Chief risk officer of the year – Highly Commended, Giselle Lim, Generali Switzerland
Culture is key to risk management and Generali Switzerland's chief risk officer, Giselle Lim, has not only reshaped her team's working culture, but helped developed the risk culture across the insurer.
This includes both the way the risk team members interact among themselves, and also moving to a business-partner relationship with the rest of the organisation.
The way Lim drove the development and implementation of an automated internal control system, which allows real-time monitoring of Generali Switzerland's business processes, as well as the risks and controls associated with the processes, further impressed InsuranceERM's judges.
The judging panel also commended Lim's strong leadership style combined with a fresh and open approach for creating "a great atmosphere within the team".
Speaking to Lim, her enthusiasm for risk management, passion for excellence and desire to get the best out of people shines through.
She says: "I have 22 in my team. We are 10 nationalities and 30% are women. So, we have very healthy diversity inclusion statistics, and this was accomplished without setting any KPIs. This is the outcome of hiring the best people for the role."
Explaining her management style, Lim says: "I set the vision. I tell them what I am trying to accomplish on a principles-based level in the next one to three years. 50% of people immediately get what part they must play.
"For those who do not, I break it down for them. There are two cohorts of people: those who know instinctively how to plug in and those that need a little more detail. But I have very good heads of departments."
Lim says one of the things that was a priority for her when she joined Generali in October 2017 was to really transform risk management into a business partner.
"While there was a large focus on modelling and quantitative risk management, we also tackled the risk culture to complement the quantitative side. In the past, we never had one version of the truth, but now we do and that's the internal control system."
A benefit of the system is that it allows business processes to be systematically documented and it is possible to perform risk and control identification, as well as continuous monitoring.
Lim explains she has also created a culture where for every big-ticket project, in terms of decision making, risk management "would have a seat" at the decision-making table.
"That has been a big change that risk management is now a business partner, rather than being seen as another pillar next to internal audit."
Having achieved much already, it's clear Lim will not allow complacency to set in.
She says: "The regulator tells us we have built a Ferrari in terms of the internal control system, with real-time monitoring of all the business processes.
"I want to be best in breed and do not want to do the regulatory minimum. I will take the regulatory requirements and then I will build on top of that."