Consulting firm Baringa Partners has recently launched a new offering that aims at helping banks develop more effective risk management strategies and capitalise on the value of data. The new area, dubbed ‘Risk Analytics’, falls within its Risk & Compliance practice, and is headed by former Barclays banker James Belmont. Expansion and active recruitment is well on its way.
Baringa Partners (Baringa) was established in 1999, and since has grown to a team of 35 partners and approximately 350 advisors, working from offices in London and Düsseldorf. The business advisory distinguishes itself in the marketplace with a focus on three sectors – financial services, energy and utilities sectors – and helps clients with a range of management consultancy services.
Risk & Compliance
In line with the growing demand for risk & compliance services in the financial services industry, Baringa in Q4 last year expanded its portfolio with a risk analytics offering. The new proposition complements the existing services in the practice, which include among others risk governance, regulatory compliance and capital allocation. “This move is a direct response to a need that is emerging within the capital markets and banking sectors, and is a natural complement to our existing Risk and Compliance capability,” explains James Nicholls, Partner at Baringa.
With the latest addition to its portfolio, Baringa aims to tap into one of the fastest growing segments within the consulting industry. Recent research from analyst firm Source shows that globally the financial services sector has in the aftermath of the crisis regained its momentum, growing in 2014 with 5% - 10%, from $24 billion in 2013 to around $26 billion last year. From a functional perspective, risk & compliance is with a distance the key service offering in the FS market, accounting for up to 80% of all consultancy work in the sector, and acts as a key driver of future growth. Another study, released last month by the MCA, also earmarks financial services as one of the highest demand areas within the UK consulting market.
Combined with growing client demand for analytics, another high growth domain, the combination of the two areas will undoubtedly be a consultancy sweet spot in the years to come. Baringa’s new capability will focus on two key areas: develop risk management strategies to maximise capital efficiency and support treasury functions with interest rate and liquidity risk management.
The risk analytics service will be headed by James Belmont, who joins Baringa as a Director from Barclays, where he worked since 2006, in his last role as Head of Modelling within the Treasury team. Prior to that he spent 2,5 years as Head of Economic Capital at Alliance & Leicester, after he started his career as a Consultant with PA Consulting Group. “James’ combination of consultancy and industry experience means he will be ideally placed to support clients, bringing a strong understanding of the practical and commercial considerations,” says Nicholls.
“Compliance with the demanding regulatory agenda has played a strong role in steering banks’ risk management strategies in recent years,” comments Belmont. “We’re now starting to see a desire to move beyond ‘simple’ compliance, however, with banks looking to leverage their investments in compliant models, processes and infrastructure to implement more commercially progressive risk management. That is precisely what we’ll be working with clients to devise and implement, to ensure that Risk and Treasury are supporting the overall business in the most effective way.”
In the coming months Baringa will focus on expanding the practice, both in service depth as in headcount. “As ever with Baringa, we will be focusing on recruiting the strongest possible calibre of consultants to build the team, with a real emphasis on industry experts with the experience to deliver value to clients from day one,” Nicholls concludes.