November 2014

From the Editors

By Carlos Fuentes and Stephen James

Carlos Fuentes ind-con-stephen-james

In this issue of the Independent Consultant, chairperson Nick Ortner reminds us that service is what makes our section work. From long time contributors (thanks, Jay) to our newsletter to the ongoing need for new contributors, our section is only as good as the time and effort our members and volunteer section council members can put into it. Nick also summarizes the articles on golf and venture capital that appear in this edition.

When writing for our newsletter, our contributors almost always call on personal anecdotes and experiences to illustrate a business application of interest to actuarial entrepreneurs. These experiences are often depictions of real business events described for us through the filter of the writer’s knowledge and experience. So, when John Myrna reduces the challenge of employee engagement to making work as interesting as golf, we get the metaphor (even those of us who have difficulty with the “golf as a passion” premise!). When Alkarim Jivraj sits back and looks at the pros and cons of venture capital, it is with a fresh, nuanced, non-mainstream perspective. Isn’t seeing “old” problems through a new, innovative perspective what an entrepreneur does? Don’t the best entrepreneurs apply their unique, new perspective to provide solutions that will be of benefit to their clients? There is no mystique to being an entrepreneur, just a requirement that the individual be able to apply their own experience and intelligence to someone’s problem. We have all been entrepreneurial at times!

Have you ever provided a client or your company a solution to a problem? Is it possible that what you did might be of interest to others? What if your experience could be added to those of others to have further positive outcomes for them? This newsletter is a forum for sharing experiences just like that! Please reach out to us with your stories and lessons learned; we are terminally curious.

Carlos Fuentes, FSA, MAAA, FCA, MBA, MS, is vice president at Aon Hewitt. He may be reached at

Stephen James, FSA, FCIA, is president at JEA Pension System Solutions. He can be reached at