Chief risk officer of the year, Nick Silitch, Prudential Financial
Nick Silitch, chief risk officer (CRO) at Prudential Financial, has displayed excellence both in times of crisis and in calmer periods when he has spearheaded the company's enterprise risk management programme.
Silitch has led Prudential's development of the risk function from the ground up. His work helped embed a risk-minded culture across all parts of the company in the face of shifting practices in technology and data management, climate risks and, of course, most recently the challenges posed by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
The judging panel commended Silitch's ability to incorporate new ideas—for example, his interesting work around the changing environment of data and AI—while maintaining the core of the business.
His projects have included programmes that recognise the importance of data science for powerful real-time analytics and reporting to help inform critical risk-based decisions. Another project streamlined risk frameworks and processes to better collaborate with partners.
He has also worked to fully embed the company's Risk Appetite Framework across the enterprise. Through the framework and stress testing, Prudential has enhanced understanding of how certain risks manifest, prompting actions to strengthen the company's resilience under stress. Indeed, the analysis of risks and resources has become a critical component of Prudential's evaluation of new business initiatives and acquisitions, and risk appetite objectives are now formally reflected in the company's capital flexibility measures.
Silitch's work has also transferred to the asset side, for instance in leading the review of investment portfolios to ensure Prudential's investment profile aligns with the company's evolving business models.
Outside of Prudential, Silitch has served as chair of the North American CRO council and led a number of working groups, helping to move forward innovative thoughts and key risk trends.
Judges praised Silitch's varied list of accomplishments both at Prudential and in the broader risk community, which made him the "standout candidate" for the award.