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Editorial Review: Katherine Heires, GARP

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Risk management is complex, multi-faceted and challenging, for novice and experienced practitioners alike. The more education, intelligence and perspective that can be brought to bear on the process, the better, says David X Martin.

To that end, the veteran risk manager has produced a unique learning tool in the form of a self-published book, “The Nature of Risk.”

Currently a senior risk adviser at consulting firm Oliver Wyman and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Martin has worked at investment firm AllianceBernstein and for noted members of Citigroup’s top management, including past chairmen Walter Wriston and John Reed and senior vice chairman William Rhodes. Martin was also founding chairman of the Investment Company Institute’s risk committee.

While amassing those credentials, Martin came to realize that practical primers on risk management — that could be of use both to aspiring professionals and to members of the general public who may not have thought too hard about financial and safety concerns — were lacking. He found little in the way of books, films or online resources that could help introduce risk and risk management to, say, board members, clients, nonprofessionals or even children.

“People don’t talk about risk, and I thought it would be helpful to give people a framework to start to talk about it,” Martin explains.

Written as a fable “for those of you who believe it’s still possible to make sense of the world we live in,” as Martin says in the introduction, the book carries testimonials from the likes of BlackRock chief risk officer Bennett Golub and Oliver Wyman Group CEO John Drzik. Another, former Citi colleague Rhodes, author of the 2011 book “Banker to the World,” writes that Martin has succeeded where others have not, and makes “the basics of risk management not only easy to understand, but entertaining too.”

Katherine Heires ([email protected]) for


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