SAS is putting together a new group to focus on helping clients deal with financial risks, and the world’s largest privately held software firm has promoted a recently hired banking executive to lead the new group.

Troy Haines, whom SAS hired last August, was formally named on Monday as the head for the Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions Division. His title is senior vice president, and his responsibilities will include direction of strategy, research and product management.

SAS also is looking to fill openings.

SAS, which reported a record $3.09 billion in revenue for 2014, sees risk management as a growing market opportunity, especially with the increasing problem of cyber security and financial fraud as well as increasing regulatory requirements and capital management.

In January, SAS rallied from No. 2 last year to tie IBM for the top spot in the “RiskTech100” list as compiled by the research firm Chartis. SAS beat IBM in three of six categories as ranked by Chartis and tied in one. 

“Being a core technology leader like SAS is crucial since analytical models are at the heart of critical business decisions – for finding new opportunities or managing uncertainty and risks,” said Peyman Mestchian, managing partner at Chartis, when the list was announced. “SAS continues to innovate in data management, analytics and reporting technologies to help financial service firms handle pressing compliance and risk management needs.”

Research firms Gartner and IDC also have given SAS high marks.

“Troy brings more than 20 years of experience in quantitative risk management, technical project management and applied research in the financial services industry to this role,” Jim Goodnight, CEO and co-founder of SAS, said in a statement. “He will spearhead SAS’ growth and investments in the risk space to help customers identify, mitigate and manage risk.”

SAS Is Hiring

Work has been underway for sometime to create the initiative.

“The new division took shape in Q4 last year to further align direction and priorities,” a SAS spokesperson told WRAL TechWire.

SAS also has been staffing the group from internal and external sources. 
“Several industry specialists have already been hired (in Q4) and we are looking to bring in several more to support the key risk initiative here at SAS,” the spokesperson said.

Some current SAS employees also have joined the group, including hires from:

  • Pre-sales support
  • Risk practice
  • Applications
  • Systems development

SAS will “double investment” in the areas to be addressed by the group “in the next couple of years.”

Beyond software, SAS also will provide consulting services and support.

“Adoption of advanced business analytics backed by developments in data management will increasingly drive competitive advantage in financial services,” said David Rogers, Risk Management Product Marketing Manager at SAS, earlier this year. “SAS risk and fraud solutions offer the flexibility and scalability firms need to handle the constantly changing regulatory and economic landscape.”

Haines’ Background

Before joining SAS, Haines worked in banking and risk management consulting at JPMorgan Chase, Washington Mutual Bank, General Motors Acceptance Corporation and American Management Systems.

“SAS has long been in a leadership position with its risk management capabilities,” Haines said in a statement. “I look forward to leading the practice’s evolution of its quantitative and qualitative financial risk solutions through innovative technology, providing rich content and functional capabilities to meet the growing customer needs across the globe.”

SAS operates its headquarters in Cary.