2020 Board Member Candidate

Amanda Hug, FSA 2013, MAAA
Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer
MassMutual



Election Message:           

Hello! I am honored to be an endorsed candidate for the 2020 SOA Board elections. If I earn the privilege to serve, I will aim to collaborate with SOA members and the Board to drive forward progress on three key fronts.

  • Champion the Evolution of the Profession: We live in a time of rapid change, and all professions, ours included, must adapt in order to stay relevant. This is a defining moment where the Society must carefully but quickly reexamine our value proposition to the world of insurance, financial services and beyond. One of the current strategic initiatives, Long Term Growth Strategy, aims to address this opportunity and threat of change. I believe that my professional and volunteer experiences, coupled with my perspective as a millennial, can help take this initiative to the next level. Simply put, actuaries are losing traction as a profession to the trendier and better-marketed professions of data science and InsurTech. In addition to studying the trends, I will encourage the board to consider this problem through a marketing lens. Ultimately, we must better articulate the value proposition actuaries bring to the table to both employers and emerging talent joining the career force. In addition, we must remember the purpose behind our continuing education requirements: to develop new skills and knowledge that are suitable for today’s environment. If we do not adapt to the changing world around us, our profession and hard-earned credentials are in jeopardy.
  • Engage Young Professionals, the Future Leaders of the Profession: A notable 46% of SOA members are millennials, making these young professionals the largest generational segment of the organization. Yet representation from this demographic among SOA leaders and volunteers is not proportionate to their membership, and a recent membership survey showed that millennials have the weakest engagement with the Society. The SOA is already making strides to close this gap with the current strategic initiative focused on Young Professional Engagement and I look forward to advising on that project. As a millennial myself, it is also my hope to strengthen the young professional voice at the board level and thus ensure that the profession’s future leaders are considered in more SOA decisions, not just specific initiatives. I am already taking steps to make this happen as Chair of the SOA Community Engagement Strategy Working Group, a board-commissioned team charged with reimagining the section experience to bring stronger community to the profession. I was selected to lead this group due to my enthusiasm for community and engaging our younger members. Engaging young professionals serves to enrich the profession as a whole by diversifying our perspective and introducing new energy and new ideas into the mix.
  • Strengthen the Actuary as a Business Leader: The Society’s mission is to advance actuaries as leaders in the realm of risk management, yet there is a severe gap between our aspiration and the employer perspective on actuaries as leaders. In an SOA-commissioned survey of 300 executives from financial services, only 10-15% of respondents rated actuaries as strong in the categories of effective communication, interpersonal skills, and managerial skills. By stark contrast, Finance MBAs were rated as strong in these areas by 65-75% of the respondents. I’m passionate about the fact that leadership is a critical, yet often overlooked, skill for actuaries to develop. As Vice Chair of the SOA Leadership & Development Section Council, I work with other like-minded volunteers to ensure there is high quality content on leadership topics available to SOA members. I am eager to leverage the good work that the Leadership & Development Section is doing and bring it to SOA members more broadly.

Again, I am excited about this opportunity to serve alongside the rest of the talented board. I would be honored to partner with and represent my fellow SOA members to help the Society achieve its strategic vision and position itself for success far into the future.

Brief description of current work:

I work at MassMutual as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer, where I am accountable for overseeing the strategic planning and execution for the 350-person Finance division. I am Vice Chair of the SOA Leadership & Development section, President of the Actuaries’ Club of Boston, and past President of the Actuaries’ Club of Hartford & Springfield (400+ members).

Primary Area(s) of Practice (per SOA Directory):

Life, Finance

Bio:

This year marks for me a decade in the financial services industry, where I’ve had broad exposure to a variety of actuarial functions and product lines, including life, annuity, retirement, supplemental health, and worksite. I pursued my fellowship in the Society of Actuaries as a great foundation for a future career in broader business leadership. I’m now seeing that intention come to fruition in my current role as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer at MassMutual. In this role, I’ve explored what it means for an actuary to step out of a traditional role yet still leverage actuarial expertise. I’m experiencing firsthand how actuaries are well-positioned to be leaders in their organizations on account of a deep understanding of complex financial drivers and the ability to use that knowledge to influence business outcomes.

Throughout my career, I’ve made it a point to give back to the profession through volunteer leadership, speaking and writing for actuarial clubs and SOA sections. One of the highlights thus far was serving as President of the Actuaries’ Club of Hartford and Springfield, the largest actuarial club in the U.S., attracting 400+ members to its semi-annual events. As my network and reach have expanded, I’ve become more and more aware of how critical volunteers are to the industry and the excellent work that so many members are doing across the globe. Below are some of the ways I’ve been involved in the profession over the years.

  • Chair, SOA Community Engagement Strategy Working Group (2020 – Present)
  • Vice Chair, SOA Leadership & Development Section (1,500+ members) (2019 – Present)
  • President, Actuaries’ Club of Boston (150+ members) (2018 – Present)
  • President, Actuaries’ Club of Hartford & Springfield (400+ members) (2016 – 2018)
  • Board Member, University of Hartford Industry Advisory Board (2014 – 2016)
  • Hiring Manager, MassMutual Actuarial Leadership Development Program (2014 – 2016)
  • Chair, MassMutual Actuarial Exposure Committee (2013 – 2014)
  • Coordinator, MassMutual Actuarial Internship Program (2012 – 2013)
  • SOA Presenter, SOA Annual Meeting (2019, 2015), SOA Webcasts (2020, 2019, 2015), SOA Podcasts (2020, 2019), SOA Candidate Connect (2015, 2014), SOA Center of Actuarial Excellence Student Summit (2015), Actuaries’ Club of Hartford & Springfield (2019, 2018, 2017)
  • SOA Author, The Actuary (2019), The Stepping Stone (2020, 2019), Innovators and Entrepreneurs (2018), The Actuary of the Future Newsletter (2015)

I have also held leadership positions at other non-profits:

  • Board Member, Lakeside Christian Camp and Retreat Center (2019 – 2020)
  • Launch Team, Vox Church Springfield (3,000+ members) (2018 – 2019)
  • Finance Committee, Valley Community Baptist Church (2,000+ members) (2014 – 2016)
  • Ministry Vision Team, Valley Community Baptist Church (2,000+ members) (2010 – 2016)

I recently attained my MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where I graduated first in my class of over 200 students. I found the program to be a great complement to my actuarial credential, giving me exposure to a truly international cohort of students from a myriad of professions, who taught me new ways of solving problems.

I am a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Additional Info:

In my free time, I love adventure travel! I’ve been to every continent except Antarctica (it’s on the list!), where I’ve been lucky enough to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, hike the Inca Trail in Peru and rappel down a 19-story building in Bolivia. I’m also a committed Christian, so I’m active in my church in Boston, where I oversee all operations of the service on Sunday mornings. I love connecting with my actuarial colleagues across the globe, so please don’t hesitate to reach out! I can be reached at ahug@massmutual.com.