Gemma Clatworthy: Senior Manager, Enterprise Risk Strategy, Nationwide Building Society
Enterprise Risk Strategy
Nationwide Building Society
How did you get your job?
After graduating with a degree in ancient history and French, I applied for a number of graduate schemes and was lucky enough to be accepted to be a risk graduate at Nationwide Building Society! My first roles involved me being thrown into the deep end with stress testing and modelling asset & liability management, and I really enjoyed the challenge.
What’s a typical day like as a Senior Manager, Enterprise Risk Strategy?
I now head up the Enterprise Risk Reporting team with responsibility for our Board risk reporting and leading the Board risk appetite setting process. A typical day involves talking to stakeholders to understand more about their risk universe, planning with the team so we know we can deliver quality work to often challenging deadlines and writing or reviewing reporting packs or papers for our risk committees.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy talking to people and finding out more about their world, I’m naturally curious and this role has broadened my understanding of the business and the key risks it faces. I also love big picture thinking and joining the dots and this role allows me to do that and meaningfully challenge our risk profile prior to presenting it to the Board.
What are the challenges?
The main challenges are the many deadlines we face for the different reports we own, which all have different requirements. We also continually work to improve our reporting and come up with dynamic ways to present information to keep our stakeholders engaged. This approach has been successful so far and I’m excited about something we’re working on to present our risk universe in a new way.
In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?
The International Certificate has given me a good base for my risk management knowledge and allowed me to develop my thinking in terms of how we can apply principles and theory in practice.
What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?
I think you get as much out of membership as you put in. Whilst the newsletters and updates are always interesting, I’ve been involved in Special Interest Groups, spoken on panel discussions and been an examiner for one of the qualifications and all of this has helped improve my risk management knowledge and find out what other companies are doing in terms of risk management.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?
Since the graduate scheme, I’ve had responsibility for producing risk disclosures, regulatory reporting and introduced scenario analysis to Nationwide prior to moving into my current role Enterprise Risk. I’ve learnt a lot about what I do and don’t enjoy from a role and being involved with IRM has given me confidence in my own knowledge and also helped improve my contacts so I can speak to people about what they do to adopt best practice.
There are many risk roles in financial services that appeal to a wide range of people so I suggest:
- Think about which role would suit you and why
- Talk to people about it – IRM will be able to put you in touch with people, if you don’t already have contacts
- Brush up on your risk and company knowledge prior to any interview – in financial services we have to produce risk disclosures (called Pillar 3 disclosures) which are publicly available and provide great insight into how the company manages risk.