Dr. John Lee, Group Chief Risk Officer of Maybank has been named the "Bank Risk Manager of The Year" by Asia Risk, the only Asia-based publication which covers derivatives and risk management. The Asia Risk magazine has been recognising institutions for excellence in risk management since 2000.
Judged by Asia Risk's Hong Kong-based editorial team, the Asia Risk awards represent the pinnacle of success for organisations in the region. The award was presented by Mr Eric Woolner, Editor of Asia Risk to Dr. Lee during its 14th Annual Asia Risk Awards presentation ceremony in Hong Kong recently.
Asia Risk said that one of the first measures implemented following Dr. Lee‟s appointment in July 2011 was a "risk transformation programme" aimed at strengthening risk management at the growing regional bank. As part of this programme, he integrated the offices of the Basel II project team, risk management, group credit management and group compliance into Group Credit & Risk Management with the responsibility of overseeing the overall risk management function across the group that encompasses 20 countries, 2,200 offices and 47,000 employees, of which 1,200 are risk professionals.
Now in its second phase, the key objective of the current programme is to redesign the Bank's risk architecture and align the capabilities of the group's risk function with the bank's aspirations within the Asean region. Enhanced risk management was among the key factors, aside from capital strength, asset quality, strong reserves and deposit and funding strength that led to Maybank becoming the first Malaysian bank to enter into the world's top 20 strongest banks at number 13, based on an evaluation undertaken by Bloomberg Markets in May 2013.
The Group has also started to put into place the Basel III reforms commencing January 2013, in line with BNM timeline, ahead of the majority of members of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
Commenting on the award, Dr. Lee said, “I‟m honoured to receive this recognition from Asia Risk. This award recognises that Maybank adopts global best practices in its risk management policies, among other endeavours. It is also a tribute to all Maybankers who worked together as a team and demonstrated their commitment to ensure sound risk management practices at all times.”
Dr. Lee added that the biggest challenge for the Bank is the timing of various regulations across Asian countries. "Regulatory developments are changing how we look at risk and more importantly how risk is embedded into the business function as the cost of capital will go up and liquidity will be constrained. This will impact our business and customers,” he said.
Dr. Lee has in-depth financial industry and risk management expertise with a specialisation in Islamic finance, business strategy, risk management and performance management.