Ling-Ling Wang, FSA 1994, MAAA, CERA
West Des Moines, Iowa
Brief description of the type of work you currently do:
I am currently retired. Previously I had 28 years of actuarial experience in various actuarial disciplines working both in US and in China. Thirteen years of which I worked for some of the leading Chinese insurance companies in a Chief Actuarial capacity. During my career in China, I was actively involved in the regulatory rule setting stage both at the local level (ex. C-ROSS) and at the international level (ex. IAIS ICS). I reshaped the actuarial functions to provide better support for my employers with a different strategic focus for each company. I helped to advance the actuarial profession locally by focusing my leadership and managerial approach to both team building and staff coaching.
Primary Area of Practice:
Other Areas of Practice/Interests:
Capital Management, Financial Reporting, International, Regulatory, Risk Management
Why do you want to be on the Board?
The FSA credential has opened many opportunities for me. I had an exciting actuarial career ranging from traditional U.S. actuarial work, to international actuarial work, to international regulatory work. I am a recent retiree and would like to dedicate more time volunteering for SOA. I feel that serving on the Board is a very important part of giving back to the profession. I believe I could bring a relevant global perspective to the Board and provide leadership which will help SOA better serve its members.
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?
As the manager of the actuarial team, I believe the best way to instill professionalism is for me to lead by example. I would stride toward doing the right thing for my company and its policyholders. I would admit to my own mistakes when made and tolerate honest mistakes from others, as long as those mistakes were corrected and then could be a positive learning experience. I led the actuarial team by making improvements to the actuarial processes to enhance the efficiency with focus on compliance to sound actuarial principals, documentation, and peer review. My team was also encouraged to have open and frequent communication with other stakeholders inside and outside the company. These efforts were intended to promote transparency that resulted in a better decision-making process.
As a member of the SOA Board, I would continue focusing on the importance of ethical/honest behavior and transparency. I would ensure the Board decisions are made in the best interest of all SOA members with proper consideration for non-north America members. I would work to uphold the reputation of SOA and the actuarial profession.
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
It’s my view that being a good team player is a prerequisite for having a successful actuarial career. Actuaries often work with various people inside and outside the company, which requires collaboration and cooperation to get the job done properly. A good team player has to have the ability to build productive collaboration among various groups both internally and externally.
While I was in China, I had plenty of opportunities to collaborate with regulators and industry peers in the rule setting stage of the regulation. For each regulatory project, it was very important to understand the perspectives of the regulators and the key industry participants who were often at odds with each other. A better result could be reached when major parties had mutual respect for each other, participated in an open dialogue and had the willingness to compromise. Over the years, I became known for being able to work with multiple parties and then to come up with acceptable solutions.
Another example would be my involvement with the SOA Strategic Planning Task Force, which was charged with developing a new 2017-2021 strategic plan. Even though we had diverse views at the outset, we reached consensus through a series of discussions and deliberations over the course of one year. The final strategic plan was approved by the SOA Board. This project illustrated my ability to establish a good collaborative working relationship with other actuaries and SOA staff.
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 curious person. I like to have enough detailed information to help me understand the issues at hand. I have always worked to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done at a professional level. My desire and ability to learn can be demonstrated by my track record and diverse career path, in terms of both geographical locations and actuarial practice areas throughout my career.
In this digital age, I have relied a lot on the internet to provide a variety of information, both professional and non-professional. I have also kept up to date through social media for both actuarial and non-actuarial groups. My sources of learning and professional information include:
- Reading and staying abreast of local/international regulations and relevant public policies
- Reading news publications, and periodical literature from actuarial as well as non-actuarial associations
- Conversation with other actuaries who have subject matter expertise
- Conversation with professionals in other disciplines
- Attending continue education meetings & seminars for relevant topics
About a year ago, there was a heated discussion regarding the future of the actuarial profession in the actuarial community in China. With the advancement of technology and AI, quite a few actuaries held a pessimistic view of the future for the actuarial profession. I however, am in the optimistic camp. I believe that actuaries in general are life-long learners with the ability to adapt to new technology and to subsequently renew their skill sets. As a Board member, I will continue updating my knowledge with a forward-thinking view to ensure our profession grows with the changing future. I think it’s very important for our profession to maintain relevance for our key stakeholders.
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 worked for a start-up company, a mid-sized company, and a large mature company with vastly different resources and available budgets. I have had the responsibility of managing actuarial resources within a budget, at the same time supporting the fast-growing demands as a result of the complications due to regulatory, accounting, and risk management requirements. The actuarial areas I led were often in need of a system upgrade, process reengineering and team building with a focus on suitable experience, all of these tasks took time to accomplish without a short term quantifiable benefit. Operating with limited resources required me to be thoughtful in setting priorities and prudent use of the existing budget. Supporting long-term goals required me to articulate the need and the benefit of the additional resources when necessary. Over my career in China, I have been able to obtain sufficient resources to support the growth of the actuarial teams and functions, and to balance the short-term demands with long-term goals.
The SOA Board is in charge of the implementation of a new 5-year’s strategic plan that will have a significant impact on shaping our profession’s future. The Board has to consider capacity, core capability, and strategic position when making decisions. I think the most challenging aspect as a Board member is to prioritize strategic initiatives within resource constrains. As a Board member, I would be mindful of balancing short-term vs. long-term goals. I would respectfully work with others to ensure the resources be deployed in the most effective way to support the implementation of the strategic plan.
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.
As noted above I am currently retired. I have had 28 years of actuarial experience working both in US and in China.
Before retirement on June of 2017, I served as the Deputy Chief Actuary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China. I also served on the BOD for three insurance subsidiaries of Ping An Group. I had the responsibility for coordinating and supervising actuarial functions for the entire group. In addition, I was actively involved in the regulatory rule setting stage both at the local level (ex. C-ROSS) and at the international level (ex. IAIS ICS).
In 2012, I joined Ping An Life Insurance Company and served as the Deputy General Manager responsible for actuarial functions company wide. Prior to joining Ping An, I served as VP and Chief Actuary of Taikang Life Insurance Company in Beijing and the Chief Actuary of Sino-Life Insurance in Shanghai successively. I also served on the BOD for Taikang Pension Insurance Company. Before going to China, I held various actuarial titles at Principal Financial Group in the U.S with professional practice focusing on pension, annuity, and international markets.
I have been fortunate to have variety of professional experiences throughout my career. My career path spanned 28 years in markets from U.S. and Latin America to China, as well as from start-up, to mid-sized, to large insurance companies and eventually to a diversified financial group. Subsequently, I have worked in both traditional and non-traditional actuarial roles. I have a broader business perspective and am familiar with the skillsets required to be successful in diverse business environments. I know these experiences have been valuable to me personally. I would like to think these experiences would be valuable to the Board if I was elected to serve as a SOA Board member.
Volunteer and Governance Experience
Describe how your previous volunteer, personal and governance experiences would strengthen your contributions to the SOA Board and organization.
I have a long SOA volunteer history and was honored with the 2017 SOA President’s Award. The following list highlights my recent SOA volunteering activities.
- Facilitator for SOA Associateship Professionalism Courses (November 2009 – Present)
- Vice President, SOA China Committee, 2017
- SOA Strategic Planning Task Force (2015 - 2016)
I also actively volunteered my time locally while in China. The following are highlights.
- Council Member, China Association of Actuaries (November 2007 – Present)
- Seminar Coordinator for South Region, China Association of Actuaries (2012 – 2014)
- Actively participated in various actuarial projects with CAA and local regulators
These volunteer activities broadened my perspective of our profession and enabled me to become acquainted with actuaries from diverse backgrounds. In addition, I have held senior positions and served on the BODs of insurance companies in China. As a result, I have some experience with corporate governance.
I was a member of the SOA Strategic Planning Task Force that crafted 2017-2021 strategic plan. I would be eager to have the opportunity to be involved in the execution phase of the plan.