Operational risk

Ugly Duckling consulting for Rabobank

We are very happy to be working with one of the leading banks in the field of food and agri worldwide. Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principle serving approximately 8.8 million clients around the world.

The balance sheet risk of the bank is managed by the ALM team. Ugly Duckling will be supporting this team in an automation project with the aim of increasing efficiency and reducing operational risk.

Testing & Finance 2012 : “Ford’s Lean”

During our Testing & Finance 2012 talk we demonstrated how the concepts used by HROs can be used to manage the operational risks faced by modern financial institutions.

At financial institutions, the Chief Risk Officer’s primary concern is detecting and preventing catastrophes before they occur, i.e. managing risk. While financial risks are important, operational risks are becoming more so. Controlling these risks requires a new attitude to making changes, testing, releasing software and developing the right team. Continue reading

Reducing Operation Risk: The First Baby Step


In our experience, each client is different, context is always king. However, because many financial institutions start off with end-user programmers, people who program for themselves, usually in Excel with VBA, the organisations tend to follow similar growth paths. In the end, financial institutions end up with a consolidated engineering team, what is often called the ‘Engineering Hypermarket’. The hypermarket is a place where the financial institution can ‘shop’ for:

  • A bug fix.
  • A new pricer.
  • A desk quant who can sit in the trading room assisting with features, analysis or coding.

The hypermarket is characterised by high levels of automation, discipline and rapidity; they do things quickly. Building a hypermarket is a bootstrapping process that starts with the smoke test. Continue reading

Operational risks in code libraries