Boaler on the best approach to take as a risk manager and his views on Scottish independence

Steve Boaler

What are you thinking about right now?

This is probably one that a lot of risk managers can relate to: we have a mature risk management framework in place and I’m always looking at how to improve this for the business, with increasingly limited resources (time, money and headcount). The processes need to provide the most accurate and useful information to the business while not being a burden or too onerous to use. It’s a fine line.


Who is your greatest hero?

My grandfather is my greatest hero. Despite all the setbacks he faced during his life – for example, being severely injured by shrapnel during WWII − he never looked on the negative or let it stop his enjoyment of life. As risk managers, we often look at the downsides of things and it’s sometimes difficult not to take this approach into wider life. He recently died at the age of 94, and all the advice he has given me has stood me in good stead during my career so far.


What is your most treasured possession?

A watch that my grandfather left me is my most treasured possession. It may not be the most expensive or flashiest watch to own but its simplicity and reliability continue to remind me that approach is the best default for a risk manager.


What is your greatest fear?

As a Scotsman who is very proud of his roots, I am concerned about the forthcoming vote on independence. There hasn’t been an argument that has convinced me that this has been totally thought through and is the right move for Scotland or the UK. I’m worried that all the hype may just tip the vote, and both Scotland and the UK end up in a worse position.


Tell us a secret

I’m a total petrolhead – anything about cars or motorsport fascinates me. I’m going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June and am counting down the days! I really should have been born with wheels instead of legs.


What makes you happy?

In a work capacity, I honestly can say that I do enjoy what I do. I studied risk management at university so am a rare breed – someone who actually uses their degree on a daily basis. The opportunity to access senior business people and get a rare insight into the overall operations of a billion-pound business is fascinating.

Personally speaking, we’re in the process of getting building approval for quite an ambitious project: the prospect of knocking out walls and starting from more or less a blank canvas is currently something that puts a smile on my face.