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RSR Partners’ Risk Practice is anchored in the firm’s long track record and rich history of finding the best talent for some of the most sensitive and significant roles in the corporate world. In the lineage of our Founder and Chairman Russ Reynolds, our Risk Practice is based on a deep understanding of the challenges facing risk decision makers today.

Practice’s Key Strengths

  • World class track record and network
  • Thought leadership and subject matter expertise
  • An “opportunity” focused understanding of risk as the means to both capture value and avoid loss

In the current epoch of greatly expanded information availability, and in light of the explosion of highly technical risk methodologies and tools, including the nascent fields of artificial or machine enhanced decision making, the question of how to best make risk decisions has never been more pressing or presented greater opportunities. These new developments have also introduced new and unexpected sources of risk. For example, cyber risk, model risk, and the risks associated with robotic process automation have all joined the traditional risk categories: market, legal, regulatory, credit, audit and financial control, operational, reputational, political, and trade.

Into this exciting and challenging landscape, the practice begins with a simple concept: a “risk decision” is one which involves staking a possible loss for an uncertain gain, and many, perhaps most, decisions of interest in our personal and professional lives fall into this category. In this sense, although we may not think of it this way, we are all risk managers.

Key Trends in Risk

  • Re-balancing of talent from control to value creation, from in-house hires to external
  • Regulatory uncertainly and change
  • Changing demands and investor market discipline
  • Technological change and new kinds of risk

In the corporate world, however, these kinds of management decisions for good or ill, impact many stakeholders beyond the individuals responsible for making them. Doing this well often requires more than a skill set and a proven track record. It requires both the ability to understand new kinds of risk in a dynamic marketplace and the leadership of a team to arrive at the best decisions on the basis of limited information and time.

On one end of a spectrum, a risk decision may result in putting capital to work on a new venture. On the other is the myriad of risk decisions required to manage the teams, controls, and standards required to execute the day-to-day life of a successful enterprise. As a result, leaders in this field must understand commercial decisions, control, people management, technology, and the corporate risk appetite and culture of their firms. Traditionally, one of the best ways to meet this last and crucial criterion has been to recruit for risk roles internally. But this has drawbacks as well. Most pointedly, it often makes it more difficult for risk professionals to lead the way through new business opportunities, products, technologies, and corporate change. It also means that the pool of possible talent is limited to those who have experience with the firm, but not necessarily the most salient risks it is likely to face in the immediate future. In the environment of regulatory flux and new technologies, moreover, there is a continuing need to re-balance the team of risk professionals from one end of this spectrum to another.

Practice’s Risk Specialties

  • Market
  • Credit
  • Operational
  • Reputational
  • Cyber
  • Enterprise
  • Nascent
  • Truth and fake news
  • Capital allocation

Our Risk Practice is well positioned to recruit risk decision makers across the spectrum, starting with a deep understanding of the kinds of risk decisions these leaders will be called on to make. Fundamentally, RSR Partners views risk decision makers as being as relevant to a firm’s ability to capture value through new opportunities, as it is to the sound management of a mature business.

In our personal lives, developing the ability to make risk decisions is an outgrowth of a life well lived. We experience a special kind of freedom when we are forced to pick our way through the constraints of real life risk taking. In the same way, good risk decision making in the corporate world opens up new possibilities and our Risk Practice is excited to be a able to play a part in this process.

Our Risk Practice Serves Clients in the Following Industries

  • Asset management
  • Energy
  • Hedge funds
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance
  • Investment banking
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Metals and Mining
  • Private banking
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Technology