2021 Board Member Candidate
David N. Ingram, FSA 1984, CERA, FRM, PRM, MAAA
New Rochelle NY
I have long been very thankful for the challenging and rewarding career that being an actuary has afforded me. I have had the chance to work inside of several mutual life insurers, in an actuarial consulting firm, a major rating agency and a general insurance reinsurance broker. In all, I have probably worked with over 250 insurers, most but not all are U.S. based.
I recognize that one of the main reasons that our profession is so healthy is the work of many volunteers. I joined the active volunteers who are in service to the profession over 20 years ago; working for the Society of Actuaries, the International Actuarial Association and the Actuarial Standards Board.
Now, I would like to contribute my very broad perspectives in support of the mission of the SOA to advance actuaries as leaders in the measurement and management of risk through board service.
- In my career, I have practiced life-long learning and would as a board member support and encourage the continual improvement of SOA support of learning for our profession.
- Somewhere along the line, I personally discovered and cultivated a voice for speaking and writing. As a board member I would support and encourage the efforts of the SOA to enable actuaries to be capable and effective communicators.
- As I was able, I took many opportunities to work and serve as a volunteer outside of the U.S. and have been exposed to quite a wide variety of customs, people, business and regulatory systems and locations. I heartily support the SOA’s various initiatives outside of North America and will continue that support as a board member.
- In the early days of the development of a risk management specialty for actuaries, I had strongly asserted that there was no significant difference between risk management for life insurers and risk management for general insurers. This point of view led to the formation of the Joint Risk Management Section and for me personally to my most recent position as a risk management advisor within a reinsurance broker whose clients were primarily general insurers. In 12 years in that position, I was able to work with well over 175 different general insurance management teams and risk managers. While this is not the same thing as traditional general insurance actuarial work, it has provided me with a deep and broad perspective on that sector which I will wholeheartedly bring to any board discussions of the general insurance educational track and ongoing support of GI actuaries.
- I have not been involved in the recent activities to bring predictive analytics into the actuarial tool kit, but I do have experience from a similar prior effort to bring risk management into the actuarial wheel house and I would be able to draw parallels that could be of assistance in the current efforts.
I see board service as another opportunity to give back to the profession that has rewarded me so fully over the years.
Brief description of current work:
In 2020, I was the leader of ERM Advisory Services for Willis Re North America. My two main efforts were support for development of client Own Risk and Solvency Assessment filings and the production and delivery of 20 webinars. Half of the 2020 webinars were focused on COVID-19 impact on society, the economy and the insurance industry. The other half tackled a variety of ERM topics.
At the end of 2020, I retired from Willis Re and in 2021, I have focused my efforts on two research projects, both sponsored by the SOA.
Primary Area(s) of Practice:
The day I was told that I had achieved an ASA, I, though usually a singles hitter, hit three home runs in softball. I had to remember to come down from the clouds to touch the bases. Upon becoming an FSA, four years later, my career aspiration was to be promoted to the position of “Actuary” which was several rungs above where new fellows usually sat. Little did I know then that being an actuary would be the beginning of such a rich and varied career as I have been fortunate enough to have had.
After obtaining an FSA, I worked as the planning officer, Corporate Actuary and as the annuity business unit head inside of insurance companies in the first twenty-five years of my career.
In my second act, I shifted from working with one firm to working with many. First as an actuarial consultant, then as a rating analyst and finally as a member of a reinsurance brokerage team. In that last position, I was able to make a shift from a focus on life insurers to general and health insurers. In all three positions I worked occasionally with international firms and spent a fraction of my time working with non-U.S. insurers. As an actuarial consultant, I worked on demutualizations, valuation and due diligence for mergers and acquisition and risk management and risk assessment. With the rating agency, I developed and implemented their approach to assessing the ERM programs of insurers and led or participated in evaluations of most of the largest insurers in North America, Europe and Asia. At the reinsurance broker, I spent much of my time assisting smaller and medium sized general insurers to develop their first ERM program along with projects related to risk appetite, rating agency presentations, board ERM roles, ORSA, stress testing, training and independent review of ERM programs.
Also, during that second act, I discovered volunteering. Because I started as someone with 25 years of experience, I was able to contribute at a leadership level for the Society of Actuaries in the early days of developing the Risk Management specialty. With the International Actuarial Association I was the chair of the Enterprise Risk Management committee and with the Actuarial Standards Board I lead the group who wrote the first ERM professional standards. I also presented ERM training in Kenya and Kazakhstan as a volunteer for the IAA.
Finally, I started writing and speaking during this time. Recently, much of that writing has been for the Willis Towers Watson blog where in 2019, I led a project to create a series of articles that we called “A Year in the Life of the Strategic CRO”. That series eventually contained 38 articles, with 20 contributing authors from across the company that has been viewed almost 40,000 times. Four of my papers have been awarded the “Best Practical Paper Award” at the ERM Symposium. My speaking has included around 100 webinars for Willis Re and other organizations. In person, I have presented at many actuarial meetings for both the SOA, the CAS, the CIA and the IAA along with a few other insurance industry meetings. I found sharing what I had learned to be very fulfilling experience.
For my third act, I have moved into research with two projects with the SOA research program. COVID-19 has been a horrific experience for millions around the globe. My reaction was to try to use my ERM skills and experience to create and provide information that may have been useful to my audiences. In late January 2020, I was planning the spring ERM webinars that we did at Willis Re for an audience of around 200 clients and when I read of the outbreak of a new virus in Wuhan, I wrote down “Pandemic” for the title of the late March webinar. By late March, we had not 200, but 2,000 people registered for the webinar. Through the remainder of 2020, we ran 9 more COVID related webinars to audiences that averaged close to 1,000, drawing upon expertise throughout WTW for content.
I also tried to apply my experience from epidemiological modeling of AIDS, SARS, and an updated Influenza pandemic model to modeling COVID, but to me the parameters seemed totally unstable. This led me to initiate the COVID Mitigation Monitoring Project along with a small group of volunteers and we collected 10,000 observations of the prevalence of 21 mitigation activities around the U.S. over an eight-month period. The SOA provided funding for the out-of-pocket expenses and volunteers did the planning, analysis and oversight. This project ended up taking up two to three days per week in the first couple of months of my retirement. I hope that it can become a model of a different way for actuaries to collect real time information about an emerging risk.
The second research project will be published soon and is a new extension of the Plural Rationality work that I did starting about ten years ago working again with the anthropologist Michael Thompson along with the control engineer Bruce Beck. This project will provide a linkage between the earlier work and actuarial risk modeling.