Andrew D. Rallis, FSA 1992, MAAA
EVP & Global Chief Actuary
Brief description of the type of work you currently do:
Responsible for actuarial practice at MetLife. Supervise, set standards and provide training for over 1,200 actuaries across 46 countries.
Primary Area of Practice:
Life and Annuities
Other Areas of Practice/Interests:
Investments (Asset Liability Management), Health (LTC), Pensions, Risk
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?
The highest ethical standards are an imperative to a professional organization. I feel that I have consistently demonstrated both ethics and transparency in my career at MetLife and during my service on the SOA Board. All potential conflicts of interest are disclosed, and I have recused myself from discussions when it may have been difficult to be unbiased. More importantly, I have advocated for a strong code of conduct within my organization. MetLife has its own internal standards of practice which I promulgate, and these standards fill important gaps that I perceive across practice areas and jurisdictions. We have our own internal attestation against this, which may be stronger than local standards in many jurisdictions. As part of our internal actuarial transformation, our vision includes the statement that, as MetLife actuaries, “we are committed to professionalism, thought leadership and innovation.”
An important role of the President is to chair the Board meetings, guiding the discussions. In this role, the need for impartiality and fairness is paramount, since it is through these meetings that much of the work of the Board is conducted. Similarly, the assignment of committee memberships must be done fairly with every attempt to match the best qualified members to committees.
As you review the responsibilities of the President-Elect job description, the 2017-2021 strategic plan and 2017 initiatives, describe how you will work together with the officers, board members, committee chairs, volunteers, executive director, and staff to fulfill your presidential responsibilities and advance the direction of SOA.
I have demonstrated leadership in my service on the Board and throughout my career.
Regarding my Board service, as a member of the Leadership Team in the position of Secretary-Treasurer, I weigh in regularly on many important current topics, including our relationship with other organizations, our education and research initiatives, and the evaluation of our staff. As the Secretary-Treasurer, I also have the responsibility of chairing the Finance Committee, whereby I ensure that our finances are in good order, and overseeing our investment portfolio. These require regular interactions with the staff, our executive director and chief financial officer. I was the driving force behind changing the investment policy, clarifying roles between the multiple participants, and also revising the Presidential travel policy, a sensitive issue since the staff must ultimately manage presidential travel in the face of conflicts of interest.
I am also a member of the SOA International Committee, and I have strongly supported important initiatives such as the China exchange and being a speaker at the first China annual meeting. I have led discussions with our members in countries including Japan and Vietnam, transmitting valuable insights back to the organization. With the International Committee, I have also been a vocal proponent for reexamining our relationship with the India Association of Actuaries (IAI).
I believe I have engaged well with other Board members over the last 2.5 years, providing passionate, but well-reasoned arguments for my positions on various matters. I have also actively encouraged colleagues to support the SOA through section service.
Describe a recent situation where you have facilitated a diverse group of people in moving a significant project to the next stage of completion.
One of the most complex activities I have been involved with in my career has been the introduction of value metrics, namely embedded value, into the MetLife culture. This required overcoming immense cultural and organizational challenges, as well as technical challenges. It involved touching the responsibilities of nearly every actuary in the firm, as well as coordinating at least four different sets of consultants, while interfacing with all parts of the Company from finance, investments, businesses, and technology as well as our Executive Group and Board of Directors. The goal was clear – to redefine the critical value metrics of the Company and produce actionable results in a well-defined, controlled, repeatable and auditable way. This required solid leadership, and resulted in successfully completing the project in about half the time frame that other companies have normally taken. It has redefined our approach to evaluating our businesses and also the way we do our work, with far more automation and standardization of platforms. This has elevated the role of actuary at MetLife to a position of “trusted advisor” to the businesses. As trusted advisors, we seek to add value to the businesses’ decisions with a high degree of consistency and transparency around assumptions.
In your presidential role you will act as an ambassador for SOA, its members, and the profession. Provide examples of how you would fulfill this responsibility during your term of office and describe a current situation in which you have successfully acted as an ambassador for an organization or institution.
Through my SOA Board service, I have already been thrust into the role of ambassador. As mentioned elsewhere, I have conducted “listening tour” sessions for our members in Japan and Vietnam and met with senior actuarial leaders at the Institute of Actuaries of Japan and regulators in the UAE. As part of the Task Force on Extending Education to International Markets, I met with actuaries and educators in mainland China and Hong Kong. Similarly, I met with educators and actuaries in Columbia as part of the Latin America Subcommittee. Additionally, MetLife participated in the SOA China Exchange program, hosting senior actuarial leaders from leading companies in China.
As a founding member of the Chief Actuaries Forum, I have also taken on the role of ambassador. From a small group of chief actuaries representing three companies, we have grown to an organization of 15 member companies representing the largest employers of actuaries in North America. This required a considerable amount of networking and outreach, and also liaising with other actuarial organizations to establish a clear and separate identity.
As you focus on the future direction of SOA and the profession, explain your approach to setting the direction for both especially in the global arena.
As Global Chief Actuary for MetLife, I believe I am uniquely qualified to take on this responsibility. My vision for the SOA is simple – to be the gold standard for providing educational opportunities to actuaries around the world and to provide leading edge research capabilities. I am acutely aware of the need to foster solid relationships with local actuarial organizations that allow the practice of actuarial science in their jurisdictions. The SOA as an organization is not equipped by itself to interface with scores of regulators around the world, but its membership is through collaboration with local associations. Our history of relations with the American Academy of Actuaries and Canadian Institute of Actuaries provides direction. We want to develop actuaries who are educated to the highest standards so there is no doubt of their credentials and ability to practice in their local markets. With these ideals in mind, I recently served on an SOA Task Force to Extend Education to International Markets which delivered recommendations to the SOA Board on language and content principles that the SOA intends to adopt.
The SOA is uniquely positioned to advance the profession in different parts of the world based on the needs in each area. Some areas are well defined, like in U.S. and Canada. However, others are developing rapidly and need careful attention. Our efforts in China, with expanded opportunities in continuing education in Mandarin and local qualifying exams in Taiwanese, point to the innovations that the SOA can bring to local markets. Whether it is basic education, continuing education, or university accreditation, there is a role to play.
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 been with MetLife, a global insurance company, for 34 years taking on areas of increasing responsibility. For the past six years, I have served as Global Chief Actuary. In this capacity, I lead an organization of over 1,200 actuaries practicing in 46 jurisdictions worldwide in most practice areas. This gives me both a depth and breadth into the needs of actuaries around the world. I have touched most areas of practice directly, with my greatest depth being life and annuity valuation, pricing and ALM in the U.S. And as Global Chief Actuary, I have experienced other areas of practice such as health insurance, ranging from dental and long-term care in the U.S., to hospital insurance in Japan and group disability in Australia, as well as auto and home in the U.S. Further, I manage actuaries involved in MetLife’s own employee benefit programs, serve on the Investment Advisory Committee for MetLife’s own pension plan and support MetLife’s pension risk transfer business.
I am responsible for MetLife’s actuarial development program and for establishing uniform standards of practice for our actuaries. I also serve on numerous internal committees including co-chairing our ALM committee, serving as Chairman for our reinsurance captives, and serving on the steering committee for our finance transformation efforts and various risk committees. Additionally, I frequently present to the MetLife Board of Directors.
Together these responsibilities, along with my volunteer experiences, ensure that my knowledge is relevant to the SOA, that my experience spans multiple areas of practice and multiple jurisdictions important to a global organization, and that I have the ability to effectively lead and interact with a wide range of stakeholders.
Volunteer and Governance Experience
Describe how your previous volunteer, personal and governance experiences would strengthen your contributions to the SOA Board and organization.
I certainly have a wealth of volunteer, governance and personal experience to draw upon. My earliest volunteer efforts were in exam grading and exam development (the old “Part 8”/220). More recently, I have been a frequent speaker at SOA and other industry events around the world on topics such as variable annuity hedging, impact of a low interest rate environment, mortality trends, and actuarial transformation. These demonstrate my strong ability to communicate and develop a deep connection with our membership that would well support the SOA and its Board. Prior to and concurrent with my current Board assignment, I am a member of the SOA Employers Council, a sounding board for the SOA to engage leading actuarial employers. I also serve on the Corporate Advisory Council of the International Association of Black Actuaries, and I am a founding member and the current President of the Chief Actuaries Forum (CAF), a trade organization consisting of chief actuaries from the largest employers of actuaries in North America. Together, these demonstrate my strong commitment to the profession, keep me well informed on important issues related to the profession, and position me to lead the SOA as the premiere educator of actuaries around the world.