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Kazuya Takishima: Developing a Global Perspective on Risk

Kazuya Takishima (’19SPS, Enterprise Risk Management) is Vice President, FP&A and Rating Agency Relations at Nomura Group, the largest investment bank in Japan. In 2016, when he was transferred to the company’s American branch in New York City, he looked to the Master of Science in Enterprise Risk Management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies to learn more about mitigating organization-wide risks.

Q: Why did you choose the Enterprise Risk Management program?

A: Columbia’s program is unique in that it covers all aspects of risk management. It introduces students to true leaders from a variety of industries. I’ve been striving to become a finance executive who can take risk management into consideration and make meaningful suggestions and navigate the company. Columbia is preparing me to be a leader of the company in the future


Q: What has your experience been like so far?

A: I remember one day at work, I was working on an internal project that would help us follow a new regulation. The funny thing was, when I went to class, the professor was actually the chief risk officer of the regulatory authorization. He explained a lot about the background of the new rules and used some case studies to demonstrate how tragic it would be if the management of the companies decided not to follow those regulations. I felt the deep connection between my work and the class.

Q: How has the program helped you professionally?

A: We have a risk management department at Nomura, and they often ask us a lot about providing financial data. Whenever they ask us, the different teams have different perspectives. It’s really difficult to understand what everyone wants. It’s true that people can learn at work, but I think it’s really difficult if you’re working in a big company because everything is so fragmented. Columbia has helped me to connect all of this fragmented information one by one. I learned a lot of regulations related to risk management through Columbia, and now I have the whole picture and everything is starting to make more sense.

Q: What makes Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies a world-class institution?

A: My classmates and faculty members are making the program in general really special. The diversity of students is magnificent, and a lot of students are coming from different countries and backgrounds. We meet a lot of people and organizations like the United Nations, and we get to hear different opinions from various experiences and I think that’s invaluable.