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如何铲除流氓交易员

Shelley Hurley 2012年06月08日

所谓流氓交易员,是指那些在未经授权的情况下,擅自代表雇主进行大额交易的交易员。史上最著名的流氓交易员,大概应该算是在1995年以一己之力弄垮全球最古老银行之一的巴林银行的尼克•利森。

    流氓交易员也是一种“黑天鹅”现象,罕见却极端危险。尽管金融和大宗商品交易公司通常拥有极其先进的信息技术和分析手段,流氓交易员还是能给他们造成严重损失。原因可能就在于公司面临着创收的巨大压力,有意或无意地忽视了风险意识文化的贯彻,也没有采用支持公司交易和风险管理所必需的技术手段。

    流氓交易意味着公司风险管理的全面破产,包括公司治理、文化、流程和技术的问题。用以预防流氓交易的风险管理措施不仅仅应该是全面的,还应该是整体的、有机结合的。而经常发生的情况是,组织内部的“筒仓效应”(近邻的相互隔绝)妨碍了风险管理架构和责任的有效结合。整合措施的缺口和前中后台的分割被流氓交易员利用。此外,创收的压力下甚至可能滋生流氓交易文化,让人们对明星交易员的违规行为视而不见。虽然这些人代表着在短期内产生巨大利润的机会,但这种放任自流的行为可能导致灾难性的后果。

    埃森哲(Accenture)最近的一项风险管理研究调查了来自不同产业的数百名高管,发现他们在交易业务中面临前所未有的巨大风险。而领先公司在实践有效管理风险的努力中着重于四个关键元素:

    1. 治理。风险治理结构或者内部风控体系中最基本的是风险管理委员会,然后延伸至董事会以及如下的部门:内部审计、战略、计划、安全管理、法律、金融、税务、库务、会计和信息技术。我们的研究表明,风险管理责任到人是另一个关键问题:专职官员(一般职务为首席风险官)负责必不可少。

    设立了首席风险官的职位并不意味着这名官员就一定会成功。很多大型资本市场和大宗商品交易公司的首席风险官难以保持独立,也得不到足够的支持来对抗交易部门。而领先公司通常设立独立的风险委员会来评估交易头寸,同时,首席风险官直接向董事会报告。

    在交易和风险管理部门内部,前中后台之间的报告关系必须分割开来。如果没有依托强劲的治理结构对交易活动的报告和核对进行明晰的制衡,利益冲突就可能发生。

    2. 文化。再强的系统和措施也可能被为追求利益而不择手段的人挫败。系统可能在关键时刻掉链子,导致严重后果。业界领先的风险管理组织注重风险和回报之间的微妙平衡,也有方便的措施来降低风险。忽略风险和回报平衡的薪酬结构会造成承担过度风险的环境。

    Rogue traders are rare but can be extremely dangerous. They can cause major losses, despite the fact that financial and commodity trading firms are generally extremely sophisticated in their use of information technology and analytics. Companies facing immense pressure to generate revenue, however, do not always implement the risk-aware culture and implement the capabilities needed to support their trading and risk management operations.

    Rogue trading reflects a breakdown of a firm's risk management governance, culture, processes and technology. Risk management practices designed to prevent rogue trading must be comprehensive but also holistic and integrated. All too often, organizational "silos" prevent effective integration of risk management structures and responsibilities. Gaps in integrated practices and segmentation of front, mid and back offices have been exploited by rogue traders. In addition, the pressure for revenue can incubate a rogue trading culture that turns a blind eye toward the behavior of star traders. Although such individuals represent opportunities to make significant profits in a short period of time, these behaviors can lead to serious consequences.

    Accenture's recent Risk Management Research surveyed hundreds of executives across many industries, and found that senior managers face more and larger risks in their trading operations than ever before. We see leading practice companies addressing four key elements in their efforts to manage risk effectively:

    1. Governance. A governance structure or internal control system should start with a Risk Management Committee and then extend to the board of directors as well as the following functions: Internal audit, strategy, planning, security management, legal, finance, tax, treasury, accounting and IT. Our research indicates that ownership of risk management is another key issue; having a dedicated executive in place – often called the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) – is essential to mastering this problem.

    Having a CRO in place, however, is not enough to make that executive successful. Many CROs at large capital markets and commodity trading firms struggle with independence and the necessary support to stand up to the trading organization. Leading companies often use an independent risk committee to assess positions, and also have the CRO report directly to the Board of Directors.

    Within the trading and risk management organization, reporting relationships between front, mid and back offices need to be segmented. Conflict of interest can arise in absence of a robust governance structure of clear checks and balances in reporting and reconciling trading activities.

    2. Culture. The strongest systems and measures can be foiled by people who are motivated to attain profit by any means possible. Systems can let an organization down, sometimes with significant downside. Industry-leading risk management organizations value the fine balance of risk and reward and the means at hand to mitigate risks. Compensation structures that ignore the risk-reward balance create an environment for excessive risk taking.

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