“Risk management: to a broader and higher level”

Chapelle Consulting becomes BDO Chapelle

The internationally acclaimed Chapelle Consulting, the company built around the Belgian Ariane Chapelle, an authority on risk management, is joining forces with BDO Belgium, and vice versa. The aim? To prepare companies even better for today’s and tomorrow’s risks and to train and upskill current and future risk managers.

The COVID-19 pandemic is barely even over or the war in Ukraine, rising energy costs and the war on talent are putting pressure on our businesses. Supply problems, scarcity of talent, cyberattacks and consumers who keep their finger on the pulse… all risks that can jeopardise a company’s prospects of survival and growth. At least if it doesn’t prepare itself properly. “Identifying business risks and devising strategies to defend yourself against them is becoming increasingly important in a rapidly changing world where crises happen at a rapid pace,” says Koen Claessens, Managing Partner Risk Advisory at BDO Belgium.

It is in this context that BDO is further developing and deepening its risk management expertise. Koen: “The acquisition of Chapelle Consulting, an international authority on risk management, fits in perfectly with that narrative. For many years, the company has provided advice and guidance to financial institutions and international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), ING, Degroof-Petercam and Ethias on how best to manage their risks. When the opportunity arises to supplement your own expertise with such a wealth of knowledge and experience, you don’t pass it up.”

“Our knowledge and training courses are a nice addition to the consultancy that BDO already offers today.”

Ariane Chapelle, founder of Chapelle Consulting and associate professor at University College London

Alliance of experience and culture

Bringing Chapelle Consulting on board provides BDO not only with additional experts, but also with all the substantiated methodologies and training courses that Ariane Chapelle and her team have developed over the past two decades. “Since their modest beginnings as a ‘leftover’ category under the ‘Basel II’ rules in 2004, operational risks have acquired the same ‘status’ as established credit and market risks,” explains Ariane Chapelle. She teaches operational risk management at University College London and wrote the best-seller ‘Operational Risk Management – Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry’ on the subject in late 2018. Sixteen years ago, she also started her own consultancy firm, which she developed into a strong brand with an international image and reputation. “As an entrepreneur, I’m happy and proud to offer my growing business a platform to thrive and take it to a broader and higher level. It gives us the opportunity to further spread our extensive experience in risk management through a large international network. Our knowledge and training courses are a nice addition to the consultancy that BDO already offers today.”

As a mother, Ariane is thrilled “to show my three children and young people around me that you can build a business with willpower and perseverance, organise homework and meals between meetings (although I have burnt a few pizzas…), write textbooks on planes and trains, work late at night and at weekends, and still be a loving wife and caring mother. You don’t have to do it, but you can do it if it’s your dream.”

BDO Belgium and Chapelle represent more than a strategic alliance of capacity and experience. The vision and culture of BDO also fit in nicely with our DNA and vice versa. “Values such as pragmatism, proximity and growth ambition – for both our own business and that of the client – are central to everything that we and they do,” emphasises Koen. “Moreover, we have the drive to excel and never settle for mediocrity. In other words, we both firmly believe in the added value of the complementary collaboration.”

“Values such as pragmatism, proximity and growth ambition are central to everything that we and they do.”

Koen Claessens, Managing Partner Risk Advisory BDO Belgium

At your service: 40 risk management experts

Following the acquisition of Chapelle Consulting, BDO can now draw on a team of 40 risk specialists. Chapelle’s experts are moving from Louisalaan to BDO’s recently opened new building on Stassartstraat in Brussels. ‘Chapelle Consulting’ became ‘BDO Chapelle’ and primarily targets the financial sector with its expanded offering. Without, of course, losing sight of companies from other sectors.

BDO Chapelle also trains and upskills risk managers of Belgian and international companies. Its training format will become part of the BDO Academy and will be expanded to include modules that meet the specific needs and requirements of clients. More information about the offer can be found at www.bdoacademy.be.

Focus on the financial sector

Companies are facing a torrent of constantly emerging laws and regulations. This is making their world increasingly complex and applies to all companies active in both the private and public sectors, certainly in the financial sector. “Banks and other financial institutions have lost track,” says Steven Cauwenberghs, Partner Risk Advisory at BDO Belgium. “They are wondering how best to tackle the risks posed by new regulations, how they can maintain an overall perspective and how they can align new regulations with existing ones. Because there are always contradictions. Add to this the fact that they often don’t have the right expertise or manpower in-house, which makes it difficult for them to cope with the impact of new laws and regulations on their operations.”

BDO already has a lot of know-how about how companies should address individual risks, such as compliance and cybercrime. With the acquisition of Chapelle Consulting, we are adding a strategic risk management layer to these specific risks. The methodologies provide an overarching risk framework for companies. This way, we link all the existing puzzle pieces of risk management and individual business risks together.

“The financial sector is being flooded with new rules and laws. And, in the wake of this, with new risks.”

Steven Cauwenberghs, Partner Risk Advisory BDO Belgium

TIP! – ‘Operational Risk Management’ – Win your copy

The flagship book by Ariane Chapelle, ‘Operational Risk Management’, is a must-read for both seasoned Operational Risk Managers and managers who want to deepen and consolidate their knowledge.

“Insightful…That’s the first adjective that came to mind when I read this book. Ariane offers a 360-degree perspective of operational risk, from triggers and causes to direct and indirect consequences. Besides, the book provides practical tips to set up an effective operational risk and control framework. There is not a single aspect of operational risk that is left in the shade – everything is brought to light – even the trickiest aspects such as Risk Appetite.” Not our words but those of Dr. Bertrand K. Hassani, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; Group CEO and Quant AI Lab.

Want to read the book? The ten readers who send us the best quote regarding the value of risk management for organisations and leave their details will receive a free copy.