This page is about what I like doing, and my current and previous roles. It was written partly as a pointer for recruitment consultants – especially the section on Risk Management and Solvency 2. My interests are explained, and these rule me out from most roles offered without wasted time and effort.
Confession time: I don't hugely enjoy mainstream actuarial work. At best I have no competitive advantage. However, for things I enjoy and believe I'm good at read on.
Things I'm relatively weak at include (e.g.) doing pricing or other projection-related work. These points rule me out of many roles. Great news for me and recruiters!
I'm interested in what works in other industries. External approaches have often not filtered through to the insular insurance industry, contributing to a general lack of pricing power. Actuaries have not always helped.
Interestingly neither of these completely fulfilled their promise. Following problems at the parent, Swiss Life UK closed to new business. While Munich Re UK Life Branch continued developing its Risk Analytics proposition and bought allfinanz in 2007 they have recently reorganised, as intense price competition in the UK life reinsurance market continues.
I like building things, inside and/or outside paid employment. It's what I'm most interested in. I've built teams, propositions, products and websites. I've brought a "building" mentality to my current risk management role, as well as oversight. And being an actuary, I've built spreadsheets.
I can work alone, but prefer working in teams – ideally leading a small team. Teams are like good leverage; returns are geared up, but risk is reduced too. Plus you meet interesting people and learn from each other.
My favourite problems are where a commercial benefit is acknowledged and the existing approach isn't working: "we need to secure our spreadsheets." I also like the focused strategic problem: "we need to increase our customer retention." Actuaries often give up on knotty problems. I don't.
While these were technical achievements, the commercial/risk implications were greater.
At Lucida I wear two hats. As Proposition Development Director I design and assist in the implementation of de-risking solutions for the pension market, including bulk buyouts/buyins, longevity insurance and hybrid structures. Since September 2009 I've also been Lucida's Director of Risk Management. I'm responsible for the efficient operation of Lucida’s risk management framework. I also have some limited Solvency 2 involvement: Pillar 2, ORSA etc.
Immediately before Lucida I was Head of New Business Development at Munich Re My clients included many of the leading UK life offices. This role targeted the individual protection market, which is where I've built up most of my actuarial experience. I led a New Business Development team of seven, including some excellent actuaries. It became the Risk Analytics proposition Other roles are set out to the right.
Some of the people I've worked with have been outstanding, including those listed below. I've appreciated your knowledge, skill, humility and friendship. You have demonstrated what's best about working in teams.
Of course I've also admired people I've worked with in partners/competitors.
In 2000/2001 I set up and ran a virtual life office with a colleague. I've also worked in reinsurance and at two leading protection insurers. Find out more on my LinkedIn profile