Independently minded publishing

The Operational Risk Handbook for Financial Companies

A guide to the new world of performance-oriented operational risk

By Brian Barnier

Paperback £49.99 / $79.99
eBook £44.99 / $53.99
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The Operational Risk Handbook for Financial Companies

A guide to the new world of performance-oriented operational risk

By Brian Barnier

Jacket text

The Operational Risk Handbook for Financial Companies is a groundbreaking new book. It seeks to apply for the first time a range of proven operational risk techniques from other industries and disciplines to the troubled territory of financial services.

Operational risk expert Brian Barnier introduces a range of sophisticated, dependable and – crucially – approachable tools for risk evaluation, risk response and risk governance. He provides a more robust way of gaining a better picture of risks, shows how to build risk-return awareness into decision making, and how to fix (and not just report) risks.

The practical importance of fully understanding and acting on risk to the business begins in the foreword on plan-B thinking, penned by Marshall Carter, chairman of the NYSE and deputy chairman of NYSE Euronext.

The book is unique because:

– It is not just about modeling and a few basic tools derived from regulatory requirements. Instead, it looks at management of risk to operations across industries, professional disciplines and history to help ops risk leaders become aware of the entire landscape of proven experience, not just their own conference room.

– It is not just about compliance. Instead, it looks to operations as part of performance – managing risk to return for shareholders and other interests (e.g. guarantee funds).

– It is not content to look at risk in stand-alone segments or silos; instead it takes a systems approach.

– It is not just about ops risk leaders sharing war stories at a conference. Instead, it introduces a panel of six financial institution board members who get risk management and provide their perspectives throughout the book to encourage/demand more from ops risk to meet the needs of the institution in the world.

– It is not a semi-random collection of tips and tricks. Instead, it is grounded in a risk-management process flow tailored to financial companies from a range of proven experience, providing tools to help at each step.

Suitable for companies of all sizes, this book is of direct relevance and use to all business managers, practitioners, boards and senior executives. Key insights from and for each are built into every chapter, including unique contributions from board members of a range of companies.

The Operational Risk Handbook for Financial Companies is an essential book for making better decisions at every level of a financial company; ones that measurably improve outcomes for boards, managers, employees and shareholders alike.

About the author

Brian Barnier uses his cross-discipline, country and industry practical experience to help leaders improve their personal and operational risk program efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, he has been honored to serve on several best-practice committees, developing risk-return management approaches that address both compliance and performance. He was named one of the exclusive Fellows of the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG). He is consistently rated one of the top presenters at industry conferences, especially his keynotes, as well as an exceptional teacher for industry certifications. He writes widely for the trade press and contributed to 'Risk Management in Finance', published by Wiley & Sons.

For the Risk Management Association, he has presented at GCOR, teaches in the webinar series and writes for the RMA Journal. He has also presented popular podcasts, is regularly quoted in the risk and financial press, and has over 100 published articles for business operations, finance, technology, audit, risk, security and business continuity audiences.

ValueBridge Advisors
Twitter @Brian_Barnier


With The Operational Risk Handbook, Brian Barnier presents a value packed guidebook for both the practitioner and the novice. Tightly written, the Handbook gives the reader a good grounding in the detail of risk, taking time to explain fundamental concepts such as how to calculate the probability of failure, and provide references to frameworks and industry guidance for identifying and managing risk. Brian brings the subject matter to life with examples, illustrations, and a wealth of experience. The Handbook is a good investment and easy read for those who need come up to speed on Operational Risk and obtain a broad overview of this important, but not yet widely understood, major risk type.

Jonathan Rosenoer – Head of Operational Risk, Bank of the West

Media coverage

From Sarder TV:

Follow link to listen to Brian being interviewed about his book – The Operational Risk Handbook for Financial Companies

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From The Guardian:

The internet of everything means connected appliances can generate their own data. Marc Ambasna-Jones asks if insurance companies could use it against us Domestic appliance manufacturers and technology companies have big plans for our homes. From remote controlled heating devices such as Nest and Hive to intelligent fridges, smart TVs and connected washing machines, our… Read more »

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From World Conference on Disaster Management:

Risk and control assessments are basic tools. Everyone uses them and most struggle with them. Ask five people at a conference and you will find that even the name is not uniform?risk and control self-assessment, risk control self-assessment, control self-assessment. These assessments can quickly become wasteful or distracting if key prerequisites are not met. To… Read more »

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From AOL on Business :

VIDEO – ValueBridge Advisors’ Brian Barnier talks about gauging the strains of financial markets and what it means for your personal portfolio.

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From Risk Articles:

As the plane bumped along in choppy air, the pilots scanned their instruments for data ? both on the weather and the performance of the plane to its capabilities. As we disembarked at LGA, the pilot remarked, ?A plane west of us really hit some bumpy air.? Pilots look for early warning of capability limitations… Read more »

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From Corporate Board Member:

The ominous message read, ?There?s been a drowning.? I was serving on the board of a non-profit that provided community arts and recreation services. We had our own facilities and managed one of the city?s swimming pools. My mind raced through our procedures. In the end, it kept coming back to, ?What improvements should we… Read more »

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From Mash Risk Television :

Tying Operational Risk Management to Business Performance ValueBridge Advisors Brian Barnier, Principal

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From The Boardroom Channel -

Brian Barnier was interviewed for The Boardroom Channel – 28th November 2011

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From Information Week Reports:

Enterprise risk management must be based on a holistic approach targeted at reducing risk to business performance objectives. By Brian Barnier, ValueBridge Advisors Systems failures, rogue trading, data breaches, project delays, troubled products, trading failures, money laundering through mobile networks?these are just some of the operational risk sink- holes that have sunk business performance. Why… Read more »

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About the Author
Foreword-Marshall Carter on Plan B Thinking
Touchstones to Keep Focus on Efficiency and Effectiveness
'Been There, Done That'-the Voice of Experience
Bringing it Together

Part 1. Evaluating Risk
1.1. Lighting up 'Dark Corners'
1.2. Know the Business: evaluating the environment and the enterprise
1.3. The Right Tool for the Right Risk Type
1.4. Seeking Scenarios: providing more power to see-the 'why' and 'what'
1.5. Creating More Robust Scenarios More Easily-the 'how'
1.6. Evaluating Scenario Quality and Avoiding Bias
1.7. Creating Insightful Single Sources of Risk Information
1.8. Capital Estimates: Trips, Traps and Pitfalls
1.9. Capital and Performance Incentives
1.10. Watch for Warnings
1.11. Key Insights for Evaluating Risk

Part 2. Responding to Risks
2.1. Responding to Risk: managing options, finding balance, creating levers
2.2. Prioritizing Improvements
2.3. Strengthening the Institution in its Environment
2.4. Improving Control Capability
2.5. Improving Product Management and Fraud Prevention
2.6. Improving IT-related Business Risk Management
2.7. React and Recover-Right Action at the Right Time
2.8. Key Insights for Responding to Risk

Part 3. Oversight of Risk Management
3.1. Oversight of Risk Management
3.2. Four Functions of a Governor
3.3. Key Insights for Oversight and Governing Risk

Part 4. You in Your Institution
4.1. Overcoming Barriers to Better Risk Management
4.2. Your Questions for the Board of Directors
4.3. Conclusion: your opportunity to make a difference


Published: 08/07/2011
Edition: 1st
Pages: 276
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857190536
ebook - ISBN 9780857191564
Media enquiries

If you’d like to get in touch with the author for interview or comment, or you’d like a review copy of this book, please contact us at or call +44 (0)1730 233870.


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