21st Edition Model Risk

Master the governance and validation of models in a volatile market, where advanced technologies and regulatory pressures are causing a variety of challenges to model risk management teams


Is it the head of model risk’s responsibility to encourage better teamwork across model development and model validation teams?

The Chief Risk Officer's role is to enshrine expectations and accountability for teamwork and information sharing in the enterprise-wide risk management framework. The Head of Model Risk is then responsible for “translating” the framework for the model risk team. Ultimately, all of top/senior management is responsible for creating a culture that encourages and enables teamwork and friendly debate with other stakeholders while keeping in accordance with regulatory requirements. That can be achieved for instance through investing in tools and technology that make it easy to share information in the right context.

In terms of our platform, (our conferences are intimate peer-led meetings where all speakers and delegates are senior executives from top financial institutions), how do you see it assisting you with overcoming the challenges you currently face?

The intimate setting that GFMI conferences provide is ideal to encourage senior Model Risk executives to share best practices and foster innovation around culture. I am excited to see what participants will take away from these conversations, and look forward to participating.

What are your main areas of focus at the moment regarding model risk?

As Chief Product Officer at ValidMind, I have 3 main focus areas to enable model risk teams to increase the efficiency of their model validation efforts:
1. Automating documentation, to reduce the amount of manual effort to produce model documentation and validation reports.
2. Automating model validation to ensure consistent evaluation of model risks at scale.
3. Enabling teamwork and communication across the three lines of defense.

Why is it important to encourage better communication across the three lines of defense?

As organizations operationalize the three lines of defense approach, it’s not rare to see a “silo mentality” developing, with communication and alignment becoming difficult between teams, particularly in Financial Services. This can lead to sub-optimal outcomes such as duplication of work, gaps in risk areas, and higher costs of compliance for the organization.

To counter that, it is important that risk management leaders encourage more coordination and communication across risk management stakeholders, while maintaining independence and objectivity of the 2nd and 3rd lines.

Ahead of the GFMI 21st Edition Model Risk conference we spoke with Mehdi Esmail, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at ValidMind, a VC-backed startup focused on simplifying Model Risk Management for Financial Services. Mehdi has over a decade of experience in data, analytics, and risk management for the Financial Services industry, having served as both an operator working with the Chief Data Officer at American Express, and as consultant for Fortune 100 Financial Services companies.


November 30- December 2, 2022

Warwick Allerton Hotel | Chicago, IL 

An interview with Mehdi Esmail, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ValidMind


Mehdi will be moderating a panel discussion during day two (12/1/2022) of the 21st Edition Model Risk conference! 

Panel Discussion: The three lines of defence: A spotlight on the need for better teamwork and communication

  • Why is it important to encourage better communication across the three lines of defence?
  • Is it the head of model risk’s responsibility to encourage teamwork?
  • How crucial is it that the priorities of each team be fully understood by the heads of department?  
  • What are the overall benefits of better teamwork for each line of defence?   

For registration pricing and multiple attendee discounts, please contact:

Ria Kiayia 


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