MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Each month, we will feature a member of the Academy and share a glimpse into their professional and personal lives.

GARETH KENNEDY

Specialty: Property & Casualty 

WHY DID YOU BECOME AN ACTUARY?

I decided to become an actuary during my last year of university. I was a theoretical physics major and was looking for a way to apply my math skills in the business world when I came across a career pamphlet at my university in the UK. The mix of practicality and theory appealed to me a great deal.

DESCRIBE A CHALLENGE YOU HAVE OVERCOME.

I’ve always worked at a Big Four accounting firm, and it was drilled into me early on the importance of technical checks of our work. I used to have reams of paper to check and different types of check marks with a key so someone could follow how I checked a piece of work. It fostered in me an understanding of the various P&C methods through formulaic checks as well as just reconciling inputs and outputs.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ACTUARY?

I really enjoy the problem-solving aspects of this job. Starting with a business question and piles of data, then developing a model, refining and tweaking and soliciting the feedback of others, and finally arriving at the solution—that’s immensely satisfying.

SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.

Of course, I’m not always in the office. With three young children, a lot of my spare time is spent with them. Swimming, camping, bike-riding, board games, video games, museum outings, and trips to the zoo. Family time is a good balance for the rigors of the workplace.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUNG ACTUARIES?

To anyone just starting out, I strongly suggest you pass your exams and then give back to the profession. The Academy provides you with great volunteer opportunities and chances to get to know folks beyond your employer. I’ve found that I get as much out of volunteering as I hope the various committees I’ve worked on have received from me.

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