James Lam

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James Lam
James Lam standing at desk 8x10.jpg
Alma materBaruch College (B.B.A) 1983
UCLA, Anderson School of Management (M.B.A) 1999
OccupationRisk Consultant, Public Company Board Member, Public Speaker, Author

James Lam (born 1961) is a consultant, author, and speaker. He is President of James Lam & Associates, a risk management consulting firm he founded in early 2002. In a February 2007 research report, Forrester Research ranked James Lam & Associates as one of a few consulting firms with “extensive capabilities” in risk management across all major industries.

As president of James Lam & Associates, Lam serves C-level executives and boards on enterprise risk, strategic risk, market risk, credit risk, and operational risk engagements. He has done significant work with boards on governance structure, risk policy and tolerances, and board reporting.

Early life and education[edit]

Lam was born in Guangdong, China in 1961 and moved to the United States with his family in 1971. He grew up in Brooklyn and then went on to graduate summa cum laude with a BBA from Baruch College in 1983. He received his MBA with honors from UCLA in 1989.[citation needed]


Risk management[edit]

After graduating from Baruch College in 1983, Lam held positions as research analyst at Paine Webber, consultant at Kaplan Smith, vice president at Glendale Federal Bank, and senior consultant at First Manhattan Consulting Group. Between 1993 and 1995, Lam served as Chief Risk Officer at GE Capital Markets Services, where he helped create a new capital markets business.[1]

Lam also served as Chief Risk Officer for Fidelity Investments from 1995 to 1998. His work at Fidelity has been profiled in best-practice case studies published in Risk Magazine, the Economist, Price Waterhouse Review and Risk and Insurance.[citation needed]

Following his work at GE and Fidelity, Lam joined Oliver Wyman as a Partner in 1999. During his tenure at the firm, he led the development of ERisk. He initially served as Founder and President and later as Vice Chairman of the Board. ERisk was spun off as an independent company in 2001 and acquired by SunGard in 2005.[citation needed]

Since founding James Lam & Associates in 2002, Lam has served as a management consultant and board advisor to organizations in North America and Asia.[2]

In November 2012, Lam was appointed to the Board of Directors of E*TRADE Financial Corporation. He was named Chairman of the Risk Oversight Committee, and a member of the Audit Committee.[citation needed]

Other professional and academic activities[edit]

Lam has lectured at Harvard Business School as the subject of a HBS case study, and has taught graduate courses in risk management and advanced derivatives at Babson College and Hult International Business School.

Since 1987, Lam has delivered over 200 keynotes and speeches throughout the world.[citation needed]

In 2015, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) invited Lam to serve on the Advisory Council to update the COSO ERM Framework.[citation needed]


Lam has over 100 articles and book chapters to his credit, encompassing a wide range of financial and risk management topics. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review’s Insight Center, American Banker, Financial Times, and CFO Magazine.[citation needed] Lam’s first book, Enterprise Risk Management: From Incentives to Controls, published in 2003 by Wiley, has been ranked #1 best selling among 25,000 risk management titles on Amazon.com. It has been translated into Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean. The second edition was released in early 2014.

Enterprise Risk Management, From Incentives to Controls, 2nd Edition[edit]

The second edition of Lam's best-selling book was released on February 17, 2014. The book was published by Wiley and includes research and statistics, case studies, and best-practice examples related to Enterprise Risk Management. Lam capitalizes on his wealth of experiences as a chief risk officer, a trust board advisor and management consultant, a public company director and risk committee chair to write this insightful and exhaustive research on risk management.

This book includes sections about ERM Implementation, effective board risk oversight, risk assessment, risk-based decision making, and risk dashboard reporting. Lam also puts forth new and innovative concepts and practices include ERM Maturity Model, Role of the Board in ERM, Strategic Risk Management, and "Feedback Loops" on ERM Effectiveness.

Industry recognition and awards[edit]

Lam is widely noted for coining the term, and subsequently being the first, “Chief Risk Officer”.[1] He has been an early advocate of enterprise risk management as a consultant and practitioner.

In 1997, Lam was honored as the first person to be named Financial Risk Manager of the Year Award by the Global Association of Risk Professionals.[3]

In 2004, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at Peking University.

In a 2005 Euromoney survey, Lam was nominated by clients and peers as one of the leading risk consultants in the world.

Treasury & Risk Management Magazine named Lam one of the “100 Most Influential People in Finance” in 2005, 2006, and 2008.

In 2006, he was appointed Honorary President of the Asia Association of Risk and Crisis Management.

Lam served as a founding member of the Blue Ribbon Panel of PRIMA, and also served as co-chairman of the Education and Standards Committee.

Lam served as co-chairman and founding member of the prestigious Risk Who’s Who – a network of top risk professionals.

Personal life[edit]

Lam currently resides in Wellesley, MA with his wife Pam and their three sons Brandon, Austin and Garrett.


External links[edit]