Meet our Members: Cara Eves & Kelly Nash, UCB

4 min read
Jun 16, 2022

The “Meet our Member” series profiles a cross-section of risk professionals within our network, revealing their day-to-day responsibilities, their company’s risk priorities for the year ahead, and why they joined – and continue to value – Risk Leadership Network.

In this instalment, we speak to two risk leaders working in the pharmaceutical sector – Cara Eves, global ERM lead & associate general counsel, and Kelly Nash, enterprise risk manager, from multinational biopharmaceuticals company UCB. They discuss what they love about working in risk management and the challenge of shifting an organisation’s culture and mindset.

Cara Eves-modified

Name: Cara Eves 

Job title: Global ERM Lead & Associate General Counsel, UCB


Name: Kelly Nash

Job title: Enterprise Risk Manager, UCB

Our day-to-day responsibilities at UCB

Cara: There are five of us in the team, but we separate into, and take accountability for, different work streams – these include creating frameworks, finding synergies with other functions, training and communication, and driving culture change. We also connect three times a week to see who is working on what.

Finally, we take accountability for two to three business units each and serve as the main point of contact for the risk network within that business unit.

Why we enjoy working in risk management

Kelly: What I have really loved about this role, and still do, is the diversity and variety it offers you. Working in risk, you get exposed to so many different people and have the chance to learn about parts of the organisation that you normally wouldn’t. For me, it’s a lot of fun to talk to people all around the world.

Cara: I spent so many years of my career dealing with crises and talking about risk, but always with the focus of firefighting. Now, I’m part of a team where we have a blank slate and can actually build something to drive meaningful change. This really appeals to some of the change management opportunities I’ve worked on and hugely enjoyed in the past.

Challenges we’ve faced in our organisation

Kelly: Our organisation has undergone some changes recently, so we’re still trying to work out what is really important for our senior leaders. In terms of delivering something tangible, the challenge is to try and keep things as simple as possible.

Cara: I would echo that keeping things simple is really important. Another key challenge is to get to grips with the fact that we can’t quantify every risk, so we need to decide where to apply a greater focus.

Also, there is a certain mindset within the organisation that we have to try and manage, which is the idea that if a risk materialises, why didn’t the business or risk team anticipate this happening? We can’t anticipate everything! Instead, what we should consider is: if a risk does materialise, what should we do about it? Being brave and communicating this with leadership teams is crucial.

Our priorities and outlook for the rest of 2022

Kelly: One plan for this year is to establish a portal where anyone in the company can go on and register a risk they have identified. I’m really looking forward to the creative and interesting ideas that might come out of this, while it also reinforces the important idea that everyone is a risk manager, even if we don’t call them that.

Cara: We are also launching our global risk management platform. It has been a huge project and a truly cross-functional, collaborative effort to build a user-friendly environment where we capture, assess and manage our threats and opportunities.

Why we joined Risk Leadership Network

Cara: I first came across the network on LinkedIn, after seeing an article on the 360-degree radar which really piqued my interest, particularly as it related to a project we were working on at UCB. Following this, I reached out to the management team at Risk Leadership Network to ask some questions, and they presented some really interesting material to us that had the potential to offer our organisation a lot of value.

How the network has supported us and provided value

Cara: By joining Risk Leadership Network and participating in member meetings, I realised that our team is actually quite advanced in certain aspects of risk, and behind in others. Ultimately, everyone has similar challenges, and it’s great to know that we’re not alone.

Whenever I’m starting a project, I always search through the Intelligence platform to see what resources there are on a particular subject, while the opportunity to communicate with other risk managers via [member instant messaging platform] Guild has also been very useful for our team.

Also, when we have reached out to the network management team for assistance, the response has been very quick. We feel as though we get tailored input from the team at Risk Leadership Network, which is great.

If I wasn’t a risk manager, I would be…

Cara: It probably wouldn’t be such a great career to have now, but I love travel and food, so I think I would have really enjoyed being a travel writer or a food critic – at least before the pandemic.

Kelly: In the past I was interested in becoming a teacher and helping young kids learn how to read, which has now developed into an interest in children’s books. I’ve always wanted to write one with my brother, which could still happen in the future.

To see how becoming a Risk Leadership Network member could benefit you, find out more about membership today.

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