The Risk & Compliance Operations Director is a key person in our company. Let’s get more information about this specific role from Ognjenka Fejic:
Hi, Oga. Tell us more about yourself. How long have you been working as Risk & Compliance Operations Director at iCOVER, and what is your prior experience in the field?
It all started with… a LinkedIn InMail. I joined the company in the spring of 2016, and I was far from imagining how great a journey it would be! I’ve been managing the Risk and Compliance team, formerly known as the Business Intelligence team, since then. But this adventure would certainly have not been possible without the commitment and support of our management, of great collaborators, and of a core group of colleagues – real team players – with whom we built the team and elaborated our work methodologies. My strengths lie within the risk management and business intelligence fields. Before joining iCOVER, I spent five years working as a project manager on complex international due diligence and risk assessment projects for a major French risk management consultancy. I also worked as an analyst at the Balkans desk of the former strategic affairs delegation of the French Ministry of Defense.
What are the main responsibilities of a R&C Operations Director?
It is important to first recall the main responsibilities of the team. We support our clients in comprehending, measuring, and managing different types of risks – such as compliance/regulatory, operational, or reputational risks – to help them make informed business decisions either prior to establishing a business relationship or in the course of one. For this purpose, we have put in place different types of due diligence reports and risk assessment studies and tools based on quality-proven methodologies, and, most important, we have built an international team of highly qualified people with strong academic backgrounds.
To describe the team and its activities, I often use the analogy with a top restaurant, saying that we are in the backstage area, preparing recipes for a successful business, as our clients will have high expectations when it comes to their dish.
My responsibilities are to ensure that we shape strong products, translate clients’ needs and expectations into high-quality deliverables, navigate as smoothly as possible the financial and operational challenges of the delivery process, and build a team that collaborators are proud to be part of.
What interests you most about the R&C field?
It is certainly the fact that I keep on learning every day: I am learning from an ever-changing regulatory environment; I am learning from very demanding clients, and I am learning from my team and my colleagues. Working in the R&C field is a journey; no two days are alike, and there are so many sub-fields to explore. One must be humble and focus on intellectual integrity and strong work ethics while applying high standards and seeking excellence.
As Operations Director, what is your process for identifying and overcoming bottlenecks in your projects?
I am afraid that I’ll give very predictable answers to this question: experience helps a lot, as well as knowing the team and the clients. Anticipation, in general, is a key success factor; it is not specific to R&C, but it is true that we always have a plan B when starting a project, as the clients should not be affected by a potential internal issue. No need to add that a work environment based on trust and inclusion is key and that giving team members ownership of projects helps increase commitment and dedication.