Available Now: Starling’s 2020 Compendium!

Starling Team

Starling’s 2020 Compendium is available now! This annual report on regulatory activities and priorities regarding Culture and Conduct Supervision in the Banking Sector has become an industry “must-read” and a platform through which the industry addresses itself on this important topic.

The report is packed with contributions from among our global audience of central bankers, bank regulators and supervisors, international standard-setters and prominent industry figures worldwide, as well as commentary from our prestigious advisory team. Get your copy now!

Download the 2020 Compendium here


Mark Cooke, former Global Head of Operational Risk at HSBC and Chairman of the Operational Risk Exchange (O.R.X.) Joins Starling’s Risk & Governance Advisory Board

Starling Team

Starling, an applied behavioral sciences technology company, has announced the appointment of Mark Cooke to its Risk & Governance Advisory Board.

Mark Cooke joined HSBC in 2014 as Group Head of Operational Risk. In that role, Mark led a team of risk officers across the firm’s global footprint, overseeing non-financial risks such as compliance breaches and staff misconduct, before taking a sabbatical in 2020. Earlier, Mark held senior leadership roles at Barclays and UBS in risk, finance and operations. Today he is Chairman of ORX, the financial services industry association for Operational Risk Management.

Cooke joins other distinguished members on Starling’s Risk & Governance Advisory Board. The company recently announced the appointment of Gary Cohn, former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and past-President & COO of Goldman Sachs, and Siew Kai Choy, former MD at GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, where he was Director of the Enterprise Data & Analytics Department and founder of GIC Innovation Labs.

“Starling’s innovative proposition is that, by using non-traditional risk data, machine-learning techniques and social science, we can develop real-time insights that enable proactive risk management,” Cooke said. “By identifying leading-indicators of risk we have the potential to unlock tremendous value, in terms of better risk management outcomes, but also through a step-change in productivity that firms may derive through automated risk analytics,” he added. “I’m delighted to join the extraordinary team that Starling has assembled and look forward to helping the company develop these important new tools, addressing the lack of proactive capabilities we see today for the benefit of the financial services industry.”

“Mark is an incredibly accomplished operational risk management leader, having served most recently with one of the most complex and systemically important global banks,” said Starling Founder and CEO, Stephen Scott. “His role as chairman of O.R.X., the association of OpRisk leaders at the top-100 financial firms in the world, affords Mark a unique view over the entire landscape of nonfinancial risk struggles that confront the industry,” Scott added. “We – and our customers – are deeply fortunate to benefit by Mark’s perspective.”

About Starling

A globally recognized RegTech pioneer, Starling is an applied behavioral sciences company that helps customers to create, preserve, and restore value. Combining machine learning and network science, Starling’s Predictive Behavioral Analytics platform allows managers to anticipate, and to shape, the behavior of employees and teams.

Starling reveals how relational trust dynamics within an organization impact business performance — predictably. Its proprietary algorithms generate actionable insights that allow leaders to optimize performance and to identify and mitigate culture and conduct risks before they cascade into crises.

With Mark Cooke, other members of Starling’s newly formed Risk & Governance Advisory Board include Gary Cohn, former Director of the US National Economic Council and past-President & COO of Goldman Sachs, and past Director of the Enterprise Data & Analytics Department at Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund (GIC), Siew Kai Choy, who also founded the GIC Innovation Lab.

Senior Regulatory Advisors include Tom Curry, former US Comptroller of the Currency and member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Rick Ketchum, former CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), past head of regulation for the NYSE, and former President of both the NASD and NASDAQ; and Martin Wheatley, inaugural CEO of the UK Financial Conduct Authority and past CEO of the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission.

Starling is also guided by a Scientific & Academic Advisory Board that includes John Seely Brown (former director of the Xerox PARC Research Lab), Nicholas Christakis (director of Yale’s Human Nature Lab), Karen Cook (director of Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences), and Thomas Malone (director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence).


Coronavirus Hobbles Corporate Compliance Monitoring | Wall Street Journal

Starling Team

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a significant strain on those responsible for managing risk and ensuring regulatory compliance at banks.  Processes, controls, and surveillance systems that were designed for employees in controlled office spaces, using corporate systems, or working at restricted trading desks are almost certainly compromised – or rendered ineffective.

Meanwhile, regulators in markets all over the globe have relaxed certain rules to give banks more flexibility to respond quickly to the economic downturn.  As a result, managers responsible for protecting the bank against risk events find themselves in uncharted territory.
While these risk managers are working hard to maintain effective oversight.  Another group is at an even greater disadvantage.  These are the appointed monitors that are responsible for overseeing regulator-mandated changes. 

A recent WSJ article describes the challenges these external change agents face.  Implementing new compliance systems goes far beyond setting new processes and policies.  It requires personal interaction with the employees that manage those processes so the monitor can understand how business actually gets done. 

The article highlights everything from structural cues, such as where compliance staff is located relative to operational staff, as well as behavioral factors such as how people interact with compliance team members.  

This becomes infinitely more difficult when the subject employees are no longer in their ‘natural’ environment.  While social distancing policies continue, this creates a significant blind spot that may ultimately prevent these monitors from implementing the critical changes they were assigned.

Read more


Further On Up the Road

Starling Team

If we fail to address the financial sector’s Achilles’ Heel – misconduct risk – in the course of what Mohamed El-Erian has termed a race between economics and Covid-19, a spate of scandals will almost inevitably follow our current heroic efforts. This will rob the financial industry of what little public trust remains to it, likely deepening an already worryingly broad discontent with capitalism – and perhaps even with democracy itself.

Policymakers, regulators, supervisors, boards and bank leadership and risk officers should consider this closely if they wish to avoid a future crisis, as pandemic-era bombs explode further on up the road.

Read more


Reminder: Starling’s 2020 Compendium Is Coming Soon

Starling Team

The 2020 Starling “Compendium” is coming soon!  This annual report on regulatory activities and priorities regarding Culture and Conduct Supervision in the Banking Sector has become an industry “must-read” and a platform through which the industry addresses itself on this important topic.  The report is packed with contributions from among our global audience of central bankers, bank regulators and supervisors, international standard-setters and industry leaders.

Our 2019 Compendium featured a contribution from our advisor, Nicholas Christakis, head of the Human Nature Lab at Yale, Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science, and a renowned social scientist and physician.  His research focuses on two types of phenomena: the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and the biological and social implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (“contagion”).

In his contribution to our 2019 report, Christakis discusses the notion of “Culture as Contagion.”  He explains how dishonesty, proscribed behaviors and fraud may well spread via processes of social contagion like all other observed human behaviors. “People will behave in a risky manner when they perceive that their peers are doing similarly.”  These insights hold practical lessons for those charged with managing non-financial risk in the financial sector.

If you want to read more from this piece of last year’s Compendiumclick here

Our 2020 update will feature insights offered by leading global regulators, commentary from our prestigious advisory team, and feature-length remarks from prominent industry figures worldwide. There’s still time for you to claim your copy and participate. Here’s how:


If you would like us to send a copy to you when it is published, you can reserve your copy here.


Our 2019 Compendium remains available for download at this link.  Have a question or suggestion as to how we can improve on past efforts?  Please feel free to share any comments with us, in confidence, by sending them to compendium@starlingtrust.com


If you are with a regulatory agency or industry standard-setting body and you have not yet had an opportunity to respond to our annual survey, please consider doing so now!  You’ll find the survey at this link

And click here if you’d like to see a sample from this year’s report…!