Jo Lucas

Chief Risk Officer


Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Years in the industry: 17 years

Areas of focus: Risk

What is your role at Mizuho and what are you responsible for?

As Chief Risk Officer for EMEA I am responsible for overseeing all the risks we run as an organisation. As a second line function we are required to challenge the business to ensure the risks that they run are within appetite and to develop tools and frameworks to ensure we can measure and monitor risks on an on-going basis. The risks we cover include financial risks such as market, liquidity and credit risks as well as non-financial risks such as operational, model and reputational risks.

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date?

I studied Maths at University and knew I wanted to get into the Finance industry but wasn’t sure exactly where. I initially interned as part of the Middle Office team at Bank of America, but having met with the Risk team as part of my internship I thought it sounded really interesting, so I took a graduate role in Market Risk. Throughout my career I have worked in several roles, both as a risk manager and delivering numerous Risk-related change projects. My career has taken me to Bank of America, Nomura and now Mizuho.

I think I have been lucky to have had opportunities to work in multiple business areas which has really taught me how different markets work and how the financial service industry can add value to the economy. Working through several financial cycles has also taught me what can go wrong and how to manage change and adversity.

What is one piece of advice that has always stuck with you?

To never stop learning. There are always new things to learn – whether you are learning about a particular market or industry; or learning a new skill. By encouraging yourself to learn as much as you can about a topic, it provides you with additional background information that can help you see the bigger picture which allows you to improve or be more efficient.

It also helps that I perform my best when I am enjoying myself and I love learning! Taking the opportunity to learn new things can make boring tasks more exciting, which helps provide motivation to get things done. A couple of times in my career, I have taken a sideways move or taken on a more junior role in a different area – but what I have learnt from those roles has always helped me progress in the longer run.

Why is diversity of thought important in the workplace?

Diversity of thought ensures that we always look at an issue from many different angles. Sometimes taking a different approach can provide the key that unlocks a tricky problem in a unique way. Talking about different ways of doing things can provide healthy challenge to make us question whether we are doing the right thing and make sure we can justify the approaches we are taking. Sometimes the challenge doesn’t lead to change but it ensures that we can be confident in our approach and at other times the challenge can be a wake up call to have a fundamental rethink of our procedures.

Do you have a unique hobby, skill or fact about yourself?

I am a passionate sailor and spend most summer weekends racing in the Solent. I love being out on the water as it feels a long way away from the office and it provides a great opportunity to recharge. As well as racing myself, I am also a qualified sailing race official and have officiated at international sailing events including the London 2012 Olympics.


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