Jennifer Anne Haid, FSA 2009, CFA
VP Strategic Marketing & Product Development
New York, NY
Brief description of the type of work you currently do:
I lead a cross-functional team focused on product development and transaction support for AIG’s Terminal Funding business. As part of my role, I am responsible for co-developing and implementing our growth strategy domestically and overseas.
Primary Area of Practice:
Other Areas of Practice/Interests:
Why do you want to be on the Board?
I am passionate about our profession, and I would like to utilize my experience and expertise to further the objectives of the membership.
I am specifically focused on continuing to encourage SOA members to lead both inside and outside the actuarial community. I'd like to continue the Board’s work in expanding areas which highlight our strengths as a profession in areas of business and risk. In addition, I’d like to see continued promotion of our work and ideas in the public, broader networking opportunities for our membership, and promote further engagement and integration with new and emerging technologies. I think the Board needs to continue to take a long view and focus on the continued success of actuaries deep into the 21st century.
Ethics and Transparency
Ethics and transparency are essential to professional practice and service on the Board. How have you demonstrated ethics and transparency in the past? How will your own ethics and views on transparency influence your decisions and actions as a member of the SOA Board?
I believe that acting in an ethical and transparent way are the basic building blocks for maintaining the trust and respect of peers and constituents and is imperative to the work I do now and the work I want to do in the future.
In my professional and volunteer work, I take guidance from existing governance frameworks – code of conducts, compliance resources, and standards of practice. I am also committed to creating an environment that encourages team members to be curious; to bring to the attention of the team any issues where they may think we have made a mistake, or can improve our process; and to encourage the installation of that mindset into the teams they lead.
Working within my ethical boundaries is something I do in my professional and personal life, and if ever I feel that something may fall outside those boundaries, I remain true to my moral compass and endeavor to address the issue immediately. These values will guide my decisions and actions should I be selected as a member of the SOA Board.
Collaborative working relationships are essential to the governance function of the SOA Board of Directors, especially as board members work with each other, volunteers, and staff to achieve the strategic goals and mission of SOA. Describe a situation from either your professional or volunteer experiences that demonstrated you are a team player
I have worked with and led successful teams of all sizes consistently throughout my career. In my prior role I led teams with members from locations across the US and across the world, in disciplines ranging from IT, legal, operations, and actuarial. My job was to bring team members together to create solutions in support of our clients. In my current role, I serve a similar function. I integrate and help diverse groups collaborate across investment, legal, pricing, risk and underwriting teams in service of our clients and to prudently grow our business.
As a volunteer, I have participated in several project oversight groups convened to lead SOA research projects; I participate in the SOA LAG (Longevity Advisory Group) which implements the Board’s strategic goals related to longevity (technical, public outreach and education); and I’m also proud to lead the Career Development committee for AIG’s NY based Women & Allies employee resource group.
It is essential in these roles to create an environment where every member understands her role, her individual skillset, and how to apply both to effectively and efficiently contribute to the team’s objective. The same skills are required to participate effectively on the SOA’ Board. Board members must work collaboratively to identify the strategic objectives that best serve the membership, and from there deploy the resources of the SOA effectively to achieve those objectives.
Board members need to exhibit curiosity and a desire to learn about areas that may potentially impact the SOA and the profession. How do you stay informed about what is going on nationally and internationally, and how do you apply that knowledge into your work with SOA and the profession?
I am a voracious reader and listener. I am curious about mortality and the effects of social and environmental factors on human longevity. This curiosity extends to the techniques, actuarial and otherwise, to model longevity, the application of new technologies like machine learning and AI to our work as actuaries, using mental models to expand our strategic thinking, and on organizational dynamics fostering highly effective, diverse teams.
Through my professional and volunteer work, I have developed a broad network, both inside and outside the profession. One of the many benefits of this network is my ability to leverage experts in their fields. This is invaluable to my professional life, but is just as important in my volunteer work. An example I can draw is the longevity web series, sponsored by the SOA’s longevity advisory group, of which I am a founding member. Our mission is to bring cutting edge content from the actuarial community, both industry and academic, to the SOA membership and to the broader community, including statisticians, demographers, etc.
Respectful and prudent use of resources is an important function of all board members. Explain how you have demonstrated this characteristic in either your work or volunteer experiences and how it will carry over to your role on the SOA Board.
I have consistently held positions that have required efficient management of time and resources. The majority of my leadership roles have been held through, and in the aftermath, of the financial crisis. As such, it’s been a requirement to be prudent with the time and budget that we have been allocated.
Specifically, I was responsible for the sale and execution of large, complex projects at EY: this meant that I set project budgets, and was responsible to our clients for preventing unexpected costs. I created accountability to the budget within the team and proactively identified any out of scope items, so no additional work was done or money spent, until the client agreed to the cost.
In my work as a volunteer, my teams are composed of peers from various backgrounds that are collaborating for the benefit of a topic they are passionate about. For these teams, time is the scarce resource, so I make sure that I am well prepared before meetings, that all perspectives are heard, and that decisions are made efficiently.
The SOA Board is a volunteer organization tasked with setting the strategic direction of the SOA on behalf of its members. The same skills are relevant for members of working groups and section councils: the strategy must be concise and focused on the core objectives of the organization, Board members must be focused on using time and money to ensure the most effective outcomes on behalf of SOA members, and Board members must be prepared to use their time in session most effectively by being prepared and ready to collaborate.
Provide a brief description of your professional background and the type of work you currently do and explain how these experiences have prepared you for the Elected Board Member role.
I have a career in the industry spanning 15 years. I graduated with distinction from the University of Waterloo earning a Bachelor of Mathematics, Honors Actuarial Science, with an Economics Minor. While completing my undergrad, I studied and worked across Canada, and in the United Kingdom.
I began my career as a pension actuary at Towers Perrin, now Willis Towers Watson. Here I consulted to large multi-nationals on issues related to their pension programs, from both the pension and asset consulting practices. My focus was asset liability matching for pension funds.
In 2008, I moved to New York to work with the life insurance consulting practice at EY. I consulted to life insurers, both on technical matters, and on strategy inside and outside the actuarial function.
Three years ago, I moved from consulting to industry and joined AIG as Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Product Development for our Pension Risk Transfer business. In this role, I have responsibility for strategy and product development, both domestic and international.
I have always been eager to support the SOA's research efforts, leading several projects at EY focused on longevity. I am a regular speaker at SOA events, and a founding member of the Longevity Advisory Group. This is a position that I love, as it is a topic that I am passionate about. I place value on the ability to contribute to the SOA in a volunteer capacity, to give back to the profession, and allow for my own continued development of both technical and leadership skills.
Volunteer and Governance Experience
Describe how your previous volunteer, personal and governance experiences would strengthen your contributions to the SOA Board and organization.
In my experience, an organization is served most effectively by its Board when its members bring their diversity across areas of practice, geographies and experiences to their meetings, conversations and deliberations.
I have been involved in a volunteer capacity in many ways over my career. I have led major corporate community fundraising efforts -- I drove double digit increases in our fundraising and our campaign won the Employee Campaign Spirit Award from the Toronto United Way. I operate as the head of Career Development for AIG Women & Allies Employee Resource Group, which serves over 2,000 AIG employees in the NY region in support of their career development objectives. I participate as a member of the New York Junior League committee that trains professionals to serve on non-profit Boards in the greater New York area.
In all cases, what has made me a successful leader is my diverse experience, my ability to facilitate collaborative discussion and decision making, and my desire to continue to leverage both in order to drive innovation.