Risk Adjudicator

Risk Adjudicator

Risk Adjudication is the matching of the risk or potential for loss when lending money (i.e. issuing credit) with the organization’s need to be profitable. Risk Adjudicators play a key role in determining how financial institutions use their money and that of their depositors. They are the reviewers and arbiters of their company’s decisions about whether to lend money to an individual or an organization.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for skilled adjudicators will continue, while more junior roles may decline due to increased use of complex financial models to determine lending decisions

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate Degree Required

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Head or district/field office; Standard business hours

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for skilled adjudicators will continue, while more junior roles may decline due to increased use of complex financial models to determine lending decisions

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate Degree Required

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Head or district/field office; Standard business hours


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Working with large amounts and varied sources of data to make lending decisions: Consider many inputs including the company’s lending policies, qualitative data (i.e. market or environmental factors), quantitative data (e.g. financial statements, risk model outputs/reports) and analyst research reports when assessing credit applicants.

Focusing on larger and/or complex loans: Tend to work on loans for medium and large-sized businesses, reviewing applications for credit from clients whose needs are more complex and require more than just an automated assessment of credit risk.

May have a specific adjudication focus based on geography: The types of credit applications received often reflect the characteristics/needs of the geographic location (e.g. agricultural credit or real estate credit).

Focus Areas

Risk Adjudicators work mostly in banking. (In the Insurance industry, Adjudicators are known as Underwriters.)

Depending on the size of the organization, Adjudicators may be aligned with a specific business line such as mortgages or lending within a specific portfolio such as agriculture or mining.


WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Risk Adjudicators generally:

Assess credit applications for new credit and renewals:

  • Review credit applications and assess key risk factors related to the client (such as financial position, client account history, potential for payment, probability of default, reputation of applicant).
  • Negotiate/recommend terms and conditions for credit approval.
  • Make final decisions/determinations on credit applications received.

Conduct staff training:

  • Provide training specific to the adjudication process so frontline staff understand the restrictions surrounding credit transactions.

Review and monitor organization credit policies: 

  • Maintain current awareness of regulatory changes and advances in credit risk management.
  • Identify and present opportunities for improvements to risk policy based on changing trends.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Ability to assess quantitative and qualitative data to make decisions on credit transactions
  • Strong knowledge of consumer finance (e.g. mortgages, insurance policies, bonds, etc.)
  • Strong knowledge of investment products and trading of financial instruments
  • Experience in statistical analysis and modelling
  • Experience in research – analysis and reporting
  • Demonstrated capabilities in data interpretation, sense-making and communication
  • Consistent application of high ethical standards
  • Proven team collaboration and information sharing abilities

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Previous experience in lending, mortgage sales or analyst roles

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • College diploma or
  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Mathematics
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Risk Management

Senior positions may require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Economics
  • Finance

 Employers may require candidates to possess one or more of the following designations:

Programs Offered

CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) Institute

George Brown College

McMaster University

Queen’s University

Sprott School of Business

St. Lawrence College

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

University of Windsor


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Risk Adjudicators through:

Larger & More Complex Credit Transactions: These types of roles would include Market Risk positions, Corporate Lending and/or Corporate Credit Risk Management.

Increased Seniority: Many organizations have a variety of leadership roles in risk management such as:

  • Senior Risk Manager
  • Director of Risk Policy
  • VP Risk Management
  • Chief Risk Officer

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the qualifications and demand for this role:

  • Public Scrutiny & Attention to Risk: Demand for skilled Risk Adjudicators remains strong as financial organizations conduct greater due diligence in their lending decisions.
  • Complexity of Investment Products: Increasing complexity is leading financial organizations to be more diligent in evaluating risks within investment and credit products.
  • Use of Models: The complexity and number of models available for use in the financial services industry are increasing, potentially reducing the need for Risk Adjudicators in more junior roles.


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