Risk Management at Wellfleet Bank: All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Inspired by one of the few banks that successfully weathered the 2007-2009 credit crisis, the case illustrates risk management in the world of corporate lending. Chief executive Alastair Dawes has to decide if the risk governance process is adequate to uncover mega-risks, based on reflections on the risk assessment and sanctioning of a $1 billion credit proposal. Students are invited to assess and review the risks in the proposal, prepared by the bank's sales organization on behalf of a large gold-mining company, and to arrive at a decision (whether Wellfleet should accept it or not). At the same time, students will learn that gray-area risk decisions and, in particular, risk-adjusted performance measurement can rarely be automated. Risk governance requires executives to strike a balance between risk modeling and qualitative business judgment-a holistic (rather than silo-based) view of risks.