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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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  • Spaces available

    Over recent months there has been a sharp rise in M&A activity involving British businesses, with interest from overseas, domestic buyers and Private Equity investors.  

  • Spaces available

    Frank Redington is recognised as one of the most influential actuaries of all time. In this talk, Craig will review some of Redington's most important ideas. He will identify the consistent actuarial principles that form a common thread across the contributions Redington made to a broad range of actuarial fields, and will highlight the ongoing relevance of Redington's thinking to 21st century actuarial practice.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA Mental Health working party look back over their week of blogs and podcasts considering all aspects of the relationship between mental health and life insurance. The expert panel spans adviser, underwriter and actuarial experience and they  explore triggers for purchasing insurance relating to mental health, the various routes to insurance and how these may be more suited to different people depending on their conditions and preferences, the products and processes involved in purchasing these as well as what claims and support are available to policyholders and how to access them.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the 'Finance in the Public Interest 2022' webinar series. If it was ever okay to consider your business in isolation from its surroundings, today it most definitely is not. Thinking about business within its surrounding system is now a necessity. The question we seek to discuss is: How should we prescribe the boundaries in which we consider problems to enable us to create better products and more resilient companies and systems?

  • Spaces available

    What will happen to DC pension savers who see life annuities as poor VFM but still want an income for life?  Pooled annuity funds could offer them a decent lifetime income while reducing significantly the complex choices and risk inherent in income drawdown.  They could be the next generation of CDC pension schemes, slotting into the existing DC framework as a post-retirement option.