Gregory G. Fann, FSA 1998, MAAA, FCA
Axene Health Partners, LLC
Brief Description of the type of work you currently do:
Strategic health care consulting on behalf of insurance companies, medical providers, benefits consultants, state agencies, and litigants.
Primary Area of Practice:
Other Areas of Practice/Interests:
Why do you want to be on the Board?
I would like to serve on the Board to further highlight the contribution of actuaries to a broader landscape of public and private entities. I am passionate about expanding opportunities for actuaries, promoting the profession, and advancing the SOA’s objective of informing the public understanding of societal issues.
I regularly promote actuaries’ capabilities of solving complex financial problems to a diverse and influential audience through a strong network of industry and policy leaders. Through SOA volunteerism, I have led section council initiatives that delivered strategic research, articles and podcasts that quickly responded to emerging issues and informed public understanding.
Ethics and Transparency
Ethics and transparency are essential to professional practice and service on the board. How will your own ethics and views on transparency influence your decisions and actions as a member of the SOA board?
As a faithful consultant who is privileged with sensitive client information, I am trusted with confidentiality and appropriate transparency every day. Trust is a necessary quality for actuaries to possess; “I trust you” has always been one of my most satisfying compliments. I am fortunate to work for a firm that reinforces a trust-based decision model and always requires unquestioned integrity.
I am a strong believer in full disclosure of potential conflicts. I have often encountered situations where material conflicts do not exist, but lack of disclosure of what could be viewed as such would be problematic. I was blessed with a family that encouraged virtuous decision making from a young age. I value being a leader of a profession that similarly prioritizes ethical behavior as a primary focus. I am keenly aware that reputational damage can be disastrous, and I intend to follow the exemplary Board example of promoting and maintaining the highest ethical standards, both in substance and appearance.
My values and experience naturally align with the high level of integrity, ethical standards and transparency required for Board service. As a Board member, I would apply objectivity and transparency in decision processes to fulfill the SOA’s strategic plan.
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 advance the direction of the SOA. We need both leaders and team members. Describe a situation from either your professional or volunteer experiences that demonstrated where you can be effective in each of these roles.
In 2015, the Health Section Council launched a Strategic Planning Committee to identify areas worthy of focused research to supplement the education of health actuaries. Before election to the Council, I was recruited to play a key role in one of the two initial Strategic Initiatives. The initiative deliverables are labor-intensive and purely a volunteer effort. As a Council member, I served as Vice-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for one year and Chair for two years.
In these roles, I led the strategic effort of identifying relevant emerging issues, recruiting the best and the brightest volunteers, and shepherding the initiatives through completion. I have largely been responsible for setting direction, recruitment, and facilitating teamwork. Through my work on this committee, I have served as a coach, leader and team player. The success of these initiatives has largely been driven by careful selection of the right volunteers, managing timelines, and continuous fostering of a collaborative environment.
The initiative outcomes have been published research (with exam syllabus consideration) and well-attended sessions at SOA meetings and other forums. SOA meeting sessions resulting from these initiatives have been “featured” and have won Outstanding Session Awards.
I shepherded research initiatives related to Value-based Care, Self-Insurance, Public Health, changing ACA market issues, and helped launch the ongoing ‘18/11 Initiative’, which seeks to reduce US health care costs. These initiatives have expanded the profession’s exposure through collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. It has been rewarding to see actuaries work collaboratively across business and cultural barriers to agree on systemic problems and seek common ground solutions. Through effective new relationships, these efforts have brought the profession excellent exposure and placed actuaries at the forefront of solving complex problems in expanding environments.
Board members need to exhibit curiosity and a desire to learn about areas that may potentially impact the SOA and the profession. How will you apply that knowledge as an elected Board Member?
As a strategic advisor that is relied upon to analyze the impact of unprecedented changes in markets, intellectual engagement is a job requirement. Personality test results suggests I am cerebral in my analysis with an insatiable appetite for relevant information. I take interest in leading-edge issues related to equity, the insurance industry, and emerging areas of actuarial opportunity. I read daily and also listen to podcasts and SOA meeting session presentations for a broader perspective.
I am recognized as a prolific writer, an insightful speaker, and a sought-after thought leader on structural market dynamics. I was recently recruited as a reviewer for a peer-reviewed healthcare journal. In 2017, my inquisitive spirit led me to invalidate the conventional wisdom of the result of a major policy change. These insights led to a newspaper article highlighting the expertise of the actuarial profession:
“Can you believe it?...But, don’t take my word for it. That’s the line of thinking from actuarial consultants Axene Health Partners. Greg Fann…puts it this way…: ‘Overall, these dynamics should lower the uninsured rate as APTC eligible individuals have a larger price incentive to seek coverage...’…Don’t trust your gut on this one, the media, or President Trump. Trust math.”
My intellectual engagement is a mix of independent learning and networking. I am active on social media with a network of industry, media, and policy leaders. I inform my network of emerging issues and actuarial considerations. My curiosity has been piqued to explore technological advances such as data decentralization and transactional transparency, and I secured my firm a government preferred vendor selection to develop web-based platforms.
My initiative and intellectual curiosity will be an asset in identifying emerging issues and collaboratively working with fellow Board members to respond to the rapidly changing environment and explore ideal ways to advance our profession.
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.
A primary responsibility of a not-for-profit board member is providing strategic direction to ensure that the organization is working towards achieving its mission and vision. This responsibility includes optimization of financial and human resources to fulfill its goals.
As a consulting actuary who leads large scale projects, I develop workplans and efficiently allocate resources to complete each assignment. My work is often subject to tight deadlines and public exposure. I am accustomed to developing high quality products through an effective deployment of resources. I utilize frequent communication with clients to discuss their satisfaction with the value of my services. Additionally, I continually ask myself whether clients are receiving the best value and think about creative ways to optimize resources.
As an education volunteer, I am meticulous in my work of developing and grading exam questions, assuring that questions are asked the right way to assess candidate performance and scores are impartially determined. I statistically review my work to be certain that unintentional biases are not developed through different phases in the grading process.
Serving as Treasurer of the Social Insurance and Public Finance Section Council has brought focus to responsible stewardship of section funds. It is imperative to provide the best service to section members while maintaining a required surplus balance.
The Board is challenged with limited financial and human resources. Respect for the time of SOA staff and efficient use of SOA volunteers’ time is of utmost importance. I would approach Board service similarly to a consulting engagement, seeking to efficiently focus resources in a strategic manner to meet the SOA’s objectives. I would collaborate with Board colleagues to objectively discern prioritization of strategic items.
Provide a brief description of your professional background and the type of work you have performed and explain how these experiences have prepared you as an Elected Board Member and qualify you in carrying out the strategic direction of the SOA.
I have worked as a consulting actuary since 2006. Prior to being a consultant, I was chief actuary for a provider-owned health plan and led actuarial pricing departments for major Blues plans. I have broad experience across all health lines of business. The nature of my work requires managing multiple projects that often have little in common. Through various experiences, I have learned to rapidly and seamlessly shift between different projects and cultures to maximize success.
While actuarial work is largely data driven and mechanical, I specialize as a strategic advisor and add unique value through an understanding of markets and policy implications. I provide short-term and long-term guidance to clients, advocating actuarial thought and insights to governmental bodies and in legal matters. Recent projects include assessing a company’s optimal surplus range leading to state approval of a change, providing formal responses to proposed federal regulations leading to improved methodologies, advising a large ACA state exchange on the value of its product offerings, and leading discussion at a strategic corporate Board retreat.
My wife, a former teacher, opened a small business last year. I have utilized my experience to assist with financial matters, and we are active in local community business groups. My work experience has easily transferred to corporate governance and professional relationship development outside the insurance industry.
As I have grown in my consulting career, I have learned to identify optimal client solutions that are often tangential to a defined scope of work. Through these processes, I have cast visions that have motivated colleagues to develop leading edge analysis and optimize processes. My ability to identify actuarial challenges and other issues, quickly synthesize situations, and clearly articulate problems and associated solutions will keep actuaries at the forefront of evolving methods through the provision of trusted insight.
Volunteer and Governance Experience
Describe how your volunteer, personal and governance experiences would strengthen your contributions to the SOA Board, the organization, and strategic plan execution.
I have been active on examination committees since 1998, serving in executive leadership roles and extending service to parallel curriculum committees. The positive experience has spurred my volunteer recruiting and expanded my own volunteering. Through the process, I have developed collaborative and collegial relationships with other volunteers and SOA staff.
In some respects, the Health Section Council operates like a board by providing comprehensive education and research for health actuaries. On the Council, I led logistical planning for the Health Section sessions for an Annual Meeting and served on Executive Committee of a Health Meeting. As Health Watch editor, I developed processes to balance article submissions and strengthened content. I currently serve as Treasurer of the Social Insurance and Public Finance Section Council. I have contributed four timely articles to 2019 section newsletters.
My experience has been tremendously rewarding, and I was honored to receive an Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2017. As a strong and committed advocate for the actuarial profession, I champion the Board’s efforts to increase awareness of the actuarial field where barriers exist. I would like to serve on the Board to help strengthen our profession by highlighting the rewards of actuarial work and showcasing actuaries’ capabilities.