James Lam is widely recognized as a thought leader in risk management. Since the early 1990s, he has been an early practitioner and advocate of enterprise risk management (ERM). James is credited with coining the title "chief risk officer." He first held the CRO role at GE Capital Market Services in 1993. In addition to his ERM books, James has co-authored 20 other risk management books. He has authored over 80 articles and has been quoted in 180 other articles and journals. James is a sought-after speaker and has delivered over 200 speeches at risk conferences all over the world, often featured as the keynote speaker.


Enterprise Risk ManagementFrom Incentives to Controls, 2nd Edition

The 2nd Edition of James' best-selling book was published by Wiley on February 17, 2014. The book is fully revised and updated with new research and statistics, case studies, and best-practice examples. James provides an abundance of first-hand experiences and practical guidance from his work as a chief risk officer, a trust board advisor and management consultant, and a public company director and risk committee chair. A new section dedicated entirely to ERM Implementation articulates the importance of effective board risk oversight, risk assessment, risk-based decision making, and risk dashboard reporting. New and innovative concepts and practices include ERM Maturity Model, Role of the Board in ERM, Strategic Risk Management, and "Feedback Loops" on ERM Effectiveness.

"The concept that it takes a lifetime to build a company but it takes moments to destroy it is a very valuable mantra for business leaders. The impact of the recent financial crisis brought that perspective into sharp and, for some, painful relief. Companies, however, need to innovate and grow and to take appropriate risks to do so. The joy of James Lam's new book is that it recognizes the need for innovation and growth but also acknowledges in a very practical way the role of the ever evolving risk framework around that growth. The book offers a credible and implementable nexus between growth and risk control and as such will be a highly valued tool for boards and management everywhere.”

Rodger A. Lawson
Chairman of the Board of Directors, E*TRADE Financial Corporation
Member of the Board of Directors, UnitedHealth Group
Retired President, Fidelity Investments

“All too often, organizations focus on the process of risk management at the expense of incorporating risk management principles into the governance, leadership, and management of their enterprises. James Lam is a long time leader in risk management and his substantial experience has enabled him to produce a comprehensive and practical guide for anyone committed to creating an organization capable of effectively evaluating risks versus returns.”

Matthew R. Feldman
President and Chief Executive Officer
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

“A key success factor in any ERM program is practical and effective implementation. In order to provide sustainable, long-term enterprise value, risk management must be integrated into an organization’s governance model, business analytics, strategic and tactical decisions, and dashboard reporting. Based on his hands-on experience, James Lam has very clearly outlined and articulated the best practices and implementation requirements for ERM. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is engaged in ERM oversight and implementation.”

Paymon Aliabadi
Executive Vice President & Chief Risk Officer
Exelon Corporation 

Enterprise Risk Management, From Incentives to Controls

Enterprise Risk Management: From Incentives to Controls is the first book authored by James Lam. Published in May 2003 by Wiley, the book has ranked #1 best selling among 25,000 risk management titles on Amazon.com. Several professional associations and college programs have adopted the book as their core ERM curriculum, including the Society of Actuaries for its Level 8 Exam (most advanced level). It has been translated into Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean.

Independent book reviews include:

"Enterprise Risk Management….is the work of James Lam, the first person to carry the title Chief Risk Officer (at GE Capital and Fidelity)….For one of the clearer and broader views of the discipline in some years, I rank this book in my Top Ten of resource materials." 

Risk Management Reports, September 2003

"A ‘must read’ for aspiring risk managers….In summary, if I were seeking a career in risk management, and certainly if I were aspiring to a position as CRO in a firm, I would be remiss if I did not read this book. Those in the field or considering it as a career should read and consider Lam’s ideas…"

The John Liner Review, Fall 2003

"Enterprise Risk Management: From Incentives to Controls is a well-written introduction to ERM.…it’s a page-turner and a welcome addition to risk management literature."

GARP Risk Review, May/June 2003


Co-authored Risk Books



The Professional Risk
Managers' Handbook

With Carol Alexander,
Elizabeth Sheedy,
Zvi Wiener, and others
PRMIA Publications, 2005


Risk Management:
A Modern Perspective

With Tanya Beder,
Donald van Deventer,
David Koenig, and others
Academic Press, 2005


Modern Risk Management
With Nobel Prize winners
Harry Markowitz, Robert Merton,
Franco Modigliani, Paul
Samuelson, and others
Risk Books, 2003



Derivative Credit Risk
With Robert Mark, David
Lawrence, David Rowe,
Steven Kealhofer, and others
Risk Books, 1999


Derivatives Handbook
With Alan Greenspan,
Merton Miller, Charles
Smithson, and others
Wiley Finance, 1997


Advanced Strategies in
Financial Risk Management

With John Hall, Richard
Sandor, Alan White, and others
New York Institute of Finance, 1993


Select Media & Citations

  • "State of Surveillance," Automated Trader, Q3 2014
  • "Spotlight on: Cyber Security," Automated Trader, Q3 2014
  • "Slamming on the Brakes," The Trade, October - December 2013
  • "Disaster Averted?," CFO, April 2011
  • "Cinderella Moment," Wall Street Journal, October 2010
  • The Gods Strike Back," The Economist, February 13, 2010
  • "ERM: Viewing Risk as Opportunity," Wall Street Journal, April 2009
  • "The Rise of the Risk Executive," Risk Professional, Cover Story, February 2009
  • “Risk: Every Board's Biggest Challenge," Corporate Board Member, Cover Story, January/February 2009
  • "ERM In-Depth Series: Reflections on ERM Inflections," Risk and Insurance, Cover Photo and Story, January/February, 2009
  • "Rethinking Risk," CFO Magazine, January 2009
  • “The Complex Role of CRO is Reexamined” US Banker, March 2008
  • “Defusing Danger: How a Chief Risk Officer Could Save the Day," CFO Financial Review, Cover Story, October 2008
  • "Enterprise Risk Management: More Important, But Still No Panacea," Standard & Poor's RatingsDirect Report, May 12, 2008
  • "Genius or Blunder?" Risk Magazine, Cover Story, March 2008
  • "Weathering Any Storm: Catastrophes and Small Business Survival," Forbes, July 23, 2007


Select Articles and Papers


Select Speeches and Workshops

  • PRMIA Enterprise Risk Management Workshop, February 20-21, 2014, New York City, NY
  • AFP Annual Conference, Enterprise Risk Management Workshop, October 25, 2013, Las Vegas, NV
  • Institute of Internal Auditors, Keynote Speech on ERM, August 12, 2013, Des Moines, IA
  • GARP 14th Annual Risk Management Convention, Effective Risk Reporting, March 12, 2013, New York, NY
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ten Predictions for Risk Management, December 11, 2012, Washington, DC
  • FDIC, Action-Learning Workshop on ERM, December 10, 2012, Washington, DC
  • OCC, Integrating Strategic, Financial, and Operational Risk Management, 2-Day ERM Course, October 23-24, 2012, Washington, DC
  • EuroFinance: International Cash and Treasury Management, It's the Chequered Flag: The End of the World as We Know It? September 27, 2012, Monaco
  • Polrisk Inaugural Risk Management Conference, ERM in the New Age of Uncertainty, Keynote Speech, April 12, 2011, Warsaw, Poland
  • NACD New England Chapter, Enterprise Risk Management, March 9, 2010, Boston, MA
  • Society of Actuaries, Board and Leadership Orientation Meeting, September 15, 2009, Chicago, IL
  • CFO Rising Conference, Half-Day ERM Workshop, March 8, 2009, Orlando, FL
  • Forbes CEO Network, Sounding the Alarm on Global Risk, October 2, 2008, New York, NY
  • U.S. AgBank, Annual Stockholders Meeting, Board Training on Economic Capital and Enterprise Risk Management, March 27, 2008, San Francisco, CA
  • Federal Home Loan Bank System, Chief Risk Officer Conference, March 5, 2008, Cincinnati, OH
  • Standard & Poor’s, ERM Summit, Keynote address, December 13, 2007, New York, NY
  • Federal Home Finance Board, Office of Supervision 2007 Annual Conference, December 12, 2007, Washington, DC
  • Society of Actuaries, Capital Efficiency Seminar, Economic Capital Management, November 7, 2007, Atlanta, GA
  • World Bank/International Finance Corporation, Financial & Private Sector Development Forum, Modern Risk Management: How Banks Succeed or Fail, April 26, 2007, Washington, DC
  • Enterprise Risk Management Symposium, General Session: View from the Top, March 29, 2007, Chicago, IL
  • China Banking Association, Enterprise Risk Management at Asian Banks – From Challenges to Strategies, November, 23, 2006, Keynote Presentation, Beijing, China
  • Bank Indonesia, Jakarta Risk Management Convention, Challenges for the Indonesian Banking Industry, August 30, 2006, Keynote Presentation, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • The Federal Reserve Board, Enterprise Risk Management Workshop, January 12, 2006, Cleveland, OH 
  • Bank of China, Board of Directors Risk Training Program, October 21, 2005, Beijing, China
  • Corporate Executive Board, Maximizing Value Through Enterprise Risk Management, April 5, 2005, New York, NY
  • OCBC Board of Directors Risk Training, Enterprise Risk Management, January 31, 2005, Singapore

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