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Best Practices

10 Actions for Effectively Managing Your Third Party Risk Management Program

Aug 22, 2018 by Branan Cooper

Creating an effective third party risk management program takes a lot of work. There are a few critical elements to making certain your practices are robust and sustainable. Let’s look at 10 that I recommend:

  1. Be organized – Have a well thought out approach and very detailed guidelines, yet also enough flexibility to account for last minute priorities and new, emerging technologies.

  2. Be disciplined – Even when the business seems like they are losing their mind to get something signed, be certain to follow your process as much as you can. Believe me, having been pressured into rushing a few times, it seems like it always came back to hurt me later.

  3. Be certain to enlist the support of senior management – You’ll need them at times to help escalate things at a third party, to back you up when the lines of business disagree or circumvent the process.

  4. Be thorough – Don’t cut corners in due diligence or assessing risk. It’s the easy way out but leads to unfortunate consequences.

  5. Be certain – Trust in your team and the process and the program you’ve created.

  6. Be confident – Don’t second guess your decisions and don’t appear wishy-washy in your presentations to the board. Act with confidence and follow through on your decisions.

  7. Be inquisitive – Half of the job is asking questions. Knowing the right questions to ask is truly half the battle and that requires getting help from subject matter experts.

  8. Be resilient – Resilient isn’t just a term for cybersecurity and business continuity, it means being steadfast and determined to get through rough spots and the inevitable pushback.

  9. Be creative – Sometimes due diligence requires a lot of alternate ideas on how to get the answers you need, whether it’s setting up a Skype session to discuss financials with a privately held company or finding different ways to check reputation risk.

  10. Finally, be proud – If you’re doing these things thoroughly and well, you’ve created a sustainable and reliable process.

Following these ten guidelines should put you ahead of the game and set you up to effectively manage a third party risk management program.  

A third party policy accompanies your program. The policy is probably the most important foundational document in your vendor risk protocol. This document is one that should be high level and ready for the examiners and your board to review. Download our infographic to learn how to write an effective third party policy.

how to write a third party policy

Branan Cooper

Written by Branan Cooper

Branan Cooper is the Chief Risk Officer at Venminder. Branan has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on the management of operational and regulatory processes and controls—most notably in the area of third party risk and operational compliance. Branan leads the Venminder delivery team as the third party risk management subject matter expert in residence. Branan also serves as an industry thought leader. He's a member of InfraGard and the Professional Risk Management Industry Association (PRMIA). And, he was selected in 2018 as an advisor to the Center for Financial Professionals (CEFPro) and board member for the Global Sourcing Resource Network (GSRN).

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