Q1 2024 COO Magazine

2024: No break in the clouds

Non-Financial Risk and the certainty of uncertainty


I am delighted to start 2024 with great news, announcing executive hires to take Armstrong Wolfe into a new phase of growth and continued evolution.

Having established Armstrong Wolfe in 2012, managing this evolution through multiple crisis, most significantly in and out of the pandemic, and overseeing the formation of Women in the COO Community (WCOOC), the International COO Community (iCOOC) and Ad Centrum, the Company is well placed to move forward with confidence.

To allow this leadership team to have independence and to review and shape change and deliver improvements, I will be taking a sabbatical through to mid-year, 2024.

In Q4 2023 we announced the formation of Ad Centrum, with Laura Ahto and Georgina Philippou being appointed as chair and vice chair respectively, and complementing these outstanding additions to Armstrong Wolfe are January 2024 appointments of Piers Murray as COO, Clement King as Head of Banking and Markets, and Terry Yodaiken as Head of Wealth and Asset Management. Women in the COO Community’s (WCOOC) Chair is Emma Prophet, Global Head of Operations at TP ICAP (Honorary Appointment)

Piers joins us following a long-term career in banking, culminating as Global COO, Markets, BNY Mellon; Clement left Wells Fargo in 2023, his last position Group COO of the Control Management Division, overseeing risk and governance, and Terry similarly left First Sentier last year, where he was global COO distribution.

We also enter the new year announcing alliance partnerships with Behavox, NTT DATA UK&I and The Global Economics Group along with the appointment of several leading industry advisors.

With the challenges outlined in the lead article, 2024 is going to be interesting and challenging for the COO community, and I have no doubt Armstrong Wolfe will be a valued partner to its members, supporting the COO as they navigate known and unknown waters.

Maurice Evlyn-Bufton

CEO, Armstrong Wolfe

On sabbatical from January 2024

The 2024 Leadership Team

Piers Murray

Piers Murray

Chief Operating Officer
US & Puerto Rico

Clement King

Clement King

Head of Banking & Markets
& WCOOC Global Co-Chair


Terry Yodaiken

Terry Yodaiken

Head of Wealth & Asset Management

Laura Ahto

Laura Ahto

Chair, Ad Centrum

Georgina Philippou

Georgina Philippou

Vice Chair, Ad Centrum

Emma Prophet

Emma Prophet

WCOOC Global Co-Chair

Recently appointed Industry Advisors

  • Jane Fanning (US)
  • Virginia Laird (UK)
  • Andrew Murfin (UK)
  • Richard Austin (Singapore)
  • Katy Matvey (Singapore)

Welcome to our 2024 Alliance Partners

  • Andy Nelson, UK CEO, NTT Data Financial Services (UK)
  • Erkin Adyolov, CEO, Behavox (Canada)
  • Chris Rigg, Managing Partner, Economics Group (US)
  • General Sir Peter Wall, CEO, Amicus (UK)
  • Meena Anand, CEO The Careers Company (UK)

Q1 2024 Content

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2024 The Year Ahead: Part 1

The certainty of uncertainty

In the last decade the frequency with which the COO community had to meet a succession of meaningful and often worldwide challenges and crises head on has become a working norm. Whilst the desire and day to day ambition may be to have time and resources to be looking forward and outward, the 2024 forecast is unlikely to offer a respite…

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2024 The Year Ahead: Part 2

The COO in 2024

Seeking insights from a distinguished panel of industry experts, we delve into the key challenges that await us on the horizon. Discover their invaluable perspectives on the path ahead and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and opportunities that will shape the financial landscape in the coming year.

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The Business Case for DE&I

As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on the DE&I discussions Armstrong Wolfe has engaged in over the past year.

Armstrong Wolfe is committed to the promotion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the financial services sector, and with the 2024 launch of our Ad Centrum initiative, it is discussions like these which we aim to bring to the fore. The importance of a robust understanding of the Business Case for DE&I, and of the careful management of Data and Metrics in underpinning and supporting DE&I programmes, cannot be understated. Our aim is to discuss the practicalities behind these and a range of other DEI topics and look at industry best practices to provide actionable guidance and advice for professionals in a business-conscious context.

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Armstrong Wolfe Press release

NTT DATA UK&I and Armstrong Wolfe Partner to Drive Innovation

London, December 2023 – NTT DATA UK&I, a leading IT services provider, and Armstrong Wolfe, a global financial services advisory firm announce a strategic partnership to drive innovation in the financial services industry. The partnership will focus on knowledge sharing across the Armstrong Wolfe & NTT DATA UK&I communities.

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A fireside Chat with ChatGPT

A continuation of our ongoing ‘Fireside Chat with Chat GPT

We asked the AI the same 3 questions, and set them side by side with last year’s answers to compare them, and illustrate the LLM’s evolution in understanding of these topics. While the core themes and concerns remain consistent across both sets of responses, the evolution from 2023 to 2024 reflects a maturation in the programme’s understanding.

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New Partnership with Behavox

Elevating Financial Services Oversight with an Innovative Product Suite

We are proud to announce a strategic alliance with Behavox, the leading provider of AI-driven compliance solutions. This partnership marks a significant step forward in revolutionizing the financial industry’s approach to risk management and operational oversight. For over a decade, Armstrong Wolfe has been at the forefront of fostering collaboration.

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Good Culture and Good Conduct

How a ‘speak up culture’ can mitigate risk, supercharge innovation and growth, and support diverse, engaged and healthy cultures.

The topic of culture and conduct has never been higher on the agenda. News headlines have been dominated by stark examples – from business, media, politics and beyond – of the human, reputational and financial damage inflicted by toxic cultures or poor conduct, where inclusion, values, behaviours and the safety to speak up, have fallen short. Expectations around culture and conduct – and what is socially, ethically and legally acceptable – are rightly changing. Regulatory and media scrutiny and the demand for transparency are intensifying.

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Voice monitoring challenges for financial services firms

Implementing a voice monitoring program in financial institutions is complex.

It involves integration with recording equipment to collect voice files, transcribe these files, and provide users with a user-friendly interface (UI) for listening to and reviewing audio files alongside their transcripts. Firstly, transcription software often has a high error rate, resulting in transcripts that are virtually incomprehensible. Secondly, identifying problematic individuals or activities within voice communications has required manual review, involving the painstaking process of listening to audio recordings.

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Cost Transformation: The Future of Asset Management in the UK

Cost transformation for asset managers

Before the pandemic created the start of global market turbulence, asset managers were challenged with cost and profitability. In 2019, 21 of the top 25 asset managers saw their profit margins decline an average of 20% YoY even though their AUM increased 20% in that same time. Global market conditions have caused investment performance declines and lower revenue realisation, resulting in increased pressure on profitability and an overwhelming urgency to take action, all while maintaining long-term productivity and value-generation.

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Navigating the Great Realignment: Strategic Insights for COOs in 2024

Chief Operating Officers of international businesses find themselves navigating through what we at Control Risks are calling The Great Realignment, a period marked by both risk and opportunity.

This era reflects the complexities of the post-COVID world, characterised by economic challenges and geopolitical turbulence. Global issues such as climate change, conflicts, social unrest, and financial instability are increasingly demanding collaborative international solutions and impacting operational effectiveness.

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In The Spotlight

Andy Nelson is an industry advisor to the International COO Community and was interviewed by Maurice Evlyn-Bufton (CEO, Armstrong Wolfe).

What takes someone from a degree in economics to leading the UK franchise of one of the world’s leading technology companies? We invited Andy Nelson (UK Head of Banking and Financial Markets, NTT DATA UK&I) to take us on this journey. “I recall in the early 1980s going round to a friend’s house to be shown his new computer game, Horace Goes Skiing. It will be hard for today’s youth to comprehend, having never known a world without advanced technologies and the internet, the impact this introduction to my first computer had on me – it was a window into a whole new world and here my interest and fascination in technology was born; I thank Horace for this introduction!”

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Risks & Controls

The financial services sector continues to face a dynamic and ever-changing landscape, marked by significant regulatory, technological, operational, and geopolitical challenges.

As we approach 2024, it is crucial for financial institutions to stay abreast of emerging trends and proactively address potential risks to ensure long-term stability and success. The role of leadership, specifically Chief Operating Officers, Chief Control Officers, and Chief Risk Officers, remains crucial in navigating these complexities. Leaders in these roles must cultivate a culture of vigilance and adaptability, ensuring that their organizations not only comply with current regulations but also prepare for future shifts in the regulatory framework.

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GCF100: Charity Ride

Join us in our efforts to raise £100,000 and to completely renovate and re-equip the school gymnasium, which the local community have asked be renamed as the Queen Elizabeth II Sports Hall.

This year we have ambitious plans to capitalise on the rewarding and uplifting experiences enjoyed by an ever-growing group of people from the COO Community, who join with us in helping to bring modern amenities in a region which severely lacks them. The gymnasium at O.s.Fahrudin Fahro Basclieja in Gorazde town centre has seen no new equipment nor has it been repainted, refurbished or had the flooring re-sprung since the early 1960’s.

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