2018 Board Member Candidate
Sivakumar Desai, FSA 2011, MAAA
AVP - Business Analysis Actuary
Thank you for visiting my Webpage and for considering my candidacy for the SOA Board of Directors.
After working in a wide variety of areas ranging from Engineering to Finance and Accounting, I consider our profession is the best. With increasing use of Artificial Intelligence/Data Science in every field (from manufacturing to financial services), it is vital for actuaries (both current and future) to complement their existing skillset with the emerging technologies to keep our profession as one of the best professions in the future. I strongly believe that better partnerships among actuarial organizations are going to be essential to build actuaries for the future as each actuarial organization has strengths that are complementary to other actuarial organizations’ strengths.
With increasing financial stress on public insurance programs, opinions of actuaries on the costs/benefits associated with reforming these programs are going to be essential. Soft skills as they relate to influencing key decision makers are going to be very important for actuaries to be relevant in these discussions.
As a member of the Board, I will focus on these items:
- Data Science/Analytics: I will work with other members of the Board to offer more machine learning/predictive analytics courses to current actuaries and to make these courses part of the curriculum to become an actuary. I would also work with other board members to build a platform for predictive modeling competitions among current and future actuaries to improve predictive modeling skills of the actuaries.
- Partnerships with other actuarial organizations: I will try to build better partnerships with other actuarial organizations in the United States and across the world.
- International Affairs: SOA needs to offer more professional development opportunities and relevant educational opportunities for international members to accommodate increasing international membership.
- Soft Skills: I would help our current and future membership achieve even better communication skills through workshops on influencing skills and discussion boards, where actuaries can discuss with other actuaries to improve their presentations to key decision makers.
- Transparency: I will encourage more transparency in decision-making at the Board without violating any confidentiality requirements.
Brief description of current work
For the last 12 years, I worked in Long-Term Care Insurance in a variety of roles from pricing products, reporting financial results, experience analysis and reserve adequacy testing. I currently manage Long-Term Care experience analysis and valuation teams and am responsible for data analysis, financial reporting and reserve adequacy analysis.
Primary Area of Practice
Health; Finance and Accounting
I started my career as a manufacturing engineer in a chemical company, where I managed a team of unionized workers that was responsible for scaling up the production of new products. After that I joined an MBA program and had worked in a variety of roles from IT to Finance and Accounting before finally deciding on being an Actuary. In my first few years as an Actuary, I did rotations in various business areas: Property and Casualty, Life Insurance, Employee Benefits, Asset Management and Corporate Actuarial. For the last 12 years, I worked in Long-Term Care Insurance in a variety of roles from pricing products, reporting financial results, experience analysis and reserve adequacy testing. I currently manage Long-Term Care experience analysis and valuation teams and am responsible for data analysis, financial reporting and reserve adequacy analysis.
In my current and prior roles, I have worked closely with risk management, claims and policy operations teams to understand and improve processes. I have also been on committees to set consistent standards across products to calculate reserves.
I have volunteered at the Society right after I became an ASA. My volunteer activities at the SOA include:
- Section council member, Long-Term Care Section: 2011-2014
- Section council member, Social Insurance and Public Finance Section: 2014-2017
- Section council member, Taxation Section: 2017 – present
- Long-Term Care Intercompany experience study committee: 2016- present
- SOA LTC think tank workshop participant
- Public and Private Partnerships in Long-Term Care Insurance: Past, Present and Future- Contingencies; Nov 2015
- Incentivizing Desired Policyholder Behavior in LTC policies- Long-Term Care News; Apr 2014
- How a Change in Tax Code Might Help Sales of Long-Term Care Insurance – Contingencies; Jan 2013
- Need for Change: Paradigm Shift Needed in LTC Product Development – Product Matters; Jun 2008
Member of project oversight groups for the following research projects:
- Understanding the Volatility of Experience and Pricing Assumptions in Long-Term Care Insurance
- Cognitive and Functional Disability Trends for Assisted Living Facility Residents
- Risk Appetite: Linkage and Strategic Planning