Why work with us?
Your firm’s risk management needs are the driving force behind Crescendo Advisors’ purpose.
A ‘crescendo’ is the highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity. Our aim is to help businesses to reach the pinnacle of their potential, meeting their business objectives, by putting in place the right processes for managing and mitigating financial, operational and regulatory risks. Your growth and success are at the forefront of everything we do in supporting your risk management and governance frameworks.
Our vision is for our clients to have clarity and control in building up or reviewing what you feel you need as a result of regulatory or business change. We facilitate this by paying close attention to what you say to us, becoming a trusted partner and assisting you in implementing financial regulation appropriately with intelligence within your Enterprise Risk Management framework and governance system. We also support you in post-implementation with training, advice, ongoing thought leadership and focused reviews.
Our knowledge and experience originate from senior risk roles in financial services industry, UK financial regulation (PRA, FSA and HM Treasury) and through extensive consultancy within insurance and financial services.
However, our prior experience is not the only reason why Crescendo Advisors is a good fit for your business. It’s not enough to understand the detail of financial regulation. To be the best partner for your organisation we must ensure your Enterprise Risk Management Framework and governance remains fit for purpose as your business and regulation changes. Doing the right thing for each client is our key driver. You’ll never find us making recommendations that don’t align with your goals or your business simply to shoehorn you into a standard framework or received wisdom.
Our wide-ranging expertise in risk and financial regulation projects means that we have a deep understanding of where things may go wrong AND how to mitigate your risks before they become huge problems.
We understand that the biggest issues in risk management centre around 3 main problem areas:
Inadequate governance and board level/senior management understanding of risks management processes and risk taking in the business
Ineffective implementation of enterprise risk management frameworks resulting in silos which can lead to control limitations or ineffective decision making, e.g. based on ineffective consideration of risks
Failure to integrate risk management with business processes and activities leading to overlaps and gaps in risk management responsibilities and governance throughout the organisation
In some cases, this can reflect changes in the business that have not been reflected in the Enterprise Risk Management framework or governance systems. By drilling down to the roots of these specific issues, we can focus on pragmatic business solutions that enhance current approaches, fit your business needs and align with your constraints and objectives. And we aren’t afraid to challenge the received wisdom about financial regulation to ensure you don’t over-implement and blow your budget.
Your risk management business partners
Isaac founded Crescendo Advisors after more than 20 years in financial services, regulation and consulting. Isaac and Waleed are also the founders and hosts of RegNut, a podcast covering news, views and knowledge on risk and regulation.
Isaac was Enterprise Risk Director at Bupa Group between July 2016 and April 2018. Prior to this he had an extensive career as a senior risk practitioner in industry – Prudential and Aviva. He also worked with the FSA, mainly in the context of prudential requirements for banks (Basel 2) and impact analysis, and HM Treasury, the design of prudential requirements for insurers (Solvency 2).
Isaac has a PhD in economics from University College London and is also a member of the Board of the Heart of Medway Housing Association.
Shirley has more than 20 years’ experience in insurance, reinsurance and risk management.
She is the previous chair of the National Pharmacy Association insurance company where she led a significant turn-around in financial stability and sustainability while preparing for Solvency II implementation. She has worked with Swiss Re where she spearheaded the recognition in the Basel 2 process for insurance as a mitigant of operational risk. Shirley also had senior roles in Aon and Marsh where she led their work on operational risk for financial institutions.
Shirley started her career in banking and asset management. She was appointed the Generali CSFI Fellow for Insurance in 2009. She has published research on insurance, its accounting issues and its regulation – particularly Solvency II. Her most recent paper focuses on the success factors of insurance centres.
Valerie du Preez is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. She has extensive experience in supporting insurance clients optimise their actuarial, risk and finance processes. Her work includes Programme Advisory Services on the International Financial Reporting Standard for Insurance Contracts (IFRS 17) which covers input and guidance on core operational and technical areas.
Valerie has played a key role in the Institute of Actuaries journey with data science participating in a number of development activities covering technical issues and ethical guidance for practitioners. She founded Dupro Ltd, a specialist financial services management consultancy that brings tools and techniques within its toolkit to drive change and to ensure optimal performance of people, processes and systems within an actuarial context. She has also launched actuartech.com: an insights page providing thought leadership and training on the topic of technology and data science for actuaries.
Waleed is the CEO of CoVi Analytics, a tech company that is developing a new approach to delivering risk and compliance activities through tech-led process innovation. Waleed and Isaac are also the founders and hosts of RegNut, a podcast covering news, views and knowledge on risk and regulation.
An Electrical Engineers, a Chartered Accountant and an ex-regulator, Waleed has deep experience of designing and implementing practical business processes for risk and compliance. In his consulting career, Waleed has worked with most Tier 1 insurers including Prudential, Aviva, Bupa, AIG, L&G and Lloyd’s Corporation.
Waleed also spent time at the UK regulator (Prudential Regulation Authority - PRA) as a policy advisor where he represented the UK at EIOPA’s while developing the Solvency II requirements for insurance groups.
Crescendo Advisors has also partnered with various consulting networks that enable us to source to provide high-calibre management consultants, subject matter experts and experienced project managers drawn from an extensive network of affiliates.