May 2016

From The Editors

 Stephen jamesCarlos FuentesBy Stephen James and Carlos Fuentes

Many areas of human endeavor, especially professions, rely on academia. Pure researchers may do work with no goal in mind, other than to answer the question “why?” In turn, their work may be used in applied science and research with direct application to every life in the profession. Perhaps as important a role as any is that of teaching the next generation of students before they enter the profession. Professions owe a great deal to the academics working in their field. Actuarial science is no exception. This edition of the newsletter illustrates the importance of the academic world, through interviews with academics, by demonstrating the direct impact academics can have on the outside world when knowledge is shared and, in turn, the impact one’s academic work can have on their own career. In this edition, we have the following articles:

  • Interview with Michael Frank wherein, Mr. Frank discusses some of the threats and opportunities the actuarial profession faces. In his, well, frank way, Mr. Frank challenges us to think of new ways to apply our skills. Along the way, he relays anecdotes from a satisfying career full of opportunities, including owning a professional basketball team!
  • Interview with Ian Duncan in which Mr. Duncan relays the perspective of a teacher, telling the reader what he sees of the actuarial profession through the eyes of his students.
  • “LEARN goes Caribbean” by Michael L. Frank and Larry N. Stern, wherein the authors describe their experience offering continuing education programs to regulators in the Caribbean.
  • “Leverage Your Published Articles! Six Crucial Actions for Building New Business” by Ken Lizotte, CMC. Mr. Lizotte explains how having an article published is really only a first step, if the goal is to bring in business! He provides the reader six actions they can take to help their publications work for them.
  • EAS Chair Tom Tottem provides us with his message from the chair.

If you have a story about how you benefited from academia or perhaps how you contributed to it, please let us know! Do you have stories to provide on how you applied your actuarial skills and tools in a non-traditional area? Do you have an opinion on how we could further expand or work into even more non-traditional areas? We would like to hear from you.

Stephen James, FSA, FCIA, can be reached at

Carlos Fuentes, FSA, MAAA, FCA, MBA, MS, is president of Axiom Actuarial Consulting. He can be reached at