The SOA Predictive Analytics Certificate Helped Me Advance Professionally and Personally: Winnie Liu, FSA, FCIA
If anyone is a paradigm of the notion that learning never stops, it’s Head of Actuarial Modeling and Experience Study for Munich RE Winnie Liu. Winnie set her sights on new horizons after almost 20 years in the insurance industry. Her interest in cutting-edge predictive analytics had been budding for years, and in 2017, she set out to earn her Predictive Analytics (PA) Certificate from the Society of Actuaries (SOA).
The program focused on theory, coding, language and how to use models within the insurance industry. Winnie’s actuarial background provided a solid foundation on which to build her analytics skills. Her goal was to apply her new PA knowledge to make better hiring decisions and evaluate her team more effectively, an intention she has seen come to fruition since finishing the program.
Currently, Winnie applies her learnings from the SOA’s PA Certificate Program by hiring students who are knowledgeable about statistics and machine learning. She ensures that those she brings on board have strong predictive modeling capabilities, which she believes are necessary for the future of actuarial sciences.
Now, with a firm grasp on programming language R and experience with Python, as well as the tools to streamline underwriting solutions for her clients, detect fraud claims, better understand the risk drivers of the business through multivariate experience analysis and customize pricing for her clients, Winnie believes the sky is the limit. Since moving from Canada to Singapore, Winnie is getting significant mileage out of her certificate.
Having the PA Certificate under her belt has yielded a newfound competitive edge for Winnie, who now participates in PA contests held by the SOA and focused on data analysis—something she never would have considered before enrolling in their PA Certificate Program. She’s even making a name for herself in Singapore and beyond, taking second place in a data analytics competition and speaking at the SOA 2019 Asia-Pacific Symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, and 2017 SOA Predictive Analytics Seminar in Seoul, South Korea.
Perhaps most instrumental to her success is the continued support Winnie receives from her supervisor, Chief Risk Officer & Chief Actuary of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (Life & Health) Gavin Maistry. He encouraged her to take part in the program and, seeing his vision for her come to life, Gavin has every reason to be proud of and impressed by Winnie’s performance and growth.
So, what lies ahead for Winnie? She’d like to move from her traditional actuarial role to an expanded role that uses predictive models focused on pricing, valuation and experience studies. And now, with her SOA PA Certificate and unique set of skills, she’s well equipped to generate business as opposed to just reporting it.
As the first to offer a PA Certificate Program for actuaries, the SOA is paving the way for actuaries to advance as leaders in predictive analytics. The ability of the program to bridge the gap between predictive analytics knowledge and actuarial practice makes it invaluable to those like Winnie who have big plans for their future as actuaries in our data-driven world.