Risk ManagementThe NeuGroup Insights Interview

Balancing Act: A Former Auditor’s Perspective on Financial Risk

By February 28, 2024No Comments

A Bristol Myers Squibb risk manager shares how a balanced approach to controls can optimize treasury efficiency.

The multifaceted job of financial risk management within corporate treasury includes the effective use of controls to mitigate all sorts of potential threats to a company’s financial stability. But don’t let controls get out of control—implementing too many of them to manage financial risks can inadvertently create operational risks.

  • That’s a key takeaway from a recent NeuGroup conversation with Bill Brewer, associate director of financial risk management at Bristol Myers Squibb. You can watch a video clip from the interview by hitting the play button below.
  • “If you have five different controls and you need to get a payment out in a certain amount of time, those controls may slow down the process,” Mr. Brewer said, illustrating the point. “While you might reduce the risk of sending out a payment to the wrong address, you might end up increasing the risk of not sending out payments on time.”

An audit perspective in treasury. Mr. Brewer’s skill at walking the fine line between operational efficiency and effective controls is rooted in his background in internal audit at BMS. The perspective he brings to treasury includes the view that risk mitigation controls are more effective when they are preventive rather than “detective,” or those that are used to detect an issue after it has occurred.

  • Mr. Brewer joined treasury at BMS 2020 and the team he’s on today oversees FX hedging, interest rate risk, commodities exposures, counterparty risk and risk in the BMS short-term cash portfolio.
  • In an upcoming episode of NeuGroup’s Strategic Finance Lab podcast, he will dive further into his view of risk management as well as treasury’s partnerships with other teams at BMS, his path through finance and his approach to designing automations.
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

More posts by Justin Jones