In a session on ‘Risk management in banks' that was getting too technical, no one could possibly have put the essence of enterprise risk management better than Mr M. Ramsekhar, CEO of risk and infrastructure solutions, CRISIL.

“Enterprise Risk Management is not an insurance against loss. It is about how good a fire service we may have. It will put out the fire, and the loss is mitigated. But still, we need to look at it not just from a loss mitigation perspective, but also from the view point of making sustainable profits”, he said.

Making a point on the Lehman crisis, he said: “Just as how historians talk about AD and BC, risk managers should talk in terms of ‘before Lehman' and ‘after Lehman'”.

On whether risk was seldom understood, he said: “Risk is a Vedic-like recitation everybody likes to talk about but does not understand”

Out of love and affection

Being the last speaker in a session that was eating heavily into lunch time and unsettling the crowd, Mr Ravi Mohan, Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank, had the audience in splits when he remarked: “When the Chairman of the session asked me to sit next to him, I thought he was doing it out of love and affection.” “But now,” he said, “I realise that he did not do it out of love. He not only made me speak last but has also conveniently asked me to summarise all what the previous speakers said, throwing me into a fix of sorts.”

(This article was published on November 6, 2011)
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