Blog 52: Interview with a European Actuary by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

It’s the 52nd blog, which means its been a year since I’ve started blogging! To remember this special day, I’ve decided to let you guys take a break from theory [理論] and thought I’d give you a bit of insight of an actuary who’s worked both in Asia [亞洲] and in Europe [歐洲], across a range of risk [風險管理] and Economic Capital [經濟資本] functions. Please reach out to Cedric [塞德里克], @cedric_thierry_jacquet, if you’d like to know more!

Specifically with Economic Capital modelling, he looks at where his company should best place money to generate the best returns. This is different to Regulatory Capital [監管資本], where the regulator requires you to hold money against certain exposures to protect against the company going insolvent [破產], which indirectly protects the company’s policyholders [投保人]. These two processes may sometimes give conflicting outcomes, but finding a balance between conflicts is something Cedric has to deal with.

In terms of working cultures [工作文化], even though he was doing similar roles in the different countries, he definitely notices lots of differences. Notably, the different local cultures drive the different types of products. For example, in Asia, there are a lot of savings and investment products [儲蓄和投資產品] with high guaranteed returns [保證回報]. The working styles are a bit different too, with Europe focusing on work-life balance and people empowerment [授權], whereas Asia might have more micromanagement [微觀管理]. He finds that in Asia, it takes more time to build relationships with people as everyone is more reserved, and also more focused on getting the job done quickly so that they can go home earlier (which explains why everything is so fast!). Teams are leaner in Asia, so prioritisation of work is very important, and he’s learnt to strike the right balance between being technically accurate and practicality.

If there was one piece of advice Cedric would give to all of you: just take the leap abroad!

Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.