2019 President-Elect Candidate
The Society of Actuaries: Dedicated to the Profession, Dedicated to Helping You Succeed
There has never been a better time to be a member of the Society of Actuaries, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve you as your President. The SOA is a vibrant and vital organization, propelled by the passion and energy of its volunteers. That energy, channeled by thoughtful governance and supported by equally passionate and dedicated staff, ensures that the needs of the current and next generation of actuaries are met and their voices heard.
The SOA has given me a career, taught me how to lead, and helped me bring my most cherished projects to fruition. Simply put, the SOA is an organization that is dedicated to helping you succeed. My goal as your next president is to ensure the SOA continues to successfully and efficiently launch the careers of the next generation of actuaries, create strong and effective leaders, and positively impact the world in which we live.
The Challenges Ahead
Ongoing investments in education, research, professional development, governance, and basic infrastructure have made your SOA a resilient organization capable of responding to challenges on OUR terms. Although the competitive landscape is always changing, actuaries will remain for the foreseeable future the sole professionals uniquely qualified to quantify the socio-economic consequences risk.
The challenges the profession faces today are not new and are far from existential. But because the external conditions are constantly changing, the Board considers them regularly using the ERM framework and rubric of the actuarial control cycle. Over the past decades, that soul searching has yielded three memorable taglines which resonate with me today, and I will use them to frame my tenure as president:
- “The Big Tent”: How do we cultivate a profession that serves current members and is attractive to the next generation of actuaries?
- “Ask an Actuary”: How do we ensure the marketplace relevance of actuaries, satisfying the needs of employers, regulators, and the public?
- “Risk is Opportunity”: How do we identify and respond to market challenges and position actuaries to take advantage of emergent opportunities?
The “Big Tent”
How do we cultivate a profession that serves current members and is attractive to the next generation of actuaries?
- Diversity: The actuarial profession is consistently rated as one of the best jobs in America. We need to continue to attract the best and the brightest but dispel the notion that we are a “one size fits all” profession. While our rigorous educational system ensures a solid technical foundation and consistent core skills, anyone who has been to an annual meeting recognizes that actuaries excel across a wide spectrum of roles that demand much more in the way of soft people and communication skills than we are given credit for. By actively seeking out diversity and encouraging entrepreneurism across the risk spectrum, we ensure access to talent to develop and fill leadership roles across existing and emerging areas.
- Globalization: The SOA is a global organization, full stop. Over 15% of our members and an even greater percentage of candidates hail from outside of North America. The board is currently working to refresh and update our international strategy. I have experienced first-hand the joys and challenges of working overseas and speak conversational Spanish. I have chaired the International Section, run the SOA Ambassador Program, served on the International Policy Committee, and most recently chaired the Latin America Committee. As your president I will help interpret and implement international initiatives from a position of strength, consistency, and cultural sensitivity.
- Effective Partnerships: We need to continue to be proactive in building productive relationships with actuarial associations and adjacent professions. I have witnessed the transformation of the SOA into a learning organization capable of developing strong relationships and partnering effectively with actuarial associations in the U.S. and around the world. Going forward, we must create the infrastructure needed to enable us to partner and sustain relationships with adjacent professions. I have found professionals are eager to learn about what actuaries do, participate in SOA research projects, and speak at our meetings. Ultimately, we are the profession’s own best brand ambassador.
“Ask an Actuary”
How do we ensure the marketplace relevance of actuaries, satisfying the needs of employers, regulators, and the public?
- Credentials: The SOA credential, and underlying education and examination system, is the de facto global gold standard. The SOA E&E system is constantly being refreshed to streamline delivery, increase cognitive testing levels, and improve the candidate experience. Exam syllabi are continuously revised to ensure content is relevant and up to date. Despite the monumental scale of the endeavor, the E&E system is agile enough to incorporate new tracks (most recently General Insurance) and develop new foundational material (Predictive Analytics) in response to marketplace needs.
- Research: As part of the current strategic plan, the research function has been reorganized to emphasize the thought leadership of actuaries and help provide actionable insights to members, stakeholders, and the public on socially relevant topics. I have performed paid research on behalf of the SOA, as well as served on project oversight groups providing guidance to researchers. I am fully vested in finding ways to unlock the value of our “back catalogue” and maximize the utility of ongoing research efforts by creating new and innovative research output that provides practical hands-on tools for members such as code, databases, tableau views, and excel models.
- Public Trust: Actuaries are consistently given high marks as an ethical and trusted profession. Our unique ability to quantify the socio-economic consequences of risk provides much needed perspective on key societal issues. Policymakers, regulators, and the public rely on actuaries to provide unbiased insights to forums evaluating and establishing evidence-based policy. The SOA has a duty to contribute timely research to inform the public’s understanding of key societal issues including Public Pensions, Public Health, Climate Change, and others.
“Risk is Opportunity”
How do we identify and respond to market challenges and position actuaries to take advantage of emergent opportunities?
- Competition: The competitive landscape is incredibly dynamic, with new ways of thinking about risk and insurance emerging through the lens of Silicon Valley and Insurtech. Although Insurtech will challenge the way we create and deliver insurance products, it does not shake the foundation of our core expertise: the quantitative analysis of risk. Our challenge is to communicate our value proposition to new entrants that are naïve about risk analysis and quantification. During the course of any market disruption, many start-ups will fail while others will succeed. Actuaries will need to be nimble, as old career paths are changing and new ones are being created.
- Predictive Analytics: There has always been a dynamic relationship between actuarial and IT departments. All of us have seen enormous changes in that relationship over the years. I see Predictive Analytics as another tool, not an existential threat to the profession. The environmental scanning process has functioned appropriately in bringing the issue to the Board to consider, and the Board has risen to the occasion. I can state with confidence that many individuals who accepted jobs in data science will, in time, wish they had opted for careers as actuaries.
- Communications: Finally, an area that serves an incredibly important “behind the scenes” role is the SOA marketing and communication team. If an actuary solved the Social Security financial crisis (which, by the way, we have), without the communications team, no one would know. I have worked closely with communications on any number of projects, including the design and layout of my book “Insurance Industry Mergers and Acquisitions”, branding the CERA credential, dissemination strategies for our research, and numerous other publications, surveys, etc. Without these creative and hardworking individuals helping us package and deliver our message, we would not have the impact or recognition we do today, or the ability to reach the potential we aspire to achieve.
With well-constructed checks and balances, a sense of the past and a clear eye trained to the future, a strength of purpose and nimbleness of foot, I look forward to leading the SOA into the next decade and preparing it for the risks and opportunities ahead.
Brief description of current work:
I lead the Life and Health actuarial team in the Global Insurance Services (“GIS”) practice at FTI Consulting, Inc. FTI is an independent, global business advisory firm that works closely with clients to overcome complex business challenges and take advantage of emergent opportunities.
GIS offers comprehensive analytic, actuarial, and strategic consulting services to insurers, businesses, and professionals that wish to evaluate, manage, and capitalize on risk. My work includes mergers and acquisitions, appointed actuary, pricing and reserving, expert witness, risk and solvency assessment, and regulatory support roles. My clients include insurers, investors, lawyers, brokers, self-insurers, regulators, and other quasi-governmental agencies.
Primary Area(s) of Practice:
I am a qualified life and health actuary, with substantial background and experience in general insurance and enterprise risk management.
I have more than 30 years of experience in the life, health, and P&C insurance industries, including a variety of roles with leading consulting firms and insurance companies. My life product experience includes whole life, term, universal, variable, and group; variable, deferred, and immediate annuities; and a variety of riders and stand-alone products. During the course of my career I have worked with life settlements, XXX/AXXX reserve relief, COLI/BOLI, mortality cat bonds, and a variety of alternative risk financing vehicles.
My health experience spans large group, small group and individual products; self-insured plans and multiple employer welfare arrangements; and work-site, cancer, limited benefit, and other specialty products. My health policy interests include medical errors, social determinants of health, not-for-profit community benefit investment, and the importance of social capital in vulnerable and aging populations.
SOA Volunteer Activities:
- Latin America Committee Chair (2015 – 2018)
- Public Health Task Force (2016 – 2018)
- Health Curriculum Committee (2015 – 2018)
- Vice President (2014 – 2016)
- General Insurance Track Syllabus Development Committee (2012 – 2013)
- Board of Directors (2009 – 2012)
- Health Spring Meeting Chair (2008 – 2009)
- Health Section Council (2005-2007; Chair 2008)
- Marketplace Relevance Strategic Action Team (2004 – 2007)
- Strategic Planning Committee (2000 – 2005)
- International Section Council (1998-2000; Chair 2001)
- “Don’t Fall Captive to Self-Insurance Risks”, FTI Journal, March 2018
- “Realistic Steps for Improving your Return on Insurance Data”, Carrier Management, June 2017
- “Re-imagining Employer Healthcare”, FTI Journal, May 2017
- “Developing a Robust Risk Appetite Statement”, Carrier Management, April 2015
- “Potential Impact of Pandemic Influenza on the US Health Insurance Industry”, Society of Actuaries, July 2010
- “The Economic Measurement of Medical Errors”, Chair, Research Project Oversight Group, Society of Actuaries, April 2010
- “U.S. Health Care System: Righting an Inversion”, Visions for the Future of the U.S. Health Care System, Society of Actuaries, May 2009
- “Potential Impact of Pandemic Influenza on the US Life Insurance Industry”, Society of Actuaries, May 2007
- “Financial Services Convergence: Big Bang or a Whimper?”, The Actuary, Society of Actuaries, Vol. 2 No. 6, December 2005.
- “Insurance Industry Mergers and Acquisitions”, editor and co-author, Society of Actuaries, May 2005
MBA Actuaries, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
Provided consulting for insurers, self-insured plans, multiple employer welfare arrangements, and governmental agencies. Services include actuarial services, plan development and filing, financial reporting, examinations, legislative initiatives, litigation support, and expert witness roles.
Milliman Latin America, Denver, CO
Team leader for international buy and sell side transactions in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina involving cumulative transactions in excess of $2.5 billion USD. Demutualization team leader responsible for developing theory and supporting methodology for contribution factor calculations for a portfolio of UL, VUL, and COLI products valued at over $1 billion USD. Led re-engineering of financial reporting operations and establishing policies and standards for reducing systemic risk.
Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, Mexico City, Mexico
Consulting actuary supporting various projects in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina including M&A and bancassurance transactions in excess of $1.0 billion USD; developed methodologies for modeling property & casualty products; group life reserve reviews; and developing methods and assumptions in the largest Australian demutualization to date.
Penncorp Financial, Raleigh, NC
Product development team leader in Integon division responsible for contracts, forms, system implementation and product administration; regulatory change issues and inquiries on product filings; and technical support for inforce illustrations on UL products.
MetLife, New York, NY
Managed four employees and students in support of MetLife’s diverse group insurance products and UL portfolio by developing assumptions and projections for cash flow testing, mainframe seriatim projections, and traditional and UL model office projections.
Integon Life Insurance, Winston-Salem, NC
Assisted in the development of UL and term life products; implemented and tested products on new business and inforce illustration systems; and performed lapse and mortality experience studies.
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