2014 Deceased Member — Bradley M. Smith

In Memory of Bradley M. Smith

Bradley M. Smith, FSA, MAAA, FLMI, past president of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and chairman of Milliman, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 12.

His unexpected death has left many in shock and sadness.

“Brad was the most strategic thinker I ever knew,” said SOA President Mark J. Freedman. “He was also straightforward, courageous and full of life. Most of all, I will miss him as a mentor and great friend.”

“Brad collapsed and died suddenly while playing tennis,” said Greg Heidrich, executive director of the Society of Actuaries. “I talked with Brad late Saturday evening on SOA matters and, as usual, he was full of energy and ideas for the future, including his planned retirement in June. This is a tremendous and shocking loss to the profession and the SOA, but most of all to his wife Karen, daughter Emily, son-in-law Ky, his family, and his many, many friends throughout the profession. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with them and with all of us who knew him well.”

Smith joined Milliman (formerly Milliman & Robertson, Inc.) in April 1986 to open the life/health practice in Dallas. His practice involved all aspects of life and health insurance, including insurance industry mergers and acquisitions, product pricing and financial statement preparation. He served as a member of Milliman’s board of directors from May 1996 to May 1999. In May 2000, he was elected to the position of chairman of Milliman.

Before joining Milliman, Smith was vice president and chief actuary at J.C. Penney Life Insurance Company, where he was heavily involved in direct response marketing analysis, list segmentation, product development and corporate planning.

Smith was a devoted volunteer of the SOA, serving as vice president (2001-03), president-elect (2010-11) and president (2011-12). He was elected section council member of the following SOA sections: Financial Reporting, Marketing & Distribution, and Product Development. Smith also served as a member of the SOA’s Board of Governors, director of publications and chairman of the SOA’s 50th Anniversary celebration. He also served on The Actuarial Foundation Board as trustee and was Emeritus Trustee since 2004.

An author of many articles and papers, Smith was a frequent speaker at a variety of SOA meetings. He also took his passion for the actuarial profession on the road, speaking to college audiences at the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, Waterloo University, the University of Wisconsin, and many other schools on the importance of professionalism, the theme of his 2010 book, What Do You Think? Preparing for the Question That All Clients Ask. He traveled internationally and spoke to other professionals, government officials and company executives throughout the United States, as well as China, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

In 2009 and 2010, Smith was named to Insurance Newscast’s List of the 100 Most Powerful People in the North American Insurance Industry. He was quoted in Forbes, Best’s Review and other business magazines. Smith graduated from the University of Illinois in 1977 with highest distinction.

Smith was a prominent leader of the SOA. During his term as president, he led in the decision to develop a general insurance track, laid the groundwork for the Blue Ribbon Panel on Public Pension Plan Funding, emphasized the importance of professionalism at every opportunity, expanded the SOA’s global reach and influence, and stressed the responsibility of the profession to become increasingly active with regard to solving societal issues.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18 at noon at the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, 9800 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75230. Memorials in Smith's honor may be made to Africa Uplifted or to the SPCA of Texas.

The challenges we face, as a profession and as a nation, are simply too great for us not to respond with a new approach. Let’s assure the relevancy of the actuarial profession into the foreseeable future. Let’s commit to do more to contribute to the solutions of society’s problems. Let’s not leave this earth knowing we could have done better. – Bradley M. Smith (Excerpt from Address at the 2011 SOA Annual Meeting & Exhibit)