For more than 20 years, the Alexander Hamilton Awards fromTreasury & Risk have recognized corporate treasury,finance, and risk management teams that have pursued innovation—andsucceeded wildly in that pursuit. Speaking with the professionalswho drove the award-winning initiatives is always an honor and alearning experience.

This year's winners in the Operational Risk Management &Insurance category demonstrate the benefits an organization canachieve when risk management decision-makers think outside thebox.

  • Silver Award: To improve agility in itscasualty reserving practices, Herc Rentals developed a new model that aninternal risk analyst can use to calculate monthlyadjustments.
  • Gold Award: The U.S. Postal Service harnessed a machinelearning solution to predict and guard against fraud in customers'debit-card payments.

What these two projects have in common—in addition to theirsuccessful pursuit of creative new uses for analyticstechnologies—is a focus on working collaboratively acrossfunctional boundaries. “The data science and exploration group hadnever interfaced with finance before,” says John Greaves, chiefdata scientist in the advanced analytics division of the U.S.Postal Service. “Tapping their domain knowledge was extremelyvaluable.” Adds Elizabeth M. Schafer, treasurer of the U.S. PostalService: “Our secret to success was our willingness to listen toone another. We always respected one another's expertise andopinion, which built a culture of collaboration and helpfulnessthat enabled this project to thrive.”

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