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Financial Institutions

In the aftermath of the crisis and following several high profile control failures among banks, the governance and culture of financial institutions are being questioned in unprecedented ways. Supervisory processes under Basel’s Pillar 2 now include detailed and frequent reviews of the adequacy of bank governance arrangements at board, group and individual business/entity levels. Risk governance in particular has come under the microscope. Emerging best practice includes regular reviews of banking culture, of how people behave “when no one is looking”.

The Morrow Sodali Board & Governance team (formerly Nestor Advisors) has a unique track record in analyzing and advising on the corporate and risk governance of financial institutions. Our financial institution clients benefit from our systematic benchmarking of banking sector practices over a number of years. Our periodic governance surveys of the top banks have been widely referenced by regulators, academics and the financial press. Institutions such as the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, the UK Parliament and the Walker review team, the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the EBRD and the World Bank/IFC have sought the advice and input of our team. Among our clients are a number of banking supervisors, which allows us to have an in-depth perspective on supervisory expectations and evolving regulatory requirements in the banking sector.

We work with financial sector clients to develop policies, organizational structures and practices that allow boards to develop a fit-for-purpose risk appetite framework; to communicate and cascade risk appetite objectives and goals down the organization; and to design management reporting on the institution’s risk profile. Our comparative research in financial sector risk governance has informed the terms of reference and reporting requirements of risk committees and functions in major banks.

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