August 2018

Chairperson’s Corner

By Bill Rearden

The Innovators & Entrepreneurs newsletter continues to be one of the first sources for many actuaries on current topics of entrepreneurship and innovation. I have received several high praises for the past May issue, and on behalf of the Entrepreneurial & Innovation Section (E&I) Council I would like to thank long-time editor Carlos Fuentes, and recently joined co-editor Chris Greig for their passionate dedication.

We are living in exciting times with rapid changes and disruptive innovation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other exciting new technological capabilities are beginning to revolutionize our lives. As chair of the E&I Council, I had the privilege this year to meet with many actuaries from different practice areas. Most of the actuaries I spoke with were curious as to how new innovations will impact the profession, and what opportunities might be created. The E&I Council continues to help section members and actuaries as a whole better understand and prepare for changes with the coming fourth industrial revolution.

Are you enjoying E&I’s very popular podcasts? E&I periodically uploads podcasts with entrepreneurial actuaries in nontraditional roles, or with roles found in startup companies. Given the popular download rate, the council is looking to start a channel with regularly scheduled podcasts. We need help to get this initiative successfully off the ground and running, and we ask that you please contact the E&I council team if you are interested in offering help.

Curious about Blockchain, what it is, how it works and possible applications? During the first week of August, E&I hosted a webcast on Blockchain applications for Actuaries. In early fall, the section is planning to host a webcast on disruption to clarify the many misconceptions from abundant misuse. Webcasts that are one year old are now available for members of the E&I Section to watch at no cost.

Want to know more about how AI may impact the insurance industry? E&I is excited to have Professor Joshua Gans from the University of Toronto, author of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, share his insights on AI via a virtual town hall on Aug. 23. Prof. Gans will discuss how faster computing power and AI is lowering the costs associated with predictions and consequently placing a growing importance on judgment.

Have you found yourself interested in volunteering with E&I? We are always looking for help with the many initiatives the council is working on to benefit members. Feel free to participate by reaching out to the council team or by contributing articles to the E&I section’s  Innovators & Entrepreneurs newsletter.

Bill Rearden, ASA, M.A., is co-founder and strategy consultant at Ironbound Consulting Group on Wall Street in Manhattan. He can be contacted at