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The banking jobs : Head of Assignment, IT Inspecteur

  • Patrick Hoarau Head of assignment, IT Inspecteur
  • Paris, France
  • 30.06.2017

Patrick Hoarau, Head of Assignment, IT Inspecteur, in Paris, tells his missions in 6 questions.

Tell us about what you do at BNP Paribas.  

I work with a team of about ten people to carry out audits of IT activities within the Group’s entities. My role is to identify the potential risks tied to these activities, and then to issue recommendations aiming to reduce these risks. The risks we audit notably include those relating to securing customer and bank data, as well as risks posed by running obsolete software. At BNP Paribas, Inspection Générale comprises over 1,200 people worldwide, including about 40 inspecteurs dedicated to IT audits.

What does an IT audit entail?

IT audits take place over four steps. First there is the preparation phase, which defines the scope covered by the inspection and identifies the main challenges. Next comes the diagnostic phase, including internal interviews and an initial risk cartography. By mid-mission, the investigation phase allows us to perform tests to verify our hypotheses. Finally, the restitution phase involves writing up our observations and recommendations. We share that information with management within the audit scope and a summary report is sent to General Management.

Is the job of inspecteur an isolated and solitary one?  

On the contrary—it’s above all a job rooted in the field! An IT inspecteur moves throughout the entity and works from their offices during a large portion of each mission. Inspecteurs are always in contact with other people, including members of their team and the entity under audit. Finally, BNP Paribas Inspection Générale is a powerful experience accelerator. In just three years, inspecteurs cover an average of nine assignments with different issues, teams and Heads of Assignment. Their diversified training provides the perfect springboard to other positions within the bank.

What kind of skills are necessary for this job?

In addition to having strong interpersonal skills, inspecteurs must be curious, rigorous and have a knack for analysis and synthesis. Furthermore, they should be able to adapt to any situation. Over the course of an assignment (three months), they must identify the risks tied to the entity’s different IT processes and highlight the major points in just a few pages! Finally, I think a good inspecteur needs to present their mission in a positive light: we are not just there to control processes, but to help improve the Group’s operation and support the entity’s activities.

You joined the Group in late 2011. What attracted you to BNP Paribas?  

Above all, it’s a universal and international bank that opens up new horizons for its employees. In this sense, Inspection Générale offers a vast range of opportunities. Missions are designed to enrich employees’ careers. In my case, I decided to build on my experience with Inspection Générale by becoming a Head of Assignment for two years. Now I am leveraging my five years in Inspection to obtain a Chief Operating Officer (COO) position abroad. In short, at BNP Paribas, the goal is not to build a career solely within Inspection Générale, but to use it as a springboard to other professions.

What is the biggest challenge faced by an IT inspecteur? 

IT inspecteurs face two main challenges. One challenge is more immediate and pertains to the finalisation and success of the assignment. The other challenge is more long-term and involves building seniority, maturity and adaptability throughout one’s career. Assignment after assignment, inspecteurs need to learn as much as possible.

“ Come prepared to the interview: you will need to answer many different questions, including some asked by IT specialists. Remember to highlight your skills pertaining to the inspecteur position: rigor, discipline and communication. ”

Patrick Hoarau

Head of Assignment , IT Inspecteur 

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