Insurers eye up op risk expertise at banks

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LONDON - Despite the crisis in the financial services industry, risk managers remain in high demand. Industry headhunters are experiencing increased appetite from insurance companies looking to recruit experienced operational risk managers from the beleaguered investment banking sector.

David Butters, principal consultant at recruitment firm GRS Risk, has seen an increase in enquiries from insurers for people with operational risk experience. "Operational risk is fairly new to insurers, but is very evolved in the investment banking world, so insurers are interested in picking up people from banks who have a comparatively high level of operational risk experience."

Solvency II is inching closer to implementation and the smart firms should be starting to put structures in place to comply with the new risk-based capital regime due to come into force in 2012.

Regardless of regulatory pressure to use capital models, there is evidence that insurance firms are already increasingly using capital models to help make the right risk decisions. Op risk professionals disillusioned with the hard times in the investment banking sector are being tempted into insurance by salaries of £60,000-150,000, according to Butters.

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