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Howard Blackwell

Head of the Office of the Chief Risk Officer, Bank of New Zealand


An experienced risk professional, with broad banking experience gained internationally and in New Zealand.  Seeking a leadership role where I will influence strategy, develop people and deliver results.

Work History

Head of the Office of the Chief Risk Officer (CRO)

Bank of New Zealand
Nov 2015 Mar 2017

Building a composite, enterprise wide view of the risk profile of the organisation.  The prime audience being the Bank's Directors and the Regulators.

Working with peers on the Risk Leadership Team to formulate and deliver the Risk Strategy, aligned to the overall BNZ strategic blueprint.

Implementation of Risk Frameworks, including communication and training.  Oversight of framework effectiveness.

Building a Risk Community, increasing knowledge,  helping our people understand our strategies and direction.

Executive Manager to the CRO

Bank of New Zealand
Jul 2013Nov 2015

Working side by side with the CRO, ensuring she was fully briefed and prepared for her duties and accountabilities.  Prepared presentations and speaking notes.  Responsible for throughput and quality oversight of board papers.

Head of Kaizen - Risk

Bank of New Zealand
Oct 2010Jul 2013

Accountable for implementing Kaizen Business Excellence within Risk at BNZ.  Encouraged and guided focussed continuous improvement initiatives. Collaborated with colleague Kaizen specialists on cross functional initiatives.  Delivered real cost savings by simple process transformation.

Head of Operational Risk and Compliance

Bank of New Zealand
Feb 2006Sep 2010

Built the Operational Risk and Compliance function from ground up to gain recognition (under the Basel II requirements) from Reserve Bank of New Zealand within 15 months.

Introduced the concepts of risk ownership at operational level across BNZ.  Began the process of identifying regulatory and compliance obligations, leading to operational compliance plans.

Senior Operational Risk Manager

Barclays Bank plc, International Retail & Commercial

Accountable for the implementation of Basel II standards for Operational Risk in Barclays Europe and Barclays Africa.  

Consultant - Network Assurance

Ulster Bank Ltd (Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

Accountable for the design and implementation of a Quality Assurance programme for the Branch network (180 branches) in Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland

Manager - Consulting

Deloittes (Warsaw, Poland)

Managed projects within the financial sectors of Poland and Czech Republic.

Career Banker

National Westminster Bank plc (UK)
Sometime last century2000

Variety of roles, latterly including accountable for global implementations of process and workflow automation and as relationship manager for three businesses for Operational Risk

Main Skills

People Leadership

I have led teams with up to 8 direct reports.  Developing people is the most important part of any job and is my highest priority.

I have acted as mentor to non direct reports, and consider this too to be both a necessity to the organisation and a privilege.

Technical Risk Knowledge

A career risk manager, with skills gained after many years of practical experience.  Including the implementation of frameworks, policies, oversight and communications


Engagement at all levels is the way to get things done.  I have a track record of achievements which come from influencing both with and without authority.

Strategic Awareness

Any risk activity must be within the context of the organisational strategy.  I always employ the strategic framework for my risk approach (whilst remembering that some strategies may be risky and need to be fully understood before acceptance)

Some of my Significant Achievements over recent years

  1. 1st bank in New Zealand to achieve Advanced Measurement Approach approval from Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  2. Piloted and advocated for flexible working in BNZ
  3. Designed and implemented a workflow tool for our Credit Risk teams which saved over $500k per annum in courier charges, but cost nothing to deliver
  4. Spearheaded BNZ's response to the Christchurch 2011 earthquake, spending three months in Christchurch getting our people back on their feet
  5. Conducted a bank wide survey focussed on Risk Culture.  Responses helped to inform our key strategies under our '[email protected]' banner
  6. Persuaded BNZ to enter a vehicle in the Auckland Pride Parade in 2016, and the CEO and three other Executive Team members to walk in the parade


Associate of Chartered Institute of Bankers

Charted Institute of Bankers (UK)

1st Degree equivalent covering wide variety of commercial, banking and management skills and knowledge

Certified Kaizen Professional

Kaizen Institute (Australia)

Continuous Improvement techniques and protocols

Risk Minds Conference (2009)


Foremost risk conference in Europe, mostly but not exclusively bankers 


  • Born in the UK, I am now a settled NZ citizen, but enjoy travelling back to the UK and Ireland, as well as many other destinations
  • I sing in a community choir, of which I am currently the chair


References are available on request