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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

20th Apr, 2020

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.”


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).