Industry Sharing Series: AXIS Re
On 28 March, the Faculty organised an industry sharing session with AXIS Re, a leading diversified global reinsurer. Mr Tony GU, Vice President of Actuarial, was invited to share on the actuarial science profession, current trends leading to the high demand for actuaries and what it takes to succeed in this field.
Mr Gu has broad actuarial experience in insurance, broking and reinsurance companies in the United States, China and Singapore. He is also a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and president-elect of the CAS regional affiliate in Asia.
Mr Gu shared that an actuary is a business professional who determines the management of risk and deals with the financial impact of uncertainty. An actuary analyses, manages and measures the financial implications of future risk, and develops and validates models to guide decision-making.
Actuaries play an important part in the economy, in not just the insurance and financial industries, but also in the Government and other sectors, in varied roles such as underwriting, brokerage, risk modelling and claims management.
An actuary enjoys a progressive career pathway with advancement and growth opportunities stemming from developments such as digitalisation, the era of “big data”, business and property risks, cyber liability, and socio-economic and political trends such as heightened concern in terrorism and global instability. As a key insurance hub in the region, Singapore serves as a base for insurance and reinsurance firms to write regional and international risks. In line with the growth of Asian markets and the increasing sophistication of risk management systems, the industry has also matured in its product offerings across various sectors. This translates to varied and exciting career opportunities.
In his talk, Mr Gu highlighted the key attributes required of an actuary – keen analytical, project management and problem-solving skills; good business acumen; computer literacy; and a deep-rooted knowledge of mathematics and finance. Being an actuary also requires a balance of technical competence and life skills such as the ability to communicate effectively.
Mr Gu said, “Technical competence includes the application of actuarial techniques, synthesis skills, critical thinking and the ability to make informed judgements. An effective communicator is adept in articulating relevant business perspectives, assumptions and limitations, while being able to manage diverse stakeholders, be it senior management or peers.”
Mr Gu also spoke on the key roles of a property / casualty actuary, such as rate-making, reserving, predictive modelling, reinsurance and enterprise risk management and explained each role as well as the curriculum of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
He also introduced AXIS Re Asia Pacific’s Actuarial Internship Programme 2016, which spans five months from August to December, where interns work on a full-time basis in areas such as reinsurance pricing theory and AXIS’ internal pricing system, taking on projects in catastrophe model validation, etc. while supporting the offices in Zurich and Singapore in reinsurance pricing. The programme is open to candidates majoring in Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Quantitative Finance, Physics, Computer Science, etc.
The talk was followed by a Q&A session with the speaker and a dinner networking reception. The session was well-attended by more than 80 participants.
TAN Jun Wei, a Year 4 Applied Mathematics Major who interned with AXIS Re, said, “It was a fruitful experience to be able to engage undergraduates during the networking dinner, to share my work experience. Through such sessions, students can better understand the corporate world and the skills required to effectively manage real-time situations at the workplace.”
Mr Tony Gu, Vice President of Actuarial, AXIS Re, shared on actuarial science as a career
Attendees listened attentively to the speaker