Scott Morgan's transition into the role of CEO with the Greater Building Society last September was an unusual one. He had been with the company for roughly seven years and was principally the Chief Risk Officer (CRO)a newly created position that facilitated the effective governance of significant threats and related opportunities.
"There is not a lot of this type of transition from CRO to CEO that I am aware of out there at the moment, particularly in the banking space," Scott explains, "although certainly the position of CRO has gained some significance within the sector, as you would expect given the nature of the business."
"From my perspective, I think it provides a really good platform for shifting into the CEO role for a couple of reasons. First, as the CEO and the leader of a businesss strategy, you are really trying to enable the company to manage its way through uncertainty and risk. A large part of strategy formulation and implementation is identifying those uncertainties and some of those risks that face your business. Then you have to respond to them. So certainly I think that coming from a risk management background prepares you well in that regard, in terms of having a good grasp and understanding of uncertainty, and particularly strategic risk within the business."
Probably the other strength of coming from a CRO background is that the CRO role is quite advantageous in that you really do get exposure to the whole business. You are forced to engage and challenge the business across all of its broader lines. It gives you very good exposure to all parts that you perhaps wouldn't get if you were sitting in a very specific executive line.