The Financial Risk Group Is Now FRG

We’re making it official: After more than a decade of operating as “The Financial Risk Group,” we’re changing our name to reflect what our clients have called us since the early days. We are excited to formally debut our streamlined “FRG” brand and logo.

Our new look is a natural progression from where we started 14 years ago, when the three founding partners of this company set a lofty goal. We wanted to become the premier risk management consulting company. It seemed ambitious, considering we were operating out of Ron Holanek’s basement at the time, but we knew we had at least two things going for us: a solid business plan and a drive to do whatever it took to deliver success for our clients.

And look at us now. It would take a while to list everything we’ve accomplished over the last decade plus, but here’s a quick run down of some of the items we’ve crossed off the company bucket list since 2006.

  • We’ve grown our numbers from the original three to more than 50 talented risk consultants, analysts, and developers.
  • We moved out of the basement (it would have been a tight fit, considering). We settled in historic downtown Cary in 2008, but quickly spilled out of our main office there and into several satellite locations. In 2018 we bought an older building a few blocks away and renovated it to a gleaming modern office hub for our US headquarters.
  • We opened offices in Toronto, Canada and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to better serve our clients around the world.
  • We opened several new business units, expanding on our original core focus of delivering automated technology solutions. Adding dedicated Data and Risk, Business Analytics, and Platform Hosting teams enlarged our wheelhouse, so that we have experts that can walk our clients through the entire lifecycle of risk management programs. (Shameless plug: you can learn more about a number of them via a series of videos that are sprinkled throughout the website). We now also work with institutional investors on innovative models and product offerings to help streamline processes and drive excess returns.
  • We formalized our NEET (New Employee Excellence Training) apprenticeship program, so we can nurture and enhance the specific blend of skills that risk management professionals need to solve real-world business challenges. The program has struck a chord with our clients, so we built a program to recruit and develop risk management talent for them, as well.

Obviously, we couldn’t have done any of this without continued trust and support from our clients. Our clientele represents a cross section of the world’s largest banking, capital markets, insurance, energy and commodity firms – stretching across continents and across industries – and we recognize that they’re some very smart people. When they talk, we listen, and what they have been saying for a few years now is that the brand we started with in 2006 should evolve with the evolution of the company.

It is natural for people to streamline words into acronyms.  In our industry, there are many, and knowing them is very important to our job.  Our clients, partners, and even our internal teams used FRG from day one, but now is the time to make it official.  By rebranding and fully embracing the FRG name, we hope that it, too, becomes a well-known acronym in the risk management space, one that people equate with integrity and quality of work.

So we’re celebrating 2020 with the new name, a new look, and a new logo. But it’s like they say. The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s why you can be sure that our core values, our core principle – to fulfill our clients’ needs, while surpassing their expectations – still guide us every day. We are our reputation. We are FRG.

Mike Forno is a Partner and Senior Director of Sales with FRG.


Economic Research and Stress Testing

Stress testing the country’s banks provides a valuable measurement of how well the banks would perform under unfavorable conditions. In order for the tests to give the most accurate picture of potential vulnerabilities, Federal Reserve officials don’t disclose the specific models used to crunch those numbers. James McAndrews, director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, explained why the models must remain under wraps in a speech he made at the Fourth Annual Stress Testing Modeling Symposium, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in June. Click through the link below to see a transcript of his remarks to symposium attendees.

What Is Stress Testing?

The purpose of stress testing is to evaluate a financial organization’s strength under adverse conditions. But as this Forbe’s article explains, it is not simply a matter of passing or failing. Visit the link below at for more about regulatory stress testing, and what information it can and can’t provide.
Still confused about what kind of security stress testing can provide for your organization? Contact one of the experts at the Financial Risk Group today.

Companies Want MBAs Who Can Code

Business schools around the country are realizing that management students with coding skills are more valuable to their future employers. According to Business Week, companies want business leaders who know enough about coding to communicate with their technical staff, and elite business programs are responding by making the relevant courses available, if not required, to earn the MBA degree.
The Financial Risk Group understands the value of specialized technical training. The company developed its NEET apprenticeship program to develop financial risk management professionals with coveted skills in technology, business and methodology. When completed, FRG’s NEET graduates have acquired the critical tools to add value to client projects and assess client needs through design and implementation.

U.S. Regulators Seeking Data on Banks’ Attempts to Slim Down

Too big to fail? Or too big to manage? Some of the country’s largest banks are being asked to simplify their operations, in order to give regulators more accurate information about the risks these giants pose to the country’s financial system. It’s one of many initiatives proposed by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) since the 2010 passing of the Dodd-Frank law, meant to regulate those banks whose failure could topple the financial markets.
Click below to read the original article published in the Chicago Tribune.

Regulatory-Only Risk Management Misses Profit Opportunities

Across the entire spectrum of risk management, it is often the consensus view that risk is simply part of a regulatory requirement that banks must undertake. What many fail to see, however, is that risk is perhaps the number one determinant in profit margins and good business. Utilizing risk as an information building block, rather than a control, is essential to maximize business practices. The team here at FRG understands this and seeks not only to build complex reporting algorithms that satisfy regulation, but also to paint a clear picture of what risk means to a business as a whole. It is with this intuitive brushstroke that FRG truly separates itself from others in the industry.

Data, Talent, and Compliance Drive the Next Phase of Risk Management

There are many ongoing efforts to reduce exposures to risk, but because of regulatory standards, banks and many risk management firms often deal solely with compliance rather than results. At FRG, the talented team of consultants collaborate in a checks and balances manner to provide the most accurate solutions to portfolio challenges. This dynamic work environment drives results that have become a central issue in today’s economic environment.

Do Bank Stress Tests Mean Anything At All?

Bank stress testing is conducted according to future adverse scenarios of the economy that may not truly represent the most likely potential outcomes. The people at FRG recognize this and always seek to develop mathematically robust solutions while still adhering to the guidelines of The Federal Reserve. It is with this mindset that FRG moves forward into the new and exciting field of risk management with the aim of one day finally being able to soundly capture risk.

Stress Testing Solutions: The Supply and Demand

More banks are seeking automated systems to stress test their institutions, rather than relying on manual processes that can be time consuming and not always cost effective. A new report by consultants with Aite Group suggests that smaller banks, those with revenues of less than $50 billion, may be more interested in simply complying with government regulations, and may not think they need a high level of stress testing automation.
FRG’s consultants know that automation offers more advantages than just speedy resolution. Our team provides a level of analytical insight that can help financial institutions plan their operational roadmap, armed with information to help them run their banks better. Contact FRG today to learn more about how we can help.
For more information on the Aite Group report, please click below.

Banks Get a C+ in Postcrisis Risk Management

In the article, from American Banker, there is a concern that Banks are not engaging enough resources in building integrated risk infrastructure across business lines. FRG’s consultants have the skill set to assist Risk Managers in finding and implementing the right risk management software. Click below to read the article.

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