Welcome to the Maverick Actuary Community!
A MESSAGE FROM THE MAVERICK
I could not be more ecstatic that you have taken the time to visit my page.
To kick things off, developing a website has always been a dream of mine even before the words Maverick Actuary had meaning. That might sound amusing to some as website development is heavily commoditized today. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I’m certainly not known as a “programming” type of actuary. In fact, they might laugh out loud when you ask.
Having said that, I did not achieve this milestone alone. Given how important the actuarial, risk, and analytics communities are to me and my brand, and the standard that I’m aiming to set in the visual arena, I decided to partner with TheeDigital to develop this website. Garrett, Keri, and Greyson have been patient with my everchanging requests, and it has been a privilege to work with them on this website over the past few months. My hope is that you can appreciate even one element on this site. Believe me, it was curated with thoughtfulness and the love that I have for numbers people (not that I’m biased or anything).
I encourage you to check out all the different sections on the site. I am more than open to your feedback and suggestions on items, sections, and topics that would be valuable to you that are not currently on the site. Of course, I will continue to improve the site over time, and it will be an iterative approach, heavily influenced by what you as the audience find most valuable.
In closing, I want to reiterate the importance I place on community. Maverick Actuary is a content community. Regardless of what platform, geography, or other medium from which you found us, I want this to be a place where numbers people and anyone else who is connected to our community feel welcome and comfortable learning, sharing ideas, asking questions, and hopefully, networking with other professionals. Don’t be shy now! If you are, no need to worry.
I’m sure that I’ll shortly create content on how to overcome that fear.
Very excited for you to explore the site.
THE MAVERICK NEWSLETTER EXPLAINED
My goal is to produce a quarterly newsletter to the Maverick Actuary community.
I get it. Everyone is busy. And more significantly, roughly one to two thousand pieces of content come across your screen on a daily basis. So, whatever I decide to produce will be short, sweet, and valuable. You have my word.
Here are a few examples of what you can expect to see in these newsletters:
- Skills deep dive
- Tips and tricks
- Emerging industry trends
- Industry conference recaps
- Book reviews
- Maverick Actuary brand updates
If you are interested in receiving the newsletter by email, don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button on the Blog page.
The Newsletter will initially show up in your Promotions folder if you use Gmail. You will need to move it to your Primary folder so that you will receive it there going forward. The same is likely true for other email domains.
SIX SKILLS FOR THE ACTUARY OF THE FUTURE
I have gotten the following question several times in the past few months:
“What skills do actuaries need to thrive going forward?”
Let’s first remember that no skill is valuable unless it can be used to add value where there isn’t a viable or practical alternative.
I think of the skills that actuaries need to be successful in two categories:
- Table Stakes
Table stakes includes the fundamental skills that you need to be a minimally viable actuary.
There are three skills that are worth noting:
1. Business Acumen
Having a thorough understanding of the space in which you operate, the core of the problems or challenges that your industry, company, or institution addresses, and the markets they serve.
I always like to remind actuaries that we are businesspeople. The formulas, equations, and solutions serve no purpose in a vacuum. They are only valuable within the context of the business environment in which actuaries are operating in and the scope of the problems they are seeking to solve.
2. Strategic Problem Solving
Actuaries first need to understand how to identify which problems need to be solved. Once they identify the problems, here are some key questions to consider as you approach solving the problems:
- What should the direction of travel for the analysis be based on the specific problem?
- What data do you need?
- What are the limitations of your data?
- How do you put assumptions around data and monitor them?
- How do you translate insights into value?
- This thought process will prevent you from going down a rabbit hole that leads to nowhere or one that leaves the most important problems unaddressed.
This is a huge are of opportunity for actuaries. Without effective communication, your analysis adds no value and has no impact.
Here are a few questions to consider when communicating results:
- What are the most relevant takeaways from your analysis that will influence decision making?
- Who is the target audience for the analysis?
- What level of detail is appropriate when you communicate your findings?
- What medium do you use to communicate decisions when you make them (if you are the decision maker)?
Communication is the root of influence. It is an important bridge between completing an analysis and achieving the desired actions from key decision makers.
Now let’s talk about differentiators. These are skills that I truly believe will take your career into the stratosphere if you achieve proficiency. Here are three differentiating skills that are worth noting:
The risk landscape is changing. With emerging risks, the past is not necessarily predictive of the future, so classical actuarial methods might not be as effective.
Being able to operate in the grey and deal with ambiguous situations will put you above and beyond a minimally viable actuary.
One question to consider is, How do you quantify the cost of risk in an emerging risk landscape with little to no data?
2. Digital Fluency
The ability to select and use the appropriate tools and technologies to achieve a particular outcome in an age of advanced technology where data has volume, variety, and velocity is key.
Technology adoption in insurance has been historically slow, partially due to the nature of the insurance product and the regulatory environment. Yet, the competitive environment demands more speed and with the proliferation of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the battle for accurate segmentation is a new frontier.
Understanding where automation is likely to replace manual labor is key for actuaries to reposition and modernize their value proposition.
3. Media Saavy
The ability to use social platforms to amplify value and have impact will help to solidify your personal brand.
If colleagues and stakeholders have a better understanding of how you think, it will be easier for you to create opportunities or step into opportunities when they arise.
As you can see, the actuary of the future has a lot to consider. One thing is for certain – the future will be interesting for actuaries.
© 2022 Dominic Lee