A nature for risks

Having started off as a Risk Analyst at First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), Nature Mogotsi rose swiftly through the ranks to become the bank’s Risk Operational Manager.

At the age of 26, the Mochudi native is responsible for identifying the ever-evolving risks in the cutthroat banking industry – a position that comes with massive pressure and huge expectation!

However, as The Voice’s KABELO ADAMSON finds out in this interview, Mogotsi has the composure and expertise to thrive in the cooker pressure world of banking.

Q. What does your role as Risk Operational Manager entail?

A. Basically we are a support function, we help the business in managing risks. So the first thing would be to definitely identify the risks – what are the risks in the bank?

And then we measure the risks in terms of their likelihood, then the impact, whether it is high risk, low risk or medium risk.

This will inform the control that we are going to embed for that kind of risk.

For example, access control – as the bank deals with money, risks that could happen involve theft, fire and flood.

These are some of the risks that have been identified, so there are many controls that have been put in place.

Basically that is what we do, keep risk registers and keep track of the risks, some of which are too high.

Q. But presumably the risks the industryface are not the same as those that existed a decade ago.

A. Definitely! Risk is evolving.

For example, risks are now evolving towards technology.

We are now moving from brick and mortar to ‘clicks’ and the risks are also following the business.

This means that what we do should be more system based.

That is why now we have systems that will identify those risks.

Whatever trend the business takes we have to follow.

So, yes risks are dynamic.

Q. When did you join the bank?

A. I joined FNBB in 2016 still in the Risk Management department as a Risk Analyst.

Before that I worked briefly for an oil company for a period of 11 months.

It was more ofa Relationship Management role and Business Administration and was not risk related.

I have a passion for Risk Management so when I joined FNB I started off as a Risk Analyst and now I am a Risk Manager.

Q. You are also a member of the FNB Foundation.

A. I started off as staff volunteer champion.

These are people who drive the mandate of the foundation or who drive the charity projects that are managed by staff.

On an annual basis, you will find that there would be a certain amount allocated to all the departments, but they still have to identify the needs and come up with a proposal; it could be a charity, then propose it to FNB and the Foundation would honourit if it issomething aligned to its mandate.

I have done about two projects, which I believe have been quite impactful.

My passion grew because I felt I needed to do more in that space.

There was a time I was recognised as the volunteer of the year internally – that is when I became a youth representative in the foundation board.

I am not yet a trustee but I hope that will happen soon.

I represent the voice of the youth and now, with the strategy of the foundation moving towards youth centric, it is only ideal that there is someone who represents the youth on the foundation board.

Q. I understand you recently participated in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Share your experience with us.

A. On an annual basis, there is a call for applicants run through the U.S embassy.

Anyone can apply but the selection process is quite rigorous.

It was most rewarding – I guess it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!

The programme itself has a combination of professional and academic learning and lots of site visits to benchmark and observe how they do things.

I was in the Public Management track, which was divided into three tracks, namely: civic engagement track, entrepreneurship and public management.

We learnt a lot about issues around food security, mostly in the agricultural space.

Q. And how do you intend to use the experience you gained there?

A. One thing that I think really stood out from the key learning was more of leadership.

I think we are now more empowered to engage, we have to engage with the right people.

So, I think it’s not ‘encourage’ but more of empowerment to say what I have identified as a solution.

I need to raise my hand and tell the right people.

There are also certain things that I have to ask the right people, even some which may not be comfortable because at the end of the day it is all about the development of the country and the continent.

I also want to use my profession to collaborate with other professionals to facilitate and monitor Risk Management initiatives at national level.

I also intend to use my YALI experience to mentor others and support them to reach their full potential.

Looking forward, I want to be a thought leader in governance and Risk Management in Botswana.

Subsequent to that, I see myself occupying a higher national position on governance and risk such as the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) and Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA).

Q. Tell us a little about yourself away from the office?

A. Mostly studying, but I like typical outdoor sessions like chilling at B6 in Mochudi, the pork there is amazing!

I also enjoy road trips and like shopping as well as lodging at places like Goo-Moremi and Sandton.

I am from Mochudi and come from humble beginnings and had to tackle the challenge of being a firstborn in a single-parent household.

I keep a positive mindset which helps me overcome many obstacles I face.

I am also a wild dreamer,I dream big and chase my dreams!

I enjoy my space but also being surrounded by people.

I value the interactions I have with different people I come across and always extract value from conversations.

Q. And finally, Thank God It’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

A. I like chilling at the car park most Sundays but this weekend I will probably go shopping with my young brother – he always calls to mention how much he misses me!

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