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Banking Lifelong Learning case studies

Ritika Agrawal

RitikaRitika is a student member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), based in India, and is currently looking for a full time job.

As a fresher about to start a career as a working professional, there were some challenges in considering banking as a career.

Firstly the exams so far these were based mainly around insurance, next facing the interview, I am not much aware of the banking terminologies so might it be difficult to face the interview? Banking is not a traditional domain for actuarial aspirants; would it be a good decision?

But these questions were satisfactorily answered after being mentored by some of the industry experts who gave advice.  I began to understand that working in the banking industry is similar to insurance.  Facing a banking interview would not be tough provided I was well versed with some of the terminologies that are frequently used as well as the regulatory requirements. Even if I am interviewed for a traditional role, these preparations would be needed….so that would not make much difference.

I think career in the banking industry, taking this non-traditional route will differentiate me from others, and help me stand out.

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Jerome Mahadeo

JermoneJerome is currently looking after some of the group models for stress testing and economic capital at Absa, based in South Africa.  The role also looks at these components for the bank’s other African subsidiaries.

I have always been interested in non-traditional or wider fields.  Accordingly, I chose to pursue a career in banking.  When I entered the industry, it was some of the early stages in embedding models around credit risk management which made the journey even more interesting.  I realised that the potential scope for the actuarial skill in the banking industry was great.

Banking is a growing field and the demand for both quantitative and actuarial skills are on the rise. The banking practice area under the actuarial community, has picked up internationally.  This demand shows a lot of potential future opportunities.  I would like to progress my career to an executive level, noting that the banking landscape will look very different in the next few years.

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Clare Beale

Clare BealeClare is a Trustee Director for the HSBC UK employee pensions scheme in 2016, the largest in the Group at approximately GBP 35 billion, for which I chair the Asset and Liability Committee.

A life actuary by background, working for a life insurer initially, then moving into consulting, followed by a move into banking and pension trusteeship. 

My transition to banking came in 2010 when I took a role within the European Regional Insurance team of a large global bank, HSBC, as I could see the potential opportunities to work more broadly across the bank at a later date.  Strategic changes increased my profile and in 2014 I was asked to head the independent model validation function for the bank globally and across all lines of business, which was an incredible role providing a valuable insight into all parts of the bank.  Given the continued and increased profile of the management of model risk within banks since the financial crisis, this led to further profile and opportunities, and I was the Global Head of Model Risk Management and Model Risk Steward at HSBC

Currently my skills and experience lend themselves most naturally to insurance, banking, asset management and pensions, but things are continually evolving!  I am open minded and not wedded to any one routing to be honest - I will go where there are interesting opportunities, interesting people and where I feel that I can add value.  The last few years working in model risk have been incredibly interesting, particularly with the increasing use of technology and the evolving regulatory backdrop following the last financial crisis.  I am now looking to broaden my risk exposure further with a CRO role before transitioning to a non-executive career.

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Iain Allan

Ian AllanIain currently works as an independent consultant in banking.

Over recent years, I have helped several new entrants with their applications for banking licences. Previously, I was Group Director, Strategy, at RBS from 1994 to 2008, involved in all aspects of the Group’s activities. I have been an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance at Cass Business School since 1991.

My actuarial skill set has equipped me well for understanding business issues in financial services, including banking, and for making commercial judgements about them. In banking, many activities and modelling techniques have parallels in insurance, albeit with different terminology and different regulations.

When I moved from investment banking to what I call ‘proper banking’, my lack of knowledge about banking terminology and regulations made for a challenging first year, and could have been a handicap in my job interview at RBS. Luckily, with hindsight, my job interview focused on the strategy for a bank rather than on banking.

After about 30 years in banking, as an employee and as a independent consultant, working for large banks and small banks, I am keen to pass on the benefits of my experience in banking to other actuaries, through the IFoA Banking Members Interest Group, the IAA Banking Working Group and Cass Business School.

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Dick Rae

Dick RaeDick currently Chair’s the Banking MIG.

I have just finished my executive career and am now looking to find some Non-Executive Roles to enable me to continue to play a role within the financial services industry. My career spanned 22 years in life insurance and reinsurance before spending 15 memorable and enjoyable years in investment banking. The last 5 years of my career I spent in asset management.

I knew nothing about banking and just enough about the Capital Markets. Fortunately it was JP Morgan that wanted me for my actuarial knowledge of the insurance industry and its regulatory regime. Over time I was able to acquire the banking and capital markets knowledge that I needed to work out how banking products could best meet the needs of insurance company clients.

The major shock was the change of culture. Being an actuary meant nothing other than the fact that I understood the language that insurance companies and actuaries spoke. Otherwise my FIA qualification was not considered special. It was just the skill set that I needed to do my job.

The most fascinating time in my banking career was the financial crisis. Watching how perilously close the whole financial system came to melting down. The financial system pre-crisis was fuelled by debt. Hedge funds used debt to leverage their trading positions.

I am now looking for suitable roles as an independent non-executive director (NED).  My career has spanned three industries (insurance/reinsurance, investment banking and asset management). I have had the privilege of working with many senior executives within many companies. Each have their own style and character. I feel that it would be a waste not to continue to use the depth of experience I have gained over the years and my hope is that there are two or three organisations out there that would see a benefit in tapping into this.

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, we will discuss how cause-of-death data from the Office for National Statistics can help us to understand how inequalities arise at the all-cause level. The key to understanding mortality inequality is to think about the chain that connects risk factors, relative risks, and cause-of-death mortality through to all-cause mortality.

  • Spaces available

    The importance of biodiversity for finance, business and policy is being increasingly recognised. While many studies highlight the overall economic impact that biodiversity loss could have, it is much more difficult to quantify and understand the particular impact that is may have on individual businesses or communities. The management and measurement of these risks is a field where actuaries are well placed to contribute.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • GIRO 2021 Webinar Series

    8 November 2021 - 19 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas and new research across the general insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.