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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

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    This session is for new candidates and existing candidates where we will be discussing the practical steps you need to take leading up your exam and on the day. We will be discussing how to testing the online exam platform, downloading and uploading your paper and key information from the Exam Handbook.

    The exam webinar is for candidates, new to IFoA exams and returning candidates, sitting in the September 2022 exam session.

  • Spaces available

    The role of Non-Executive Directors has become increasingly challenging and critical over the past few years.

    Big picture thinking, Governance knowledge, Independent mindset, Ambassador potential and Energy and commitment: these are the essential skills sought in a successful NED, according to the Chartered Governance Institute (UK & Ireland).

    In parallel, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly key and used by investors to measure the sustainability and ethical impact of investing in an organisation.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • How do CDC pension schemes smooth members' pensions?

    Online webinar
    23 September 2022

    Spaces available

    In the UK, the idea of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes is gaining more attention with the launch of the Royal Mail CDC scheme, the first of its kind in the UK. Our recent research on CDC plans investigates the sources of the putative benefits of CDC schemes: the smoothing of pensions for members.  Using an attribution analysis to burrow into the scheme design, the reason for the smoothing of members' pensions is explained and understood.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Social Care Agenda

    Online webinar
    11 October 2022

    Spaces available

    Social care reform has long been on the to-do list for successive governments over the last two decades. In February, the government’s proposed reforms to adult social care [including cap on care costs] was published. Against this backdrop of funding promise and rising National Insurance taxation, in this session we will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact of future demand for care services and what role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding in other countries where public-private partnership works.

  • Health – Our Greatest Asset

    Online webinar
    2 November 2022

    Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.

  • GIRO Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP  
    21 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
    Spaces available

    We are delighted to announce the return of GIRO as an in-person conference, giving you an opportunity to connect with actuaries in your practice area. Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the General Insurance sector.

  • Life Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP
    23 November 2022 - 25 November 2022
    Spaces available

    Life Conference returns as an in-person conference in 2022, giving you an opportunity to connect with your peers and fellow actuaries in your sector, in person. You will also hear leading experts discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Mortality and morbidity risk varies by variables such as age, sex and smoking. In traditional actuarial experience analysis, these variables, and certain combinations thereof can be explored. However, with the wealth of data now available it is becoming increasingly challenging to identify the key drivers of experience and account for the interaction between different variables. A univariate approach often compares apples and pears, for example males are more likely to smoke and have larger policies than females. Likewise, variable interactions are missed unless specifically included.