FIRM
Overview

FIRM
Overview

The Frankfurt Institute for Risk Management and Regulation (FIRM) was established in 2009 under the auspices of the Society for Risk Management and Regulation, an association of members including renowned German financial institutions, corporations, advisory firms and the State of Hessen. Among its founding members are Deutsche Bank AG, DZ BANK AG and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, thus representing all three pillars of the German banking sector: the privately owned banks, the publicly owned savings banks (Sparkassen), and the cooperative banks (Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken).

In addition to the participation of almost all major banks in Germany, FIRM also includes prominent representation from the insurance sector through Allianz SE and from the securities markets through Deutsche Börse AG. FIRM cooperates with the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, by the House of Finance of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, and by other universities and works in teaching and research closely with these renowned institutions.

The Executive Board of the Society is comprised of 13 members under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Udo Steffens, former President and CEO of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and deputy chairmanship of Stephan Wilken, Managing Director and Head of Enterprise Risk Management and Model Risk at Deutsche Bank, and Thomas Groß, Member of the Board of Managing Directors of Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba). The two Presidents of FIRM also serve on the Executive Board of the Society, with Professor Wolfgang Koenig, Executive Director of the House of Finance, focusing on its research activities and Professor Udo Steffens, President and CEO of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, focusing on its educational programmes.

The Executive Board holds quarterly formal meetings, for which preparations are made by the Working Group. Every institutional member has the opportunity to participate through the Advisory Board, which serves as a forum to discuss current issues in risk management, to review the results of research projects, and to present new ideas. The Executive Board and Advisory Board, in addition, hold a joint two-day offsite each year in order to discuss important issues in risk management and regulation in greater depth.

In both its research and educational activities, FIRM strives to help the financial industry advance the state of best practice, thus improving its international competitiveness. It is not a lobbying organisation. The FIRM Risk Roundtable has set itself the goal – building upon the collective expertise of risk managers from major financial institutions – aims to develop, and to foster the adoption of, effective standards for risk modelling and quantitative approaches to deal with current issues in risk management and regulation. Four times a year the Compliance Risk Roundtable meets. An open exchange of views on the further development and value-added implementation of a compliance risk management are here in the foreground.

FIRM works closely with Frankfurt Main Finance, the association committed to advancing Frankfurt’s position as a global financial centre. Our goals and principles will guide us as we strive to continuously broaden our range of activities in the years ahead.
 

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FIRM Insights

FIRM Insights

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Our objectives

One of the immediate lessons from the financial crisis is that there is a need for action in risk management of banks. An overview of the teachings and research on this topic make clear the need for a consolidation in Germany. As a whole, there is a broad, but rather fragmentary, service in bank-specific risk management. For this reason, as an academic centre, the Frankfurt Institute for Risk Management and Regulation is pursuing a clear objective:

  • In teaching: training and continuing education of risk managers 
  • In research: practice-oriented research on topics of risk management and the regulation 
  • In political consulting: being a German voice in international regulation discussion

Our mission statement

  • We will foster research and education across all aspects of risk management and regulation, specifically including educational programmes for risk managers oriented around actual practice and in the broader context of the financial institution.
  • We will encourage the understanding and adoption of “best practice” standards for risk management and regulation, toward the aim of strengthening the Germany’s financial sector and thus its real economy. 

Our specific objectives 

FIRM strives to be among Germany’s leading institutions for risk management. It will achieve this:

  • through its active involvement in, and financial support for, research and teaching activities in Frankfurt as well as throughout the German-speaking world,
  • by serving as the leading network for the German-speaking risk management world, bringing together professionals from the financial sector, universities, and governmental and regulatory authorities in a common forum, and
  • to encourage a rigorous, factbased dialogue on issues of risk management and regulation which respects the independent positions of those involved.

Our governance principles

  • We are a non-profit organisation. Our expenditures are transparent and consistent with our institutional objectives. Our officers serve on an honorary basis.
  • We are an open organisation. We welcome members and sponsors who are professionally involved in risk management and regulation from throughout the financial sector, from academia, from industry, and from government, including personal members and alumni of our educational programmes.

Results of strategy and constitution commission

In December 2015, the strategy and constitution commission presented its findings and proposals to the board. In February 2016, a special FIRM board meeting agreed the revision of the constitution and the new strategic focus for FIRM. The two key decisions were each signed off unanimously at the general members' meeting on 16 March 2016. The path to productive ongoing development of FIRM is now clear. The revised constitution gives us clear guidelines while the approved strategy sets out the speed and direction for FIRM's future development. Anyone interested can find the key changes to the constitution, which has been completely revised and restructured, at www.firm.fm.

The association's strategic focus was also the subject of intensive discussion. At the special board meeting on 8 February 2016, the decision was taken to open up the association to Europe. In future, FIRM will look to attract new institutional members from the European region, and to focus more on addressing risk management and regulatory issues in the new banking union. The European expansion means a long-term change in FIRM's sphere of influence and communication requirements.

In terms of the continuing strategy, the board decided on the following key points:

  • Opening up of FIRM activities in research and teaching to academics and students outside Germany. This applies to the research prize, which will be awarded again in 2018, research funding and teaching provision (possibly with the involvement of additional universities).
  • Gradual addition of qualified academics from the Euro zone to the advisory council.
  • Support for additional formats at FIRM that are suitable for European banks. We currently concentrate on the "Frankfurt 120" format.
  • Inclusion of essays by professional and academic authors outside Germany in the Yearbook.
  • Creation of an "Insurance Risk Round Table (IRRT)" focusing on small and medium-sized insurance companies in Germany. Linked to this, there are plans to set up a Masters course in "Insurance Risk".