RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES ADAPTABILITY QUOTIENTW
DataQuest|October 2021
While climate change and cyber-threats are keeping risk management experts busy, they are also aware of governance issues and the specific flip-side of hyper-personalisation for insurance companies. All this, when they are ready to embrace big data, Al and models to make their jobs faster and easier. Andrew D. Rallis, Global Chief Actuary, MetLife, and the immediate past president of the Society of Actuaries, gives some back-of-the-envelope calculations on the formula between technology and risk management in this interview. He also explains why it's time for not just IQ or EQ but also AQ. Excerpts:
Pratima Harigunani

What has changed fundamentally about the actuary space in the pandemic phase?

Actuaries are the leading professionals in finding ways to manage risk. The pandemic represents a type of risk that has not been encountered for several generations. It has had an impact across all parts of a company's financial statements and daily operations, making it crucially important for the profession to use their risk management techniques. It has also led to public health issues, which makes it even more imperative for companies to evaluate risks, especially those associated with finance, insurance and related fields as the frequency and size of claims can spike dramatically. So actuaries have been assessing and responding with new ways to mitigate the health, mortality and financial risks posed by this new form of risk, particularly with respect to the financial security systems and programs that many actuaries are responsible for managing.

Has the job of insurance and risk analysis become easier or tougher now? Are businesses more open to the need for having the right models on their side? Are climate risks and ransomware getting up in the priority list?

Insurance and risk analysis has become both easier and more difficult. The risks and their interdependencies have become more complex. However, the tools and models that actuaries use have also become more sophisticated. We now have the advantage of 'big data' and artificial intelligence that were not readily available just a decade ago. The opposing forces of risks and risk management are both developing rapidly. Insurance business leaders are aware of these rapid developments and are open to using new models, although most are also cognizant of the need for appropriate governance practices related to model development. Some of the biggest challenges of our time are tackling climate change and cyber threats. In this new environment, actuaries and their stakeholders are increasingly involved in assessing and responding to these global risks other than the pandemic.

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