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Introduction

Founded in 1888 the Mutual Bank has a long history of supporting the community and exceptional customer experience with a workforce of 150+ employees and contractors.

After a period of rapid member growth and proliferation of regulatory requirements within the banking sector, The Mutual recognised the need to increase its risk and compliance capacity.

The Mutual Bank engaged GWG Recruitment to manage the end-to-end recruitment process for a Chief Risk Officer (CRO). Working directly with the CEO and Board, we commenced work on the role in mid-2022, with an 8-week recruitment engagement period.

The CRO was a newly created role and was expected to bring in extensive experience in risk assessment, regulatory compliance, and a deep understanding of the financial industry.

Challenge

The Mutual Bank faced several challenges in their quest to find the right Chief Risk Officer:

Operational and strategic role: due to the size of the organisation and requirements of the role, The Mutual required an individual who was comfortable dealing with day-to-day operations and high-level risk regulatory requirements, with associated risk and compliance challenges.

Competitive Market: The banking industry is highly competitive, with a limited pool of qualified CRO candidates available. As a mid-size bank, remuneration was more limited.

Regulatory Complexity: The Mutual Bank operates in a heavily regulated environment, requiring a CRO with in-depth knowledge of banking regulations and compliance.

Culture Fit: Finding a candidate who could align with the bank's values and culture was critical. This meant a CRO who was committed to creating and maintaining a positive risk and compliance culture, within an environment of organisational change.

Strategic Vision: The bank sought a CRO who not only possessed strong risk management skills but also had a strategic mindset to help the organisation navigate the evolving financial landscape.

Recruitment Process

1. Needs Assessment: Our executive team began by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment with the bank's executive leadership team to understand the specific skills, experience, and personality traits they were seeking in a CRO. This process also involved understanding the bank's strategic goals and the role risk management played in achieving those objectives..

2. Applicant pack: Developed an executive applicant pack to provide more detail to candidates on the role, the Mutual’s structure, operational environment and values and the lifestyle facilities and benefits of living in the Hunter region.

3. Candidate Sourcing: Given the competitive market and the specialised requirements, we employed a multifaceted approach to candidate sourcing:

a. Leveraged our extensive network of banking professionals and CROs across Australia and New Zealand, where regulations were similar.
b. Utilised online job boards and industry-specific platforms.
c. Engaged in targeted headhunting to identify passive candidates.
d. Developed a multifaceted recruitment marketing campaign across owned platforms and social media.

4. Screening and Assessment: We conducted in-depth interviews and assessments of potential candidates to evaluate their qualifications, cultural fit, and strategic mindset. We paid special attention to their experience in risk modelling, regulatory compliance, and their ability to align risk management with business strategy.

5. Client Interviews: Four exceptional shortlisted candidates were presented to the client for interviews. We coordinated the interview process, provided interview feedback, and facilitated follow-up discussions to ensure alignment.

6. Reference Checks and Due Diligence: Before finalising the selection, we conducted thorough reference checks to validate candidates' qualifications and professional backgrounds, including personality testing to ensure selected candidates were the ideal fit for the role and the organisation.

7. Offer Negotiation and Onboarding: Upon the client's selection of the ideal candidate, we assisted in salary negotiation and supported the onboarding process, ensuring a smooth transition for the new CRO..

Throughout the process, we provided weekly progress updates, and regular communication with key stakeholders including the Board and Executive team to ensure the process was smooth and effective.

Outcome

The recruitment process yielded a highly qualified, Chief Risk Officer who met the banks specific requirements:

The selected candidate had over 15 years of experience in risk management within the banking industry, with strong leadership, operational and strategic skills. The candidate possessed a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and a track record of successful compliance management. The CRO had a strategic mindset, and a vision for integrating risk management into the bank's long-term growth strategy. Cultural fit was ensured through a rigorous assessment process.

Conclusion

We successfully addressed the Mutual Banks' challenges by identifying and placing a highly qualified Chief Risk Officer who brought the required expertise and strategic vision to the organisation.

This case study demonstrates our ability to navigate the competitive banking industry, align candidates with clients' specific needs, and facilitate the recruitment of key executive talent. The client's investment in hiring the right CRO will contribute significantly to their risk management and strategic goals in the dynamic financial sector.

Working with us

Working with us is easy. If you're looking to hire, seeking a new role or simply interested in recruitment or market advice please give us a call. One of our friendly team will take the time to understand your needs and recommend some solutions.

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