Yet John McLaughlin, senior managing director, Smart Business Advisory, thinks it's possible that not enough bank risk executives were fired in the wake of the subprime fiasco. "Look around," he says. "Have there been any consequences to people making bad decisions?"
Nonetheless, McLaughlin offers some insight into the key skills and qualities of a successful bank risk executive. "Courage is a big asset," he says. "Being able to speak your mind, in addition to being smart, having good analytical and communication skills, and diplomacy. The CRO has to be independent enough and have the courage to speak up and say, 'We've got a problem.' "