“Banks are still learning the lessons of the financial crisis, but there are others who are faring better with the help of interims,” says John Bloor.


The financial crisis was in large part a consequence of banks ignoring lessons about risk management they had learned many times before. Bankers will tell you it was a lot more complicated than that, but it wasn’t   It was all about the basics. They didn’t forget the basics. They just chose to ignore them - again. Have the lessons finally been learned?  I very much doubt it.

So while the bankers have still not yet fully demonstrated a level of risk awareness and fortitude commensurate with the risks that they run, others have done better.  As a broad generalisation, finance functions in other sectors have shown themselves to be much better managed than those in the banking sector.  Other sectors seem to have been more prepared to deal with the consequences of prolonged economic recession and whilst we may be more conscious of some of the more prominent business failures of recent times than the successes, the per-capita rate of stress or failure must surely be highest in the banking sector.

Finance Interims Provide Focus

Over the last 18 months I have worked with a number of corporates that have invested in programmes that will better define the risks to which they are exposed and the measures they will take to mitigate those risks.  In each case finance interims specialising in multi-category risk identification, assessment and management were hired to lead the programme, sometimes taking the business on what might have appeared to be a long and painstaking journey.  It will have been the external input that provided a framework to give management confidence going forward.


Are you a finance interim? How have you seen the nature of the roles for finance interims change during the period of the financial crisis? Share your experiences with our interims community.

photo credit: Mukumbura via photopin cc

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  • http://twitter.com/interimity Julia Briggs

    Thanks John - however, one of the problems is that companies with masses of cash are not spending it - that’s the opposite behaviour. They have frozen the economy, and individual organisations are keeping their reserves high, which allows them to pay dividends, which keeps shareholders happy etc. Which means that the senior execs get their fab pay - it’s good for the individual in the rich seam, but not for the rest of the economy and for those less fortunate.

    • John Bloor

      Julia. Yes, I agree that risk aversion rather than risk awareness may be part of the issue here but poorly judged investment decisions have long term consequences that impact widely. And if businesses don’t deliver I do think shareholders are becoming rightly intolerant of executive reward structures that don’t reflect this, but we do still have a long way to go. John