Dr Simon Ashby

Dr Simon Ashby

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Financial Services

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Business)


Dr Simon Ashby is Associate Professor of Financial Services at the Plymouth Business School (www.plymouth.ac.uk/business). Prior to this he worked as a financial regulator (writing policy on risk management for the UK Financial Services Authority) and a senior risk manager in a number of top UK financial institutions (covering both credit and operational risk). Simon has a PhD in corporate risk management and has published many academic papers and reports on risk, financial services regulation, banking and insurance. His current research interests include the global financial crisis, the Basel III and Solvency II regulatory reforms and risk management concepts such as risk culture and risk appetite.

Simon remains actively involved in the UK financial services sector and is a regular speaker at industry conferences and seminars. He also provides occasional training and consultancy services to financial institutions and their regulators. Simon is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Institute of Operational Risk (www.ior-institute.org) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Risk, Banking and Financial Services at the University of Nottingham. Simon also is a Director of Plymouth Community Homes, where he is Audit and Risk Committee Chair.


I have had a varied career working in the university sector, as a financial services regulator, and more recently as a senior risk manager within a number of financial institutions.

In terms of academic qualificatiojns I have the following:

PhD (in the field of Risk Management), University of Nottingham
BA (Hons) Industrial Economics, University of Nottingham

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the Institute of Operational Risk (FIOR)
Graduate of the Institute of Risk Management

Roles on external bodies

Director and Audit and Risk Committee Chair Plymouth Community Homes
Former Chairman of the Institute of Operational Risk
Former Director of the American Risk and Insurance Association
Former Director of the Operational Risk Research Forum

Teaching interests

Corporate risk management

Risk culture
Operational risk
Insurance company management
Financial services regulation
Financial services markets and strategy

Staff serving as external examiners

University of Exeter (INTO Graduate Programmes)

Recent Past:
Glasgow Caledonian University (Risk Management Programmes Re-validation)
University of Nottingham Business School (Risk and Insurance Modules)

Research interests

I am interested in all aspects of corporate risk management and insurance. Notably I have published on topics such as the role of insurance as a mitigant for operational risk, health and safety in the workplace, the concept of risk appetite, the strategic benefits of effective risk management, operational risk management, crisis management and the causes of the global financial crisis.

My current research activity focuses on the regulation and management of risk culture in financial organisations, as well as the use of operational loss data to help predict future loss events. My risk culture research builds on a recently completed ESRC funded report that I produced with colleages at the London School of Economics. The operational loss project is being completed with colleages at the University of Nottingham and the data consorium ORIC International.

Grants & contracts

April 2012 – March 2013, Risk Culture in Financial Organisations, ESRC Co-Investment Pilot Project (£125,000). In association wth Professor Mike Power and Dr Tommaso Palermo at the London School of Economics.

April 2009 - Feb 2010, The Financial Crisis Learning the Risk Management Lessons, Financial Services Research Forum (£15,000)

(2015) Cyber Risk Management, (with Phippen, P.) Bookboon.com

(2014) “Chapter 1: Risk Culture”, (with Power, M. and Palermo, T. in P. Jackson, ed.,Risk Culture and Effective Risk Governance, Risk Books, London. 

(2014) “When an irresistible force meets an immovable object: The interplay of Agency and Structure in the UK Financial Crisis” (Peters, L., and Devlin, J) Journal of Business Research, Vol 67, No. 1, pp2671-2683.

(2011) “Waking the Sleeping Giant: Maximising the Potential of Operational Risk Management for Banks” (Clark, D., and Thirlwell, J. ) Journal of Financial Transformation, Vol 33, pp127-136.

(2011) “Capital Inadequacies: The Dismal Failure of the Basel Regime for Bank Capital Regulation (with Dowd, K., Hutchinson, M., and Hinchcliffe, J.) Cato Policy Analysis, July, No. 681 

(2011) “Risk Management and the Global Banking Crisis: Lessons for Insurance Solvency Regulation” Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance: Issues and Practice, Vol 36, No. 3.

(2008) Operational Risk: Learning Lessons from Non-Financial Organisations Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, Vol 1, No 4.

(2004) Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density (with P Fenn) British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol 42, No 3.

(2003) Industry Self Regulation: A Strategic Perspective on Voluntary Compliance (with S Chuah & R Hoffmann) International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol 11, No 1

(2003) New Trends in Operational Risk Insurance for Banks (with B Young) Advances in Operational Risk Management: Firm-Wide Issues for Financial Institutions 2nd Edition, Risk Books.

(2003) Lessons About Risk: Analysing the Causal Chain of Insurance Company Failure (with P Sharma & W McDonnell) Journal of Insurance Research and Practice, Vol 18, No 2.

(2001) New Trends in Operational Risk Insurance for Banks (with B Young) Global Reinsurance, October.

(2001) Insurance as a Mitigant for Operational Risk (with B Young) Advances in Operational Risk Management: Firm-Wide Issues for Financial Institutions, Risk Books.

Reports & invited lectures

Conference Papers:

Ashby, S. Power, M and Palermo, T (2013) “Risk Culture in Financial Organisations”, 35th UK Insurance Economists Conference, 17th-18th April 2013, University of Nottingham, Centre for Risk and Insurance Studies.

Ashby, S. and Diacon, S. (2010), “Risk Appetite in Theory and Practice”, 4th European Risk Conference: Perspectives in Risk Management: Accounting Governance and Internal Control, 13th-15th September 2010, Nottingham.

Ashby, S. (2010), “Breaking the Hegemony of Regulatory Capital”, 32nd UK Insurance Economists Conference, 21st-22nd April 2010, University of Nottingham, Centre for Risk and Insurance Studies.


Ashby, S, Power, P and Palermo, T. (2014) “Guidance on Supervisory Interaction with Financial Institutions on Risk Culture Feedback on the FSB’s Consultative Document”, http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/c_140206.htm

Power, M. Ashby, S. and Palermo, T. (2013) Risk Culture in Financial Organisations: Final Report, Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network, London.

Ashby, S. (2011) Picking up the Pieces: Risk Management in a Post Crisis World Recommendations for Financial Institutions and their Regulators, Financial Services Research Forum, University of Nottingham and Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network.

Ashby, S. (2011) The Future of UK Banking following the Financial Crisis: A Response from the Financial Services Research Forum to the Independent Commission on Banking September 2010 Issues Paper, Financial Services Research Forum, University of Nottingham.

Ashby, S. (2010) The 2007-09 Financial Crisis: Learning the Risk Management Lessons, Financial Services Research Forum, University of Nottingham.