RSR Partners Appoints Head of Risk Practice

May 18, 2017 – Executive search firm RSR Partners has named Talal Debs as a managing director and head of its risk practice. With a strong combination of risk management, finance, and academic experience, Mr. Debs will focus on recruiting senior executives and directors to navigate new risk, regulatory and compliance issues for clients. His areas of concentration will include insurance, investment banking, trading and asset management, among others.

Prior to joining RSR Partners, Mr. Debs worked at J.P. Morgan for 15 years, most recently as an executive director in risk management, focused on energy, project finance and insurance. He also has extensive experience in academic research and teaching within the field of the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics and relativity theory. He has served as a post-doctoral research fellow at his Alma matter, Harvard University, and on the teaching faculties of the London School of Economics and the American University of Beirut.

“We are excited to welcome Talal to our firm, where he will provide an important new capability to increase our ability to serve new and existing clients,” said Barrett Stephens, RSR Partners CEO. “His unique skill set will be pivotal in providing risk management expertise to companies worldwide. Talal joins us at a time when we are seeing a dynamic rise in the need for talent to address this growingly-complex environment. Talal will be a great help to our board director clients who are concerned about risk, as well.”

For Mr. Debs, and client companies, the timing could hardly be better. “Today’s marketplace, with its constant regulatory flux and the emergence of disruptive technologies, increasingly demands the ability to anticipate developments and capture value through forward-looking risk decision-making,” he said. “As a result, there has rarely been a more interesting time for CEOs and boards of directors to pose the question: ‘Do we have the right risk talent in place for the coming business cycle?'”

Keeping Companies Safe

“Fortune 1000 corporations face a clear imperative: decisively improve internal risk management assets, leadership and performance – or risk suffering at your company’s or shareholders’ peril,” says Jeremy King, founder of Benchmark Executive Search. In many respects, risk management starts at the top of these companies, and the key will be vigorous attention and collaboration between boards of directors and the C-suite. Of particular concern in keeping companies safe is the human element. “With an estimated $94 billion dollars to be spent on cybersecurity in the next decade, it is surprising most corporate investment in security today is directed to hardening networks rather than people,” Mr. King says ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Risk Management Starts with Pinpointing Vulnerabilities
Benchmark Executive Search is directing its energy to Fortune 1000 companies, many finally awakening to how destructive security breaches of all types can be – from physical damage and real costs to reputation loss and customer recovery. Benchmark is now calling for industry to re-evaluate its approach to risk management.

Recent Expansion

RSR Partners, founded by Russell S. Reynolds Jr., is an executive, board and leadership recruiting firm based in Greenwich, Conn., with offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland and Los Angeles.

The firm began the year by acquiring executive search firm Higdon Partners. Founded in 1986 by Hank Higdon, Higdon Partners focuses exclusively on providing executive search services to asset and wealth management clients, including institutional, mutual fund and high-net-worth organizations, as well as hedge funds, fund of funds, plan sponsors, endowments and foundations, private equity firms, family offices, consulting firms and government agencies. The firm conducts searches for assignments at leadership levels, including chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief investment officer, as well as for senior professionals within the functional areas of investments, marketing, sales, client service, finance, human resources, risk management and legal.

In addition, RSR Partners recently named Wyatt Uhlein as a senior member of the firm’s financial officers and investment banking practices. He is based in RSR’s Greenwich and New York offices. Mr. Uhlein executes searches throughout the financial services spectrum, while advising the firm’s senior leadership on market trends and business development. He joined RSR Partners from UBS, where he served as an investment banking recruiter, leading searches at all levels in the Americas.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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