An update from our Actuarial team
We caught up with Lyndsey and Phil from our Actuarial team and asked them how the team, the business and their roles have evolved in the last 12 months.
How has the team evolved in the last 12 months?
Lyndsey: The team have successfully transitioned to a remote working model and we’ve invested a lot of time into making sure that that they feel engaged and supported from home during the pandemic. We’ve provided various opportunities to stay connected such as video meetings and virtual social events. We’ve also had a number of new joiners in the last year who bring diverse skills and backgrounds to the team to help us meet the changing needs of the business. Embedding them into our team has been a top priority.
Phil: The pandemic has meant that the entire team has been working from home for the last year. For a lot of people across the UK it’s has created new challenges around ways of working and making sure that collaboration is not lost. However, our team was already multi-site, so I think these challenges have had less of an impact on us as we were already harnessing the technology available to feel like a team, despite not being together on a daily basis. That said, I am looking forward to physically seeing the team again and enjoying a social meal together!
What’s the team’s mission?
Lyndsey: We’re agile and influential, and our role extends beyond traditional actuarial work. We partner with the business and take a step back to form an independent view – this helps to make sure we’re providing collaboration and challenging the business. One of our current focusses is on process automation and developing our data analytics capability to help our team to evolve as the business and industry changes.
Phil: Outside of what we ‘have’ to do, there’s a strong desire to push our methodologies, technologies and ways of working even further forward, with work underway in areas such as data accessibility and Machine Learning. For the latter, we’re fortunate in LV=GI to have a dedicated Data Science team of SME’s who we’re working with. Alongside that, being part of Allianz Group enables access to a wide pool of knowledge.
Tell us about the long-term career opportunities
Lyndsey: Allianz is a global company and opportunities are not only available within our sizeable UK Allianz Holdings actuarial team, but also extend internationally. Some recent examples include a recruit from Allianz Columbia, secondments from our UK team to Australia, and recent inter-Group moves from our team to a newly created Home and Legacy pricing team, and Allianz Group Actuarial in Munich. There are also opportunities to further your career outside of the actuarial team – our current Chief Risk Officer is a good example of a qualified actuary who moved from our team via a technical pricing leadership role to progress to his current position.
Phil: The Actuarial teams within LV=GI have always been relatively small, which provides ample opportunity to work on both the IFRS and Solvency II, reserving figures across a number of different lines of business. This also means that team members are able to engage and collaborate with other departments such as Finance and Pricing. Plus, with the implementation of IFRS 17 on the horizon, the opportunities for further development are only increasing!
Following the acquisition of LV=GI by the Allianz Group we are now part of a worldwide network of actuaries working across all of the operating entities around the globe. Ideas and ways of working are shared across all entities and this enables us as a team to develop further. Plus, it provides all team members the scope to move between entities, with recent examples of people switching to a different entity whilst still retaining the benefit of their length of service.
Lyndsey, how does your work influence the way AZ operates?
Our Actuarial team is a special place to work because of the varied opportunities it brings. We’re involved in such a wide spectrum of work that no two weeks are the same. From business planning to reserving, and risk modelling to pricing, the work actuaries do is of paramount importance in steering the direction of the business. Data science is also an exciting evolution in the actuarial world and big data will naturally drive change in the insurance industry. Actuaries will be able to utilise the insights which data analytics can bring as we have more data than ever before - we need to make sure we’re shaping the direction of the data revolution to ensure maximum benefits and insights.
Phil, how does your work influence the way LV=GI operates?
The main priority for the team is to make sure the company is appropriately provisioned to meet our liabilities as they fall due, which can have an obvious impact on company performance and our levels of solvency. As a team we also share our findings and actively engage with the wider business on the trends and uncertainties we face as a business. Our participation in this can impact decisions made elsewhere across a number of areas of the business. Working with people from other disciplines creates a really collaborative environment and hopefully leads to the correct decisions being made!
What makes your team work well?
Lyndsey: The team’s ability to collaborate both with one another and more widely with colleagues from all around the business. The team is also great at using professional judgement to make decisions and bring challenges to the business when appropriate. We work as a key part of the business ‘smart circle’ to make sure that the whole team is working collaboratively to drive the company forward.
Phil: Put simply, the team works well because of the great people within it. We make sure that everyone is empowered to make change and that all opinions matter. It’s not my team, rather it’s our team and we all have a jointly held responsibility to be the best we possibly can be.
What’s the most rewarding part of your role?
Lyndsey: Personally, I’ve been in the team for ten years now and I continue to learn all the time as the business evolves and adapts. I find working with a broad variety of such high calibre people hugely rewarding, and I particularly enjoy seeing individuals develop and grow into confident business people.
Phil: For me personally without a doubt the most rewarding part of my role is seeing the development and career progression of the members of the team. I feel a sense of responsibility to enable people to fulfil their potential and there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing people progress throughout all stages of their career.
If you were to describe a day in the team in 3 words, what would they be?
Lyndsey: Challenge, collaborate, inform.
Phil: Busy, engaging and thought-provoking.