2018 President-Elect Candidate
Tom Bakos, FSA 1972, MAAA
Tom Bakos Consulting, LLC
President / Consulting Actuary
I have worked continuously as an actuary since I joined Continental Insurance Company in Chicago as an actuarial student with one exam passed. That was in 1967, 51 years ago. And even before that, I worked at CAC as an Actuarial Summer Student while in college.
As an actuary on the life side of things, I have been there and done that. I have passed exams attaining my Fellowship in 1972. Becoming an FSA introduced me to volunteer work for the profession. I worked in Education and Examination roles for quite a while early in my career creating exams and graded them. I’ve watched many Chicago Bulls NBA finals in a hotel lobby bar. Those were the good old days!
I served the SOA for five years on the board, 2002 – 2005 as a regular director and 2008 – 2010 as a vice president. I know how that body works and its importance to all of us.
Along the way I felt the call of the Academy as well, serving on councils and committees focusing on professionalism. In that role we authored several Discussion Papers on professionalism topics – some still available on the Academy website.
I have written extensively for our actuarial publications, Contingencies and The Actuary. Contributions to Contingencies started early with my first humor piece in 1989. Many more humor articles, about 30, followed as well as more serious feature articles on important new, nontraditional areas of actuarial practice – intellectual property and genetics as a predictor of mortality & morbidity. I presented a paper on Genetically Informed Mortality at the 2014 Longevity Symposium.
In addition to sharing knowledge through writing, I have also made presentations at our SoA meetings, CAS meetings, and other industry meetings on occasion – typically on new, nontraditional topics related to risk.
We must improve our actuarial profession in an enlightened, examined way. Don’t expect that I have answers or even the questions – but I am inquisitive and question a lot, so I may on occasion have a solution to offer. This actuarial profession is ours – not mine. We should all think about contributing to its continued success. What I will promise to do is seek and encourage divergent opinion from all our members - even those ideas that may make you or I uncomfortable or less secure in our own.
We will succeed and excel as a profession by successfully defending what we already have and believe or, if unsuccessful in that, adapting to what’s new and proven better. I think one fails when one refuses to change and change has been proven necessary.
Brief description of current work
I am a fully active, semi-retired actuary. That means I am free to do what interests me the most. My work, currently, involves providing expertise utilizing my 50+ years of experience acquired over a lifetime. I don’t want to waste that! This is mostly in class action litigation but, recently, I have done some work for a couple of individual clients. One local client needed a projection of costs necessary to care for a dependent child. The mother was involved in litigation with a state agency. Most cases requiring expert work that I have worked on end up being settled. Unusually, two recent cases went to trial requiring testimony. Most cases do, however, usually involve deposition testimony.
Over the years I have engaged with many inventors and teamed with patent agents in the development of new insurance invention. I have taught a couple of classes a few years back with a patent agent partner specializing in the business method arena to patent examiners at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in DC.
I also engage in a healthy smattering of non-actuarial interests and pursuits. This life is all about risk but sometimes that means paying attention to where you put your hands on a board you are sawing.
Primary Area of Practice
Life Insurance; Nontraditional, Intellectual Property, Invention.
Tom Bakos, that’s me, is President of Tom Bakos Consulting, LLC., an independent actuarial consulting firm specializing in non-traditional, “beyond-the-box” areas of practice. Although I do engage in traditional actuarial assignments. The nontraditional work has included: the use of patents to protect intellectual property in the insurance industry and the use of genetic information to access and mitigate life & health risk. I have been an independent consulting actuary since 2000 – that is, for the past 18 years.
My actuarial career began in 1967 and has now extended to nearly 50 years of general management and technical actuarial experience in various roles within the life insurance industry in the United States. These activities have included work in the home offices of both mutual (Security Mutual, Guardian) and stock life (Continental Insurance, Lincoln American, Integrated Resources) insurers in product development and financial reporting, providing actuarial services to a large brokerage general agency (BYSIS), and innovative product design and development work as a consultant.
As a consulting actuary, I have provided and continue to provide actuarial support in several class action litigations over the past 18 years including as an expert witness.
Professionally, I have served as a member of the Board of Governors (later Directors) of the Society of Actuaries (SoA), as a regular director from October 2002 – November 2005 and as a VP with a term from 2008 – 2010. I have served as a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) Council on Professionalism (2003 – 2010) and as a member of the AAA Committee on Professional Responsibility (Member from 2000, Chair 2003 – 2010). I was also invited to serve on the AAA Governance Task Force (in February 2010) principally, I believe, because of concerns I expressed as a member regarding AAA governance practices.
Perhaps I have not told you everything you need to know to cast an intelligent vote, for me, of course , in this coming election. If that is the case, please write: tbc@BakosEnterprises.com. I’d be happy to address with you any issue we both agree is important to the success of our profession. Maybe you just care to make a comment. I’m up for that too.
See also my business website: http://www.BakosEnterprises.com.
Go here to find Jack Moorhead’s 1970 SOA Presidential Address. It is a very good read.