Head of Risk

Emerald Group
Competitive Salary plus excellent benefits package
03 Jun 2019
03 Jul 2019
Contract Type

Role Purpose:

This role will be a key position in the Life Company’s three lines of defence providing risk oversight with particular focus on the financial risks through appropriate challenge and assurance to the actuarial teams over methods and assumptions.

Being integral to the design and execution of the Internal Model validation, assessing the appropriateness of Internal Model assumptions & methodology and provide constructive challenge and oversight on technical matters.

The ideal candidate will be Qualified Actuary with detailed knowledge of UK life insurance products alongside experience operating in a second line risk function.

The jobholder is required to attend executive level risk committee meetings, to provide ongoing challenge and oversight of the first line of defence. Also, to attend Life Assurance Board meetings, Risk and Conduct Committee and Audit Committee meetings to provide updates or opinions on risk matters.


  • As part of the second line Risk function working closely with the first line Actuarial teams, challenging and influencing outputs including strategy and managing senior stakeholder relationships
  • Providing opinions and insight to the Life companies governance committees including both management and Board level committees
  • Develop a broad view of the risks affecting all lines of the business and provide challenge around the management and reporting
  • Own the ORSA by defining the risks to be modelled and setting the severity of the stresses and scenarios and interrogating the results provided by the Chief Actuary
  • Provide assurance reviews on key risk areas across the business and controls in place to mitigate those risks. Creating action plans for remediation and follow them through to completion
  • Support the development of a clear financial risk framework linking risk appetite, risk assessments, policies and procedures
  • Support the development of financial risk management policies to address the firm’s material financial risks, including the acceptance, management and monitoring of those risks and the methods and processes for assessing them
  • Provide robust risk oversight and challenge to the functions responsible for managing financial risks, making recommendations for improvements in the control environment where necessary
  • Ensures that adequate reporting is in place to enable monitoring of compliance with risk management policies and the firm’s risk appetite. Review and challenge any remediation plans proposed by the Chief Actuary
  • Interpret and summarise new regulatory developments and risks through horizon scanning relevant to the role, understand the potential impacts and risks these may pose and communicate to the Chief Risk Officer
  • Responsible for identifying the scope of the internal model and the risks to be covered and for appropriate scenario and stress tests to evaluate the model
  • Design and implement a validation programme for the internal model, challenging methodology and assumptions and confirming appropriateness of use of expert judgement and providing oversight and approval of any external validation work
  • Reporting of validation results to all levels of the organisation including Board and ensure resolution of any findings
  • Propose areas for redesign of any aspects of the model that are required through a significant change in the company risk profile
  • Participate in and provide feedback into industry surveys relating to the internal model
  • Responsible for the review and challenge of the methods and assumptions used in the business
  • Report to the Life Assurance Risk and Conduct Committee on matters of risk oversight and risk assurance
  • Has direct access and a reporting line to the Chairman of the Life Assurance Risk and Conduct Committee
  • Interaction with the PRA for both risk and internal model matters


  • Maintain awareness and profile of risk management developments and contribute to relevant proposals to the Risk and Conduct Committee to improve or enhance the Life Company’s risk management framework to best practice
  • Develop proactive working relationships with external bodies including the regulatory bodies
  • Promote good governance practices across the Life Company in line with published standards and guidance
  • Attendance and presentation to executive and board level committees when required
  • Support the team in following up outstanding remediation actions to closure within agree deadlines
  • Ensure that all systems-based records are maintained in an accurate and timely manner
  • Ensure Life Company policies and procedures are adhered to
  • Undertake any other reasonable tasks as and when requested by management



  • Life Risk and Conduct Committee
  • First line risk committees
  • Internal Audit
  • Divisional & Department Managers
  • All Group colleagues


  • Regulators

Selection Criteria:


  • Essential:
  • ·Educated to degree level or equivalent qualification
  • Desirable:
  • ·Actuary ·Risk professional


  • Essential:
  • ·At least 5 years working in life insurance environment and Solvency II ·5+ years post qualified experience


  • Internal Model design, governance and validation
  • Financial market, insurance and operational risk modelling and management
  • Financial market products and insurance products
  • Solvency II, PRA & FCA regulations
  • Strong mathematical / analytical skills
  • Developed organisational, interpersonal and communication skills – diplomatic, impartial, discreet
  • Negotiation and influencing skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Decisive, ability to enforce regulations
  • Flexibility, motivational, persistent