Chief Risk Officer Lecture Series Features CapitalOne’s Peter
A. Schnall, chief risk officer and executive vice president at Capital
One, spoke at the CRO Lecture Series on Oct. 11, 2011 about "Risk Management in
Action: How Risk and Business Managers Drive Strategy and Control Risk" to an
enthusiastic group of practitioners and graduate students at the Ronald Reagan
Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
The on-going Chief Risk Officer Lecture Series is sponsored by the University
of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and the DC-Chapter of the
Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) and brings C-Suite
professional risk managers to Washington, D.C., to discuss sound practice and
promote higher-standards for risk governance and financial risk management.
The focus of this lecture was on the depth, range, and scope of skills and
abilities needed to be an effective risk manager. Schnall explained numerous,
practical ways risk management is used to create sustainable strategic value for
an organization and will detail the numerous competencies required to be an
effective risk leader; a leader that not only controls risk but one that
intelligently accepts, manages, and mitigates risk.
Schnall offered the audience his “5 Cs of Risk Management: competency,
cognitive awareness, causes action, courage, and curiosity.” He said that it is
impossible to have competency in all areas of risk, but it is important to
understand the ways people make mistakes and make adjustments and that most
people are overconfident in their decision-making abilities.
He said that while there is no magic pill to prevent cognitive errors, it
helps to know these three things: “know your assumptions, know your
sensitivities, and know what’s at stake.”
Schnall serves as CapitalOne’s Chief Risk Officer with responsibility for
Credit, Compliance, Enterprise Risk, and Operational Risk. He is a member of
CapitalOne’s Executive Committee. Prior to becoming Chief Risk Officer, he was
the company’s Chief Credit Officer from 2002 until 2006, and was a division head
in the U.S. Card business from 1997 to 2002 where he had business responsibility
at various times for CapitalOne’s Super-prime, Installment Loan, and Underserved
businesses in addition to several specialty segments. Before moving into the
credit card division in 1997, he served in the new business development area. He
joined the company in 1996. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale.
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications