Martin Snow, FSA 1988, MAAA
Atidot Software Inc.| Atidot Software Ltd.
Vice-President & Chief Delivery Officer | Member Advisory Boardl
Brief description of the type of work you currently do:
As Chief Delivery Officer, I oversee the delivery of Atidot’s life insurance and annuity data science products to its clients, both before and after contracts are in place. I assure that client needs are appropriately addressed, and that the client understands what Atidot is delivering.
Primary Area of Practice:
Other Areas of Practice/Interests:
Predictive Analytics, PBR, Actuarial Modernization, Pricing, Valuation, Reinsurance, Regulatory process
Why do you want to be on the Board?
Membership on the Board would enable me to give back to the profession that has benefited me in many ways and to use this opportunity to continue to champion actuaries and the actuarial profession. As we see new disciplines, e.g., data scientists and risk managers, enter the insurance space, we need to work together to promote and strengthen our skills and assure that we and senior managements recognize the roles we can and should play. If elected, I will use my strong leadership skills to make a difference for our profession.
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 have always held up the ethical standards of the actuarial profession and operated in a completely transparent way with peers, staff, and management. As one example, a company had not previously established additional reserves due to asset adequacy testing. Yet my analysis of a particular line of business demonstrated that additional reserves were clearly necessary. Despite the difficult conversations that transpired, I succeeded in convincing management of the need for this action. I did this in a completely ethical, transparent and engaging manner and earned management’s respect for taking an unpopular stance that was proven correct and has borne the test of time. If given the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board, my strong belief in doing what is right and in transparency will continue to guide my decisions and actions.
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 was developing an innovative new product for a major company after the decision had been made to withdraw the prior more standard product from the market. The marketing and sales teams were desperate to get the new product as they would otherwise lose 25% of their sales. The finance and risk teams, on the other hand, were convinced that it would be impossible to develop a new product that met the necessary criteria. Indeed, they encouraged me to tell the marketing and sales executives to give up on the initiative as it was “futile” in their opinion.
While leading the innovative development work, I also managed the expectations of the different parties. For example, I shared the techniques we were using to develop a profitable yet competitive product with the finance and risk teams as well as how we were de-risking the product. Likewise, I showed the marketing and sales teams how our product would be competitive yet meet the corporate criteria and shared how I was managing the corporate expectations. These conversations brought everyone on board that we had a viable approach.
When the innovative product was approved, everyone was on board that the product met the required competitive, financial, risk and strategic criteria. As a result, we sailed through all the relevant review committees.
The perseverance and persistence that I demonstrated are key in working with others to achieve critical objectives and I will bring these same talents to the SOA Board if you elect me.
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?
Since 2014 my employers have been international firms. At my current firm, I have been engaged in conversations about IFRS 17 and foreign and domestic data and privacy requirements. I have spoken with companies in England, Germany, and Canada in addition to companies throughout the United States. At my prior firm, I learned about the international pension risk transfer space as well as other international business issues.
Throughout my career, I have been asked to perform roles that are both innovative and that require an actuary with broad and diverse knowledge. For example, I led the development of the first in the industry ULSG priced for PBR. This product was released to the market in February 2017. Peers and managers have often said that they are impressed with my wide breadth of actuarial knowledge and deep understanding of the relevant concepts.
I have been a member of the ACLI Actuarial Committee for more than one organization, have participated in Task Forces to update and revise ASOP’s for the ASB, have interfaced for several companies with the regulatory community, and have worked closely with the reinsurance community. This is in addition to regularly presenting at SOA meetings and publishing articles including one on pricing risks in the December 2017 / January 2018 issue of The Actuary.
In sum, my work on industry and professional committees, reading actuarial publications, my interacting with many different companies, including international ones, and my presenting in actuarial forums enable me to stay informed about what is going on nationally and internationally and would be of significant benefit to the Board should you elect me.
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.
Keys to respectful and prudent use of resources include: (1) Leading by example, (2) Understanding the tasks that need to be performed and the skills they require, (3) Knowing the specific skills of each available resource and how best to utilize them, (4) Respecting the interests of the available resources as to how they wish to utilize their time and how they wish to grow, (5) Understanding personal commitments the resources may have outside of work, (6) Assuming that the intention of others is based on common goals, (7) Empowering talented individuals to take ownership of their work, and (8) Always acting with integrity.
My managers, peers, and staff have always remarked how successful I am at converting poorly performing teams into highly performing teams. This has been based on my successfully navigating the skills noted above and energizing the team and individual employees to dream big, think big, and implement big. For example, when I was a member of a certain professional committee, it became apparent that the work was not progressing at the needed pace. I evaluated the situation and determined that different members of the committee had different levels of technical expertise with the topic at hand and that those who were doing extremely technical work had not succeeded in effectively communicating it to the others. With the approval of the committee chair, I bridged the communications gap by using my understanding of the deep technical issues together with my strong communications skills to lay out the issues using terms that all members of the committee understood. As a result of my memo and the ensuing discussion, the committee chair successfully put the committee back on track.
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.
My previous assignments included serving as MetLife’s Dividend Actuary, TIAA’s Appointed Actuary, and Prudential’s Lead Pricing and Reinsurance Solutions Actuary for Life Insurance. At Atidot, an international predictive analytics software firm, I am the Chief Delivery Officer charged with overseeing the delivery of value from Atidot to its clients both before and after contracts have been signed. I am also a member of the Atidot Advisory Board where I consult on a wide range of topics including the firm’s strategy as well as its approach to the North American market.
In addition to my FSA and MAAA designations, I have an MS in Financial Mathematics from NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
My broad background that includes pricing, reserving, reinsurance, predictive analytics, and regulatory work for life insurance, annuities, long-term care and long-term disability position me well to understand the needs of the actuarial profession and its interaction with senior managements and other key stakeholders. My regular interaction with numerous firms and actuaries puts me in a good position to regularly receive member and firm feedback on what members perceive as important and what the SOA is doing well and what it can do differently. Should I be elected to the Board, I will put these experiences together with my skills in talent management and finding and creating opportunities to good use for the SOA. I will establish wider recognition of the skills that make actuaries unique and valuable.
Volunteer and Governance Experience
Describe how your previous volunteer, personal and governance experiences would strengthen your contributions to the SOA Board and organization.
I am a frequent speaker at SOA meetings, published an article in The Actuary - December 2017/January 2018 – “We Should All Be Skeptical,” And am now a Contributing Editor of The Actuary. In addition, I have served on two task forces of the ASB to update ASOP on reinsurance financial reporting and asset adequacy analysis and on numerous other professional and industry committees, including having represented two different companies on the ACLI Actuarial Committee.
Work on these groups has exposed me to the viewpoints of numerous different actuaries and other professionals at many different firms enabling me to better understand issues from multiple points of view and perspectives. I have also learned about the different roles that actuaries play at different firms. If elected to the Board, I will bring these perspectives to the Board in addition to continuing to learn from others with different viewpoints – all with the goal of strengthening the actuarial profession.