With the impact of COVID-19, we embraced digitisation to support our executive forums which are now virtual, online conference calls, continuing to add value to the global COO community.
If you would like to get involved please review our COO Covid-19 Response brochure.
A message from Armstrong Wolfe’s CEO, Maurice Evlyn-Bufton
In 2014 I hosted a dinner in London with 25 Chief Operating Officers to discuss an article I had penned. This paper was based upon an executive search mandate I had recently handled, concluding with my client appointing a Markets Chief Control Officer, a CCO. This title was little known then (“CCO, chief compliance officer?” was the common refrain) and my article ‘Defining the indefinable, the evolution of the Chief Control Officer’ was the agenda for a round table debate.
From small beginnings great things sometimes arise. With the support of the global COO community across Markets, Banking and Asset Management, today my Company is privileged to coordinate and deliver 50 COO and CCO roundtables a year in Toronto, New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The underlining premise of these forums is that the COO is the pumping heart of a company, where all veins and arteries run through the COO’s office.
Each forum discusses a market wide, non-proprietary challenge. Much of our time in recent years being dedicated to regulation and only recently starting to turn our attentions from looking over our shoulders to the past to looking to the future, to digitisation, technological innovation and to new opportunities in a post 2008 world.
As this tempo was gathering pace the extraordinary events of the last four weeks have become the singularly most daunting challenge of this era. In banking and asset management, pivotable and at the centre of managing the response to this crisis is the COO; pivotable in retaining control and risk oversight in a period of indeterminable volatility and (what would have been unthinkable weeks ago) in managing the risk and supervision of the deployment of 100s, 1000s of revenue generating staff to working from home, is the CCO.
Of course, it was not such a turn of events that I had envisaged the value of the COO and CCO communities being realised, but this value could not have found a better stage to show its worth than amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Many of the COOs and CCOs that have hosted and sat at these forums have helped create a sense of trust and camaraderie. This enabled us to mobilise the COO and CCO COVID-19 response calls quickly and delivered the platform for a free flowing and open exchange of common challenges, the sharing of fire-fighting actions and practices being undertaken and allowing the open dissection of ideas.
To this end I thank all the COOs and CCOs from within our global community that are attending these calls and helping to lead the dialogue. Of course, some will benefit more than others from this exchange, but as a collective and as an industry we will all benefit.
It was Henry Ford that said “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
I guarantee throughout this crisis Armstrong Wolfe will do all it can to support its COO and CCO patrons, advocates, both new and old.