It’s hot in Manhattan. Our bustling island is sweltering and ConEdison seems likely to wobble under the strain. So on the three recent occasions that I’ve gone for sushi lunch close to the Thomson Reuters office at 3 Times Square, I’ve attempted to order an “iced green tea”. Every time I have made this request, the response from our server, one while pointing at the menu, was “we don’t have iced green tea”. I have perfected my frustrated response: “Do you have Green tea?” – yes… “do you have ice?” – Yes… “Ok, please bring me both”, which they do promptly and watch me pour hot green tea over a large glass of ice.
Yesterday, while I was with a colleague at another sushi spot near the office, I once again asked for my usual Iced Green Tea, anticipating what has now become an automated exchange. The waiter said, “sorry sir but we don’t have iced green tea. We do however have regular green tea, so I’ll bring that with some ice. Is that ok?” I reflected on this very simple interaction. In this situation, I am the customer and the sales person is my waiter. (more…)
Last week GRC hosted a successful Risk and Compliance customer event in Toronto with over 150 senior decision makers packed into the Board of Trade facility downtown. Sliding into my Porter Air seat bound home for Newark I struck up a conversation with one of the attendees from TD Securities. He too was heading south, jumping into meetings to discuss Global regulatory frameworks with his American colleagues. Canada did not go through the same financial collapse as it’s southerly neighbor, not necessarily because of any insight but partly due to a more conservative nature on a national, cultural scale. Canada is by its own admission more risk adverse than the United States, a fact that has recently led to more collaboration and quickly as we ascended in our cosy twin propped aircraft became the focus of our conversation… we ordered a glass of Niagaran wine and settled into our short flight across the border.
My travel companion talked a little about how our customer events really were helping to firm up consistent opinion, less around what went wrong (you can tune into CNN or the BBC and of course Reuters News for that), but more about what needed to happen next. How does the industry and the markets they serve avoid, or at least manage the next regulatory failure, how does an industry largely held to blame, emerge stronger, more unified and more adept at managing regulatory risk? Tackling these weighty topics are not isolated activities, they require an open dialogue, shared perspectives and very, very candid discussions. The financial services industry saw a lot of employee migration. Some compliance officers in large firms went to small hedge funds and their posts in turn have been filled with former regulators. This is a tight community of people who share a desire to strengthen their industry and their profession – one that has an elevated status in their respective firms.
So our GRC forum in Toronto, like all our customer events provide a venue to share ideas and learn about best practices but ultimately they each arrive with one question… (more…)