Global Practice Analysis Report 2021

A contemporary and comprehensive description of financial risk management practice

Which skills will you need most to develop your career? What are the most significant changes to the risk management practice over the past four years? In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever to have these insights to shape your career.

The GARP Global Practice Analysis is based on a quadrennial survey of financial risk managers that investigates who they are, where they work, what they do, and how they do it — specifically, the skills and knowledge they need to perform their risk management responsibilities.

These survey findings verify the validity, relevance, and timeliness of the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) Exam by providing guidance in updating content coverage to reflect current practice. Additionally, the survey directs GARP Continuing Professional Development initiatives and identifies themes for GARP offerings, including Chapter meetings, the GARP Risk Convention, webcasts, and other educational outreach programs.

Overseen by the GPA Advisory Committee, GARP has completed four GPA surveys since 2011, resulting in a rich resource for identifying and examining trends in the practice of financial risk management. These regular studies ensure the FRM program curriculum reflects the critical knowledge and financial risk tasks in a continually evolving industry.

The 2020-2021 GPA survey was conducted during a period where new and evolving risks — such as climate change, emerging technologies, and the global pandemic and health crisis — amplified the need for sound risk management practices. It was completed by 1,532 qualified risk management professionals from 104 countries, with almost two-thirds of them FRMs, and more than 7% Energy Risk Professionals (ERP®) and/or holders of the Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate.

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Key Takeaways

  • Financial institutions are placing additional emphasis on operational risk management as part of an effort to build more resilient organizations that can withstand shocks like COVID-19. Twenty-two percent of respondents cited operational risk and resilience as their focus, up from 17% in 2017.
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data are gaining traction in risk management, with nearly three-quarters of respondents citing these disruptive technologies as an emphasis of continuing education.
  • Fintech (58%), climate change and financial risk (46%), and blockchain (37%) are also important areas of continuing-education focus.
  • Financial risk measurement and modeling is a vital task that occupies the largest percentage (21%) of respondents’ time.
  • It is more important than ever to identify emerging risks and plan for their management. Financial risk managers must also be able to communicate effectively with others through standardized reporting methods. Moreover, they need to recognize when to elevate and escalate risk.

Read the Full 2021 GPA Report

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