Bespoke TPRM guru Interview: Linda Tuck Chapman | by Kate Ferreira

Linda Tuck ChapmanToday Linda Tuck Chapman is a globally recognised third-party risk management (TPRM) expert, having (literally) written the book on the discipline (more below), but it wasn’t until around 2000 that Tuck Chapman says she really started to discover the potential therein. As she says, “It is never a straight line to arrive where you are”.

A procurement base
“Much of my career was as a chief procurement officer (CPO), having held this role four times for three major banks, including two large global banks and a US ‘super-regional’,” she says. “In these roles I was responsible for sourcing and procurement, with between $2bn and $6bn in annual spend under management. I always enjoyed the complexity of the CPO role, as a senior person in these financial institutions with a lot of interaction with senior management and involvement in the strategic direction of the bank.”

“Back in 2000, I first became aware of the discipline of risk management for the vendor population of an organisation. In these organisations so much of what you acquire is complex services, and third parties become an extension of your organisation.”

She then founded Ontala Performance Solutions in 2007, a boutique consulting firm which specialises in TPRM – at a time marked by volatility and the start of the 2007-8 financial crisis. “TPRM started to become very big at the time, and you go where the clients take you.”

Diving deeper
From 2012 - 2014, Tuck Chapman returned to the CPO role at BMO Financial Group - where she was able to completely rebuild their TPRM programme in the context of an increasingly rigorous regulatory environment. “I learned a lot through that process. Around that time I also became the facilitator of a recurring TPRM round table for the Risk Management Association (, which supports the financial services sector.

“I continue to hold that role as a subject matter expert, and love getting together with my peers and having candid conversations around what's happening, what the issues are, what's going on inside their institutions.

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The next chapter

And it was the same Risk Management Association who asked her to write a book on the topic, a project that was to become “Third-Party Risk Management: Driving Enterprise Value”, published in May 2018.

“I drew on what I knew, and I did a ton of research. I tried to organise it to be a communication without too much risk lingo, rather than a textbook,” Tuck Chapman says. “It is very conversational, but also research-based, explaining the fundamentals of TPRM and how you translate guidance into practice… what you should know, what works and what doesn't.”

Later that year, Tuck Chapman also partnered with the Sourcing Industry Group’s (SIG) ‘SIG University’ to create a video-based training and certification programme, the Certified TPRM Professional (, designed for the busy professional.
“I love what I do. I find it fascinating, and when you're building new practices as we are in TPRM, there is so much to learn every day,” she adds.

A positive approach
What would she say to people who look at TPRM as a burden or compliance exercise, I ask. She responds: “I want to do this (TPRM) because it allows leaders to make better decisions that help run their business better. That is the enlightened view of TPRM.”

She continues: “If you are in business, no matter what your role, your job is to protect your organisation, to improve your customer experience, and to drive shareholder value. To see the risk management part of that as holding you back, that seems non-sensical to me. You need to understand your third party, understand whether they are the right party for you, understand whether their risk culture and controls are commensurate with what you expect.”

To Tuck Chapman the positives are a driving point. “If you get in business with the right third party, not only will they help you do all the things that you need and should do as an organisation, but they can also drive a huge amount of business value, and bring innovation to you,” she says.

In contrast, she explains, “if they are the wrong partner and you spend your time chasing them and worrying about risk events, it is not a strong partnership and you are exposing your organisaton, customers, and shareholders to unknown risk. Weak or inadequate risk management practices mean you will have to spend a lot of time to recover from an incident, which you could have prevented in the first place with stronger controls.”

Bringing her training to SA
Together with the Bespoke Group, Tuck Chapman will be bringing her expertise to South African professionals – via video conferencing and presentation – at the Third Party Risk Management Summit, in June 2019. “I will cover the fundamentals, real life case studies, and the value proposition. I believe that if you can engage people about the business benefits before designing process, they are more receptive.”

Kate Ferreira is the Contributing Editor of Bespoke CfSD's Bulletin - 

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Posted on May 17, 2019

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