Each month, we will feature a member of the Academy and share a glimpse into their professional and personal lives.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ACTUARY?
I decided to explore the career during my senior year in college. It seemed like a great way to make a living with a math degree without needing to get a masters or doctorate degree. I have always enjoyed solving problems, and this career is built on solving complicated business problems.
DESCRIBE ONE OF THE PROFESSIONALISM CHALLENGES YOU FACED EARLY IN YOUR CAREER. HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?
I worked with municipal liability coverage during the middle and late 1980s, when the industry experienced an insurance crisis with skyrocketing municipal lawsuits and availability & affordability issues in the insurance marketplace. I had to both support hefty rate increases in regulatory filings and work with my company’s underwriters to find areas where we could still write the business with some measure of confidence. We were trying to walk the line between stability and responsiveness, but sometimes that line had been totally washed away by the tide of recent events.
WHAT ASPECT OF BEING AN ACTUARY DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
I enjoy working with a team of professionals to solve complicated business problems. Sometimes it’s a team of actuaries working on a new tool or a complicated analysis. Other times it’s with underwriters, a finance team, or a claims area that asks for help to solve a problem that is keeping them from moving forward.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
I love solving puzzles (crosswords, sudokus, cryptics, etc.) and playing games (card games, board games, computer games). The first thing I look for in a new issue of Contingencies is the puzzles. I also play some golf with friends and take daily walks with my wife. We have done a fair amount of traveling over the past 30 years, and we are looking forward to resuming that after the pandemic is tamed.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS JUST BEGINNING THEIR CAREER AS AN ACTUARY?
Get your credentials, learn to work with others, jump into new things, and challenge yourself. You will never grow without doing these things.
"In 25 years, I can honestly say my job has never been boring. It has been complicated, intimidating, even frustrating, but I continue to learn and to find satisfaction in the topics that I continue to learn about."
"...it didn’t take long for me to realize some of the benefits of volunteering, including learning and interacting with other actuaries."
"Getting involved in one or more Academy work groups or committees will be an invaluable experience, and is a great way to make actuarial connections."