November 2012

Issue Notes from the Editors

ind-con-ortner ind-con-fuentes

by Nick Ortner
and Carlos Sanchez-Fuentes

In this issue of The Independent Consultant, we again offer practical and topical articles to appeal to the Entrepreneurial Actuaries Section (EAS) membership:

  • Outgoing chairperson Kevin Pledge briefly highlights the past year and the important roles that many EAS members have taken on, while also looking ahead to the roles that section members can play in guiding the EAS.
  • Following up on past conference sessions sponsored by the EAS related to starting a business and recent interviews with actuarial entrepreneurs, we continue in that vein with an interview with Michael Frank (president of Aquarius Capital).
  • John Myrna examines how features of products and services may not be appreciated by customers, along with how to move to understanding what is valuable to the customer today.
  • In August, Larry Stern highlighted the first 10 years of his 50-plus-year career as an entrepreneur—we build off that and highlight the last 40-plus years of Larry’s entrepreneurial evolution in this edition.
  • James Ramenda reminds us of the importance of an independent risk audit, emerging processes on that front, and the role an entrepreneurial actuary may be able to play.
  • Jay Vogt continues his discussions related to productivity, exploring why it’s hard to say “no” gracefully and then guiding the reader on a few techniques to make saying “no” easier.
  • We previously invited readers to share their views on actuarial entrepreneurship via an online survey. Here, we wrap up the responses to the questions not addressed in our August 2012 article and continue to encourage ongoing reader feedback.

In the spirit of blending topics of interest to actuarial entrepreneurs with practical advice from those who have already been down that path, we continue to seek authors (actuaries or not) to contribute articles or letters to The Independent Consultant on a wide spectrum of topics—the door remains open on any and all topics that may be relevant to actuarial entrepreneurs!

Nick Ortner, FSA, MAAA, is product development manager—Group Markets for National Guardian Life Insurance Company in Madison, Wis. He may be reached at or 608.443.5280.

Carlos Sanchez-Fuentes, FSA, MBA, M.S., is vice president and chief actuary at Delta Dental of Rhode Island. He may be reached at