President at Baldwin Global Risk Services Ltd
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
Growing up I have always had an interest in challenging the norm and the way “we always do it around here”. Being half Scottish and Half Norwegian (whilst being born and raised in Greece for my first 10 years), I had no problems leaving Norway and travelling which led me to finding a degree that was an ideal fit for my interests, Risk Management.
Glasgow Caledonian University was the only university in Europe offering this degree at the time which tells you how new the subject was. The degree equipped students with the ability to learn, question, network, communicate and lead teams. It also focused on breadth of knowledge in various disciplines which made the transition into a business role a lot easier.
The first 7 years of my career was as a consultant, working for Marsh and Zurich Municipal in the UK, before joining Det Norske Veritas (DNV) in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia. The consulting gave me exposure to some amazing consultants, not just within risk, but also IT, HR and Supply Chain, which really added to my skill sets. This, on top of the fact that DNV took me to the Middle East and Asia where I worked with clients in Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia, which challenged my cultural and communication skills, prepared me immensely for all my future roles I ended up in. From setting up ERM for Saudi Aramco, to working on the ground in Iraq on the largest undeveloped oil field in the world, the skills I learned early on laid an excellent foundation for further growth.
What sub-topics are you most passionate about?
I believe passionately that Risk Management is only as good as the people in the organisation. They need to fully understand the concept. It needs to be easy enough for them to use in decision making and it needs to be supported and communicated from the top. Therefore, Risk Culture is a key area that I like to focus on and drive.
I also firmly believe that we spend too much time looking at the downside of risk instead of the upside/opportunities. Too often we come to senior management with problems instead of solutions and opportunities for growth. Its not about avoiding risk, its about optimising and taking risk.
Another area of interest is encouraging risk managers to get out into the business and talking to people. selling risk management, networking and building relationships within their organisation. Risk Management practitioners are in an excellent position to break down and bridge silo’s that are too common in many companies.
Who influences you within these topics?
What challenges are brands facing in this space?
When it comes to Risk Management, internally, as a function, one of the biggest challenges is visibility and credibility. Too often Risk Management is either seen as a tick box exercise or a process that needs to include various layers of bureaucracy that never stands a chance of being effective. For Consulting firms/brands looking to sell services in the space, many of the larger brands are beginning to run into resistance from organisation’s who don’t want a one-size fits all approach to risk management. They are looking for a personal touch. they are looking for consultants and advisors who take time to understand their business and develop approaches that are fit for purpose and that consider the organisation’s culture, structure and aspirations. As a result, more and more boutique risk consulting firms have started up. Whilst there is plenty of work for everyone, and many work together on larger clients and projects, the main challenge is getting their name out to potential clients.
What do you think the future holds in this space?
What brands are leading the way in this space?
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
What are your passions outside of work?
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
Please contact me via LinkedIn
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Head of Influencer Marketing Joe's central role is to build relationships with influencers and connect them to brands. Joe is also tasked with promoting the influencer marketplace and delivering value to the influencer community.