Actuarial careers insight: What does an Insurance Solutions actuary do?

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What do you do working in Insurance Solutions?
Working in Insurance Solutions is a client centric role with my primary objective being to best understand our clients’ focuses and targets in order to structure tailored market driven solutions to address these needs. The job requires not only an understanding of insurance but also an accurate and up to date knowledge of all products and structures in financial markets.

Every day is varied, one day can be heavily focussed on trading related activity which is fast paced and broadly bounded by trading hours, the next can be a project based transaction that requires lengthy analysis into structure, regulation and accounting treatment. With the daily variety comes one constant, that being the importance a strong relationship with clients so you can identify the task at hand, together develop an appropriate solution and execute a successful transaction.

How does this role make use of actuarial skills? 
Like many professions, the key skill working in Insurance Solutions is the ability to communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner to multiple audiences. Every solution involves discussing complex insurance topics with banking experts and granular banking/market driven solutions with insurance experts. The role requires the ability to knit the two together to ensure both parties are confident with the process and ultimate execution of each trade. Successful communication is acutely linked to a strong technical grounding that comes from listening and learning from others, researching a broad range of topics and staying in touch with the ever changing markets and regulatory landscape.

What does your typical week look like?
There is no such thing as a typical week which is what attracted me to the role in the first place. One day I may be drafting a term sheet with the legal team, the next building a model to determine the capital benefit of a transaction and the next in client meetings exchanging views and ideas. The role is “cross product”, which means I work closely with traders and structurers across all four of the pillar desks in Citi - rates, credit, equities and FX. 

What do you enjoy about your role?
I have the opportunity to work with some of the brightest people in both the insurance and banking industry to structure new, innovative solutions – it is a client facing, challenging, entrepreneurial and an ever evolving role.

What was your career path into this role?
I started out working in wealth and asset management in Dublin which allowed me to work with a wide range of clients, both institutional and retail. I then moved to London to focus on life insurance and gain invaluable insurance capital and ALM experience while completing my actuarial exams. After working on and enjoying markets driven projects while in insurance, I was keen to pursue a career in banking. Following some conversations with a number of helpful people (including a number of actuaries) in the industry, I started as a contractor in Morgan Stanley’s warehouse lending team to then move to a permanent position in Citi’s Insurance Solutions team.  

And what do you like to do when not working?
I try to keep as active as possible over the weekend, which I do by running, searching for golf balls in the rough, and playing hurling with my local club in South West London. I also try to get back to the family farm in Ireland as often as possible to help out, and enjoy a change of scenery from the high rise buildings of Canary Wharf.