In Memory of Howard Michael Auerbach

Howard Michael “Mickey” Auerbach was born in 1945 and died in Belle Mead, NJ on August 17, 2015. Mickey is survived by his wife Andrea Auerbach, his daughter Joy Elyssa Auerbach, and his brother Richard Auerbach.

Mickey’s main intellectual interest was physics. He earned a Bachelor of Science at Michigan State University and pursued graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He began his actuarial career in New York City at American International Group and finished at MetLife in Bridgewater, NJ. But most of his career was at USLIFE in lower Manhattan, where he worked from 1978 through 1997. There, he was the resident expert on the pricing of two difficult lines of business: Term Insurance (with its cutthroat competition) and Fixed Premium Universal Life (with its mathematical complications).

Mickey was analytical, and sought to understand the phenomena behind the raw data. While doing a ULIFE mortality experience study, he was surprised that male mortality strongly correlated to driving record, but female mortality did not. His proposed explanation: in that benighted era, the husband did the driving!

He was also a skillful computer programmer, and methodically strove for honest and valid results. His USLIFE colleagues appreciated his seriousness of purpose, his deep actuarial knowledge which he generously shared, and his wry sense of humor.

It was also at USLIFE that he shared the wonderful news of his marriage to Andrea, and the birth of their daughter.

Mickey spent his whole life learning new things and acquiring new skills. After spending most of his career as an ASA, he became an MAAA in 1997 and an FSA in 1998. In retirement, he returned to his study of physics. Despite his worsening medical condition, he studied physics for the last 10 years of his life, and attended advanced classes at Princeton University.