Top Skills for Risk Managers


Despite the evolving risk landscape threatening to redefine the Risk Management skillset, those fundamental skills at a Risk Manager’s core have proven unscathed.

Below outlines those technical and soft skills that will continue to hold relevancy for Risk Managers in the technological era. Highlighted on their CV and developed throughout their career, with the below four skills Risk Managers can be assured longevity and relevancy.

  1. A Foundation of Qualifications

Whilst experience and soft skills are vital, Risk Managers benefit from an academic foundation. Employers systematically scan CVs for professionals with strong academic credentials in the financial or mathematical arena, with a master’s degree often preferred by top employers. A degree in finance, physics, computer science or statistics will ensure good stead from the outset.

Again, whilst a degree is not mandated by all companies, having a strong financial acumen is essential for Risk Managers meaning those with financial degrees are generally the favoured candidates. A confidence with numbers and financial indicators is needed of any Risk Manager.

The main benefit of a university degree is the technical foundation gained and sharpened quantitative skills. Beyond qualifications, a grasp of the industry and market is non-negotiable in order to assure awareness and scope of potential risks.

  1. Analytic Skills

Integral to Risk Management, the ability to analyse and foresee risk is arguably the cornerstone of the role. Foreseeing risk at both a company level and broader industry outlook defines a Risk Manager’s job. This analytical scope is far-reaching, spanning consideration of the financial impacts of various risks to risk assessments, compliance considerations and beyond. Importantly, this analysis does not always have to be number specific.

  1. Communication

Beyond having a sharp, analytical mind, Risk Managers must be natural communicators, confident working across departments and seniority.

Risk considerations are widely infused in the C-suite’s agenda and Risk Management is increasingly invited into board-level discussions in response. Those successful in Risk Management have the ability to translate risk concepts to inspire and engage across all levels. At board level, stakeholders expect the technical risk ‘jargon’ translated into the top and bottom-line concerns central to senior management and the board.

Negotiation and diplomacy skills are valued interpersonal skills on top of communication, vital when working across departments and personalities.

  1. Working through Pressure

Business is volatile and evolving by nature. Keeping pace is a Risk Manager’s job. Risk Manager’s must be ready to embrace the unexpected and be able to adapt strategies to proactively and swiftly respond. Afterall, Risk Managers do not operate in a static environment.

Working in an intense, decision-making atmosphere further drives the need for communication. Miscommunication can be a catalyst, responsible for driving bad situations into something considerably worse.

Whether a Risk Management novice or expert looking to refine your skillset, the above technical and interpersonal skills separate the successful professionals from their mediocre colleagues. Champion them on your CV and throughout your everyday to see success and industry longevity.

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