As part of our global series, we caught up with Vu Vuong, based in Vietnam, to find out more about his journey to becoming an actuary.
Why did you decide to join the actuarial profession?
I did Economics and Econometrics at University ‑ during my Uni time, I had always wanted to pursue a career that would relevant to my degree i.e. involving a combination of Maths, Stats and Econs.
I was very fortunate and had great opportunities to meet several highly experienced and respected actuaries in the summers during the Uni time. I was completely fascinated by the work they did and they completely inspired me to pursue an actuarial career.
What do you enjoy in your role?
I currently oversee and manage all financial and actuarial-related activities in FWD Vietnam. I have plenty of opportunities to work closely with fellow practitioners and local regulators in helping shape the local regulations and market practices. I feel like I am adding value to the industry, helping make positive changes and continuing to change the way people in Vietnam feel about insurance.
What are the highlights in your career?
To me, the timing of my qualification was definitely a personal satisfaction as I obtained my fellowship when my wife was pregnant and just in time to welcome the arrival of my first son. In 2015, I was offered a job to lead the Actuarial function of the biggest life insurer in Vietnam at the time. Moving from the UK to Vietnam was also very memorable ‑ the opportunity came all out of blue and it was not an easy decision to make as I had to move my whole family with me together with all other factors e.g. geographical, weather, cultural differences etc. Luckily, my wife was very supportive.
I started to familiarise myself in traditional actuarial areas ranging from reserving, product development, actuarial reporting to risk management and business planning. Gradually over time, I had developed many young actuaries and built a relatively solid team. I then found myself to be a lot more involved in a wider range of business areas such as strategic planning and corporate strategy.
Joining FWD Vietnam in 2020 as a CFO was also a highlight of my career. I am currently leading the overall financial reporting, operations and management, driving effective expense management and ensuring business, financial and capital plans are optimised, underpinning the company’s overall strategy.
What advice would you give to students who are just about to embark on their career as an actuary?
The journey for me has been very exciting and challenging and I am sure it will be equally interesting for all young students out there. Although, admittedly there will be a fair bit of hard work (and personal sacrifice) but it can be very rewarding.
Please remember that the qualification/fellowship is just the beginning and not the end ‑ it will equip you with the necessary foundation, skillset and credentials to help you do many more interesting things.
Find out more about Becoming an Actuary and our work in South East Asia on our website.