Most of the time, Bryan Gray is a mere custodian, barely distinguishable from the thousands of other men in suits making their way around the metropolis. But once a year, a strange power comes over this mild-mannered middle manager.

He feels compelled to warn colleagues about the perils of the financial world in which they work. He gets an irrepressible desire to wear his underpants outside his trousers. Bryan Gray becomes ‘Riskman’. Riskman first appeared at the offices of Gray’s employer, JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services, about four years ago. The human beings working for JPMorgan had been identified as a source of risk. After all, as an internal memo discussing Riskman points out, one incorrect keystroke “has the potential to cost the bank millions of dollars”.

Riskman began making annual visits to these mortals, helping them identify potential risks in their daily roles, and get their heads around something called the Incident Escalation Matrix. Riskman also appeared before staff on their screensavers and calendars, intoning timely reminders about risk such as “if in doubt, shout!” and “be alert – expect the unexpected!”. We reckon having Bryan Gray stride into your office in a mask and Warwick Capper wig is probably unexpected, but credit to him – the Australian-devised Riskman program has been so successful, it’s now being rolled out in JPMorgan offices across Asia.

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