Interchangeable approaches to non-financial risk

The title used to describe the varied risks associated with systems, processes and people across financial services can either fall into operational risk, enterprise risk, or non-financial risk. One of the challenges we face as a recruitment firm is to guide our clients on how their risk function would be labelled elsewhere.

The Pandemic:

Business resilience was always on the agenda, but the Pandemic has stress tested our clients’ frameworks. Technological infrastructure was initially a challenge for many, however, I believe the market has been surprised at how quickly these challenges have been overcome.

Working from home and flexible working policy will challenge a number of organisations and we have seen different approaches ranging from compulsory attendance five days per week to total flexibility. Only time will tell how successful these policies will be.

Increased Demand:

Barclay Simpson have seen a surge in recruitment across a number of areas under the Non-financial risk banner, including third party risk, business continuity and business resilience, change management, conduct risk, ESG & ICAAP expertise. 

Key regulatory challenges:

  • ICARA (October 2020)
  • Business resilience (March 2022)
  • Climate change (2025)


Key hiring challenges:

  • Greater volume of roles in the market which has led to candidates having more choice over their career development
  • Faster interview processes
  • Hiring managers working harder to understand candidates’ individual career goals and ambitions
  • Increase in client budgets
  • Clients offering us more flexibility on where we source candidates from
  • Location: Outside of the major financial hubs, clients have had to offer greater flexibility on candidate skills and the types of firms these candidates have come from


Maturity of discipline:

Organisations which have had teams in place for a significant period of time tend to seek efficiencies and are reducing the size of their teams as their target operating model and infrastructure is more mature. Where organisations are less mature, we find there is more change/project work to create infrastructure. 

One of the interesting results of this is the tendency for asset managers to hire from banks where individuals have had experience of a more sophisticated risk environment.


Operational risk is viewed with a varying degree of importance. We often find that one of the challenges our clients have is to educate the wider business on the value that Non-Financial risk can offer over and above a simple regulatory tick box exercise. Historically, operational risk has evolved from a number of different functions ranging from finance, audit and operations. The origins of the team can often leave a legacy impression and barriers which need to be broken down.

When you’re looking to build and secure your organisation’s Non-Financial Risk management capability, Barclay Simpson can help you quickly build a technically proficient multi-skilled risk management function and team either on a permanent or contract basis.

Get in touch for support hiring non-financial risk professionals