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Can Tiki-Taka Tactics Keep Risk Management On The Ball

As football/soccer pundits will be well aware, “Tiki-Taka” is a style of play popularized by both FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Characterized by speed, accuracy and control, it’s already proved a winning formula for footballers. But could a Tiki-Taka approach also help the risk managers of tomorrow achieve their goals?

They may be operating in very different fields, but it is in the interest of both football players and risk managers to ‘stay on the ball.’ In Tiki-Taka-style soccer, players do this quite literally, keeping the football as much as possible within their team – and passing it quickly between themselves as they change their designated positions. When it comes to risk management, the ball in question is risk data- and player’s positions become types of risk.

Just as their soccer-playing counterparts are in almost constant possession of the ball, Tiki-Taka risk managers will rarely need to look far for their data or collect it themselves. With access to risk data almost a given, they are free to concentrate on the most skillful aspect of their game: risk analysis.

Like the ball of Tiki-Taka soccer, the flow of risk data should always be in motion, enabling smooth-running processes and real-time analysis. But it must be under control,too – even in times of crisis. In the same way that Tiki-Taka players often switch positions, risk managers must also be able to work with data from different departments, navigating across multiple information sources and associated risk silos. Their performance can inspire spectators, whether executive boards or auditors. And in the form of regulatory bodies they even have their own referees: authorized to interrupt the game, with decisions that can’t be disputed.

Speaking of regulators, possibly the purest expression of Tiki-Taka risk management can be found in the Basel Committee’s “Principles for Effective Risk Data Aggregation and Risk Reporting” (better known as BCBS 239). These principles must be implemented by 2016 and will now be incorporated in local regulations, such as MaRisk in Germany.

As well as insisting on the control, availability and accuracy that defines a Tiki-Taka approach to data, BCBS 239 will – in another footballing parallel – require major investment by financial industry organizations. For instance, the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, has already implied the necessity of a nine-figure outlay, rivaling even the biggest transfer fees.

Ultimately, the Tiki-Taka approach, whether on or off the pitch, is about far more than expenditure, however significant. It is, quite simply, superior: guaranteed time and again to reap results. Above all, for risk management – as with football – it could change the game as we know it to the delight of players, spectators and referees alike.


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