Anna Kornesczuk is an advisory consultant at Fusion Risk Management. She is currently responsible for executing targeted consulting on risk management client engagements as well as supporting the product development and sales teams with regards to risk management expansion.

Kornesczuk first began to focus on business continuity in her role executing operational due diligence for a large, global fund-of-funds.

“Business continuity was one of the key pillars of operational resilience we reviewed at all the underlying asset managers,” she said. “If they could not demonstrate how their business continuity program protected our client’s assets, our decision of whether to allocate capital to their funds was greatly impacted.”

According to Kornesczuk, to sustain an effective risk management program, a company must give heightened focus to the operational risk competency of business continuity. For Kornesczuk, the connectivity between operational risk management and business continuity is inherent and necessary.

Through empowering her colleagues to succeed and in turn getting their support to take new opportunities and excel, Kornesczuk cherishes the opportunities to make an impact.

“I very much enjoy the people aspect of my career in terms of both external client facing responsibilities and internal mentorships,” she said. “I am the most fulfilled when I can positively impact another professional in my network, helping both that individual and myself in career progression.”

A main challenge as a new professional is relaying her knowledge and capabilities to those who have many more years of experience. Short-term, quality experience can in many ways be more valuable than years without challenges or growth opportunities. Surrounding herself with peers and management who understand that sentiment, and them encouraging and relying on Kornesczuk has enabled her to succeed.

“Time and time again, the most successful projects and business relationships I have been involved in have been a result of listening to each other, respecting each other, and understanding that ultimately, we have the same goal of being successful,” Kornesczuk said.

She explained that whether it was an intentional decision to cultivate a mentorship, or one that has come along naturally, without mentors she would not be where she is today.

“My mentors have boosted and bolstered my confidence, told it to me straight, and advocated for me,” she said. “And I have been able to keep and strengthen those mentorships because they are a two-way street. Just because I may be newer in my career and experiences, the most important mentors to me are those who learn from me as well and want to understand my perspectives and opinions.”

As far as changes in the business continuity profession, Kornesczuk said the evolution of risk management into an integrated, unified, enterprise-wide objective, the industry should increase its focus to align all risk activities to achieve operational resilience. The industry should focus on the importance of the relation between business impact analyses, third-party monitoring, operational risk assessments, and all other risk management techniques to inform thoughtful decision-making for a business.

Kornesczuk has a business degree in accounting and first started her career as a Big Four consultant for clients in the financial services industry. She is a licensed CPA.

For the future, she is very interested in expanding her specific risk management accreditations and attending specific networking/conference events to connect with both providers of solutions to assist risk management functions as well as risk management practitioners.

For professionals who are new to the BC industry, Kornesczuk said they should learn from those around them and who want to teach them.

“Many times, we have colleagues who are right in front of our face, day in and day out who are clear mentors and coaches, but we fail to take it to the next step and develop a strong working relationship,” she said. “I learn best by learning from others in action rather than in word. Ask to shadow a project, sit in on a client call, take the first stab at a new deliverable … any way you can get hands on, tangible experience where you are actually responsible for a task. The good pressure of having a task that you must deliver on will help you grow quicker and more skillfully.”

One final suggestion Kornesczuk offered is to always “ask why.”

“If you don’t know the why yourself, how can you really talk knowledgeable about any topic?”

She said asking “why” is sometimes the most difficult question because professionals are vulnerable and it shows an area where they need growth.

“Everyone at some point has had to ask why, and the sooner the better because then you can move on to the next why. Whys never stop because learning never stops.”