Annual Report

Letter to Our Stakeholders

Bradford Hu
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Richard Apostolik
President and Chief Executive Officer

To Our Stakeholders:

Every new year presents numerous and unexpected challenges. The best laid plans require modifications to deal with issues that could not have been foreseen or anticipated. 2020 was that type of year for virtually everyone around the globe, especially in dealing with COVID. 2021 presented its own challenges and opportunities, but built on our 2020 learnings and successes.

GARP’s financials for 2021 show a year of record revenue growth. Total revenues increased by USD 19 million, a jump unmatched in GARP’s history. Yet expenses only increased a modest USD 1.7 million, in line with rising global costs.

This reflected a conservative approach to headcount and corporate expense management mirroring the uncertainties surrounding COVID and what was a changing and highly uncertain global marketplace for educational activities; and continued to position GARP for 2022’s uncertainties.

2021 also built on 2020’s successes in terms of dealing with a highly volatile global examination testing environment. We were able to provide Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) Exams to over 80,000 candidates, an increase of just under 13% from the year prior, while regularly handling local site COVID restrictions and changes which caused numerous examination cancellations and deferrals throughout the year.

We also streamlined exam candidate testing notice requirements, providing almost immediate notice of any local exam site changes resulting from local authorities making last-minute public safety decisions.

And we affirmatively considered the burdens these last-minute changes had on registrants by offering as much flexibility as possible to candidates by allowing free examination deferrals to the next two exam dates and free exam materials if the exam crossed into the next year.

The FRM program continued to flourish in 2021, retaining its status as the global standard for financial risk managers. But we also made major strides in solidifying our Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate program as the world’s leading designation for professionals wanting to expand and demonstrate their knowledge of climate-related risk issues.

The SCR program was launched in 2020 during the pandemic and quickly established itself as the world’s leading climate risk educational program. 2020 saw 1,243 SCR registrations, a major success given the program’s launch was mid-year. However, 2021’s SCR registrant growth was exceptional with 4,297 candidates signing on to sit for the Exam, a 250% increase over 2020. 2022 will also show substantial program growth.

All GARP’s educational programs are designed to measure the practice-driven skills and knowledge required of a professional engaged in financial and/or climate risk management. Each program’s curriculum is regularly reviewed and updated by a committee of global experts who lend their time and expertise to ensure the programs are current and of the highest quality globally.

We want to thank the numerous committee members for their time, consideration, and interest. The importance of their work cannot be overstated. And the results speak for themselves.

GARP’s educational programs continue to be world-leading. But like the risk management profession, we don’t stand still, regularly looking for new opportunities to advance the field and make a difference.

In that regard, we started work in 2021 on two new risk-related initiatives. One is to enhance our climate risk activities, with the other addressing material issues around fighting financial crime. We expect to announce “next steps” with both in the fourth quarter of 2022.

All the above was in addition to expanding our already large lineup of webcasts and podcasts, increasing the number of GARP Chapters globally, adding to our membership offerings, building on our university outreach efforts around the world, and growing our social media communications and outreach.

This was made much easier to accomplish because of the support of our Board of Trustees. Their interest, expertise, guidance, and professionalism play a leading and highly-valuable role in GARP’s growth.

GARP is dedicated to remaining the world’s leading risk management association. And we will continue to provide our members and the industry with an ever-increasing array of educational materials and resources to advance the profession of risk management.

We hope that you enjoy GARP’s 2021 Annual Report.

Yours truly,


Building a Better Future

In 2020, we faced a resilience test unlike any other we have ever experienced — a deadly pandemic, heightened political instability, unrest over racial equality, increased climate risk, and more. But we didn’t buckle, as our commitment and connection to risk management helped us realize our strength and resolve in a time of disruption.

In comparison with the unique situation posed by 2020, 2021 proved to be a two-pronged success. It saw us moving past our COVID-created struggles, with exam registration numbers reverting back to their pre-2020 levels and our employees returning to in-person work for the first time since early 2020.

But 2021 was also a year of innovation and fresh ideas. As the world began to slowly open up, we continued seeking and capitalizing on new, creative ways of engaging our risk community and buoying the risk profession, blazing a steady path toward a stronger, better future that we're working to realize in 2022 and beyond.


Financial Risk

To meet the evolving needs of financial risk professionals, we made key updates in 2021 to the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) program, the leading global certification for risk managers. FRM Exams were fully and officially moved from a paper-and-pencil format to computer-based testing (CBT), completing a transition that started in 2020. In addition to our regular exam administrations in May and November/December, we offered Exams in January and July in 2021 to give candidates greater options and flexibility given COVID-related challenges.

We also made changes to our FRM Advisory Committee, employing new collaboration among subcommittees, external subject-matter experts, and GARP staff. Renowned finance expert and distinguished professor John Hull began serving as a special advisor, helping oversee the review of existing program material.

Following a challenging 2020 due to COVID, FRM registration numbers increased from the previous year by 12.8%, rising from 71,468 in 2020 to 80,628 in 2021. Top registration regions included China, India, U.S., U.K., Canada, and Hong Kong, with registrants coming from more than 150 different countries and territories. Overall, we saw more than 8,000 FRM candidates receive their certification, bringing the total number of FRMs to 70,343 around the world.




IN 2021



Climate Risk

2021 marked the first full year of exam registration for our Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate program. It was a highly successful one, demonstrating the growing importance of comprehensive knowledge and skills around climate change risk.

The SCR saw a nearly 250% increase in registrations from 2020 to 2021, from 1,243 to 4,297, with 1,236 SCR candidates receiving their certificate, bringing the total number of SCR holders to 1,572.

In 2021, we continued to improve the learning experience for candidates, making key updates to the SCR curriculum to include new sections on financial stability and climate change, operating principles for impact management, mental health and climate change, and more. In addition, we planned, developed, and created an entirely new GARP-owned SCR book in preparation for use in 2022, eliminating key redundancies from the 2021 edition and improving its concision and reader-friendliness.

Energy Risk

In 2020, we determined that the Energy Risk Professional (ERP®) program, one of the Association’s educational offerings since 2009, was not meeting the needs of today’s energy and financial risk management professionals. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to phase out the ERP Exam by the end of 2021, with the last ERP Exams offered in November 2021. Despite the end of the ERP program, we made it a priority to support and engage our energy community in 2021 through podcasts, articles, and other forms of quality content hosted on our Risk Intelligence page. We also continued our partnership with the International Energy Forum, producing a series of educational webcasts on the state of energy networks and infrastructure adaptations in a time of rising climate demands.

Continuing Professional Development

GARP’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, offering accessible programming and learnings to all FRMs, ERPs, and SCR Certificate holders, saw a 22% growth in activities from 2020. CPD continues to be a strong career development and learning tool in the eyes of certified professionals and certificate holders alike; the program was accessed by more than 8,300 FRMs, ERPs, and SCR Certificate holders in 2021.




2021 SCR



Adapting to Today’s Times

Global Practice Analysis Report

In 2021, GARP surveyed nearly 1,000 FRMs and 1,500 financial risk managers overall as part of our fourth triennial Global Practice Analysis (GPA) survey. The survey embodies the pulse of the financial risk profession, allowing us to further modernize and refine our flagship FRM program for the imminent future and beyond. Key takeaways include a growing emphasis on operational risk and resilience skills among today’s risk professionals, with 22% of respondents’ time spent in this area on issues ranging from cyber and IT risk to rogue trading, third-party risk, conduct risk, and pandemic risk. This marked a 5% increase from the most recent GPA survey in 2017.

Transitioning to Computer-Based Testing

In 2021, we began transitioning our 2021 FRM and ERP Exams from a paper-and-pencil format to computer-based testing (CBT) at secure testing sites around the world. By the end of the year, all Exams were administered through CBT. CBT also enabled us to offer our Exams over a range of dates as opposed to just a single date, as well as offer the FRM Exam in January and July in addition to May and November/December. This new flexibility helped us manage the disruption and limitations caused by COVID, giving our candidates additional opportunities to take their Exams.

Administering Exams in a Pandemic

When COVID-19 first hit in early 2020, we postponed our May Exams around the world. Learning from the disruption we experienced in the prior year, we persevered through the volatility in 2021. Our Member Services team worked tirelessly to balance candidates’ career goals with their safety — communicating with exam providers and dealing with localized postponements in the event of a regional surge. At the same time, our Marketing department disseminated timely information and messaging around vaccination and COVID test requirements via our website and email, while our Exams and Certifications group increased the production of testing questions by approximately 10 times to handle the new multi-day and multi-form exam delivery structure around CBT.

Overall, it was an all-hands-on-deck effort, and a testament to the staff’s resilient spirit.

Engaging the Risk Community

Membership and Chapters

During the pandemic, GARP’s Membership program provided risk professionals with a platform to share their experiences, garner practical insights, and stay connected in a time of virtual communication. In 2021, the Association welcomed nearly 24,000 new Individual Members, and widened the GARP community to 279,000 across more than 195 countries and regions.

Supporting Members at every stage of their career via educational and networking events, GARP Chapters, a global network of vibrant local risk communities, experienced a successful, standout 2021. We launched three new chapters in 2021 in Italy, Indonesia, and Peru, bringing the total number to 28, with Italy’s Chapter receiving over 300 registrations for its inaugural event. In 2021, GARP hosted 30 virtual Chapter meetings with a total of 9,819 registrations overall — our highest number ever.

Partnerships and Business Development

In 2021, the FRM became accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF Singapore), making citizens or permanent residents of Singapore who complete the FRM program eligible for reimbursement. We also began a partnership with the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance around our Financial Risk and Regulation (FRR®) Certificate and continued to expand the roster of our Academic Partnership Program, which offers a wide range of benefits for institutions, including exclusive FRM scholarships, opportunities to network with local risk professionals, research fellowships, and more. Nine new master’s level programs were approved in 2021, bringing the total active university program partnerships at the end of 2021 to 109.







GARP Forums

Building on the successful U.S. and European-based Buy Side Risk Managers Forums, GARP launched an Asia-Pacific Buy Side Risk Managers Forum in May 2021. The initial APAC forum consisted of 15 senior risk leaders, including chief risk officers and heads of risk management at some of the largest asset management firms in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. In addition, we hosted our 12th Annual Global Risk Forum — virtually convening nearly 60 global regulators, senior financial-market practitioners, and academics — and continued our Energy Risk Forum webcasts with the International Energy Forum.

Research and Thought Leadership

GARP Risk Institute

GARP Risk Institute (GRI) centered its thought leadership and research efforts in 2021 almost exclusively on climate risk and sustainability. Led by GRI President Jo Paisley, the Institute published its Third Annual Climate Risk Survey featuring insights from 78 leading financial institutions around the world, including banks, asset managers, insurers, and other firms. GRI also hosted a successful two-day Climate Risk Symposium in November — GARP’s third-annual edition of the event — and organized a physical risk scenario game at our annual Risk Convention.

GRI continued to produce high-quality white papers, articles, and webcasts on climate risk management for their engaged global audience on topics such as the ABCs of ESG, the push for net zero emissions, and the history of climate regulations. GRI also completed the second season of its Climate Risk Podcast series, with 15 episodes recorded and broadcasted in 2021.

GARP Benchmarking Initiative

GARP Benchmarking Initiative (GBI) continued its work to support banks in their understanding of the impacts of the revised Basel framework. This included several studies focused on the implementation within jurisdictions such as the U.S. and EU. GBI worked throughout the year to improve the performance and functionality of its study process, creating faster, more comprehensive, and better-individualized results to be provided to participating firms.

In addition, GBI leveraged its benchmarking and technological capabilities to build a Pillar 3 Data Platform, allowing users to select a comparison set of banks and view how capital ratios, risk-weighted assets, default probabilities, and losses given defaults have trended over time.

Hitting Our Digital Stride

GARP Risk Convention

In 2021, the GARP Risk Convention returned to a three-day format — but remained fully remote as in 2020. Built around the theme “Rise to the Moment,” it continued the legacy of our annual event in an engaging virtual format designed to accommodate the geographic diversity of the risk management community and the unique circumstances driven by COVID-19.

Despite the lack of in-person networking and communication, the Convention was a success on multiple fronts. More than 500 professionals from nearly 60 countries attended, with more than 60% of attendees holding senior roles. Post-Convention surveys revealed that nearly 95% of overall registrants were satisfied with their experience.

Digital Content

Throughout the year, we released 57 different webcasts on topics ranging from career development to model risk to operational resilience, with overall webcast registrations exceeding 39,000. Driven by the growth around the GRI-produced Climate Risk Podcast series, podcast streams increased by more than 15,000. GARP's long-standing digital content hub, Risk Intelligence, published a total of 150 pieces in 2021, while increasing its weekly newsletter subscribers by over 50,000.

We published our first-ever brand videos for the FRM and SCR programs, allowing us to explore the unique story behind each product. The videos were seen 30 million times, with nearly 7 million video completions. The marketing department also initiated a new content management system (CMS) via the platform HubSpot to help modernize our web editing and email automation processes. While the benefits of the new CMS can only be felt internally at this time, the task is the first step in a larger project to redesign our website, improve the online visitor experience, and unveil a new look and feel for

Life at GARP

Returning to the Office

In early September 2021, for the first time since the onset of COVID-19, GARP’s Jersey City office officially reopened its doors to employees, with the London and Hong Kong offices following soon thereafter. The goal was to re-stimulate pre-pandemic levels of communication and collaboration while prioritizing the safety and health of our workers. We accomplished this by offering rapid COVID tests onsite three days a week, requiring all employees to complete a self-evaluation health app before entering GARP offices, and redesigning the office to enhance health and safety. In addition, we instated a hybrid work schedule of three days in the office and two days at home to improve employee flexibility, which we are still adhering to today.

Continuing Our Diversity Efforts

In 2021, GARP’s two diversity committees, one dedicated to internal communications and the other externally focused, continued their work reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to broaden awareness of risk. They also launched a staff mentoring program, implemented floating holidays, hosted a webinar on the importance of diversity in risk, and established internal affinity groups — giving employees opportunities to bond over hobbies like photography, visual arts, books, and more.

Looking to the Future

2021 saw us building toward a better, stronger, more agile future. Here’s what the future looks like for GARP:

  • A new, updated
  • A return to in-person programming for our annual Risk Convention
  • A new initiative to address and combat financial crime
  • The migration of our sustainability and climate risk resource to Risk Intelligence


The following highlights are from the GARP Consolidated Financial Statements as of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020. For a full set of financials, please contact



Assets 2021 2020
Total assets $66,882,118 $60,089,090
Liabilities and Net Assets
Total liabilities $21,897,817 $24,325,770
Net assets - without donor restrictions $44,984,301 $35,763,320
Total liabilities and net assets $66,882,118 $60,089,090


Revenues and Other Support 2021 2020
Total revenues and other support $56,784,043 $37,714,819
Total expenses $47,563,062 $45,832,934
Change in net assets $9,220,981 ($8,118,105)
Net assets - without donor restrictions, beginning of year $35,763,320 $43,881,425
Net assets - without donor restrictions, end of year $44,984,301 $35,763,320
statements of
financial position
as of
December 31, 2021 and 2020
Assets Total assets Liabilities and Net Assets Total liabilities Net assets - without donor restrictions Total liabilities and net assets
2021 $60,089,090 2021 $24,325,770 $35,763,320 $60,089,090
2020 $60,128,014 2020 $16,246,589 $43,881,425 $60,128,014
statements of
financial activities
for the years ended
December 31, 2021 and 2020
Revenues and Other Support Total revenues and other support Expenses Total expenses Change in net assets Net assets - without donor restrictions, beginning of year Net assets - without donor restrictions, end of year
2021 $37,714,819 2021 $45,832,924 ($8,118,105) $43,881,425 $35,763,320
2020 $52,394,985 2020 $41,500,171 $10,894,814 $32,986,611 $43,881,425

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