges and opportunities to learn. I also had significant exposure to senior and board-level managers, which fast tracked my personal development and integrated me within the company hierarchy early on.
What challenges did you face in your role and how did you overcome them?
Dhimant: The main challenge in my role was the creation of monthly Management Information reports, which I had no previous experience producing. In order to overcome this, I put in practice sessions where I would simulate the creation of the report and become familiar with the steps involved. This proved to be very beneficial for me and by the time I had to produce the actual report, I was confident with the process and my skills.
Michael: The main challenges came from working with different teams around the world and navigating the different time zones. Often it would mean either extremely early morning starts or busier evenings, and sometimes the flow of information was delayed, putting time constraints on the project. Together with my team, we managed to resolve this through strategic planning and outlining the right actions moving forward in daily Zoom ‘stand ups’.
What is your academic and professional background?
Dhimant: Prior to my time at FDM, I had completed an Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Law, which meant I wasn’t very familiar with Risk Regulation and Compliance, other than the Money Laundering Regulations. However, I was always interested in a career in RRC and once I joined FDM, I realised that I was going to be able to get such a role with no prior experience in the field.
Michael: I have completed an Undergraduate degree in Business Management and then continued my studies with a Master’s in International Business and Marketing. There was some crossover involved around general business laws and regulations, but much of what I have used on site has been situational based and “learning on the job”.
After I graduated, I was looking at ways I could enter the banking and financial services sector, and that’s when I applied to FDM’s RRC learning pathway. Since the last economic crash, companies have become reliant on their Risk and Compliance divisions, with employees in these areas having become integral in keeping businesses running operationally.
How did FDM help you get into your role?
Dhimant: As we all know, engaging with stakeholders and senior members of staff can be extremely daunting for some. Hence, the professional skills module in my FDM training was crucial for me - it allowed me to build confidence and provided me with the guidance to communicate effectively, especially when I was presenting to a group of people. Another vital part of my training was the Microsoft Excel module I received at FDM, which is a fundamental part of the creation of the monthly MI reports in my role.
Michael: Throughout my FDM training, I learned a lot about Risk Management, its importance in the financial industry and how to manage it. I got familiar with regulations, compliance functions and KYC. I came into FDM with very little work experience and in the span of two years I have had two placements, which allowed me to grow significantly.
What are your top tips for someone trying to get into an RRC role?
Dhimant: My top tip for someone trying to get into an RRC role would be to always be willing to learn and adapt to the changing environment. If you are not willing to continuously expand your skill set, you will be left behind in the developments of your role. Familiarise yourself with the tools you may need and be willing to use your own time to learn further – for me this was Microsoft Excel. Had I not known how to use Microsoft Excel as proficient as I do now, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to progress in my career.
Michael: My top tip would be to be as open minded as possible and seize every opportunity. You may find that even though you were trained in a certain pathway, the skills you develop during training coupled with the knowledge that you gain on site, will make you a more rounded candidate in the future. I originally trained in RRC, but have had two different placements in two different countries - the first in a KYC role in Dublin for a large investment bank and the second as a Project Analyst in the Compliance Division of an asset management firm based in London. Even if you choose a certain pathway, you will still have the chance to experience different roles.
If you’ve been inspired by Dhimant and Michael’s stories, why not check out the FDM Risk, Regulation & Compliance Graduate Programme to find out more for yourself?