Danielle Di Sano is currently the Non Retail Lead Credit Risk Modeller at Suncorp. She dreams of one day working as an actuary for a financial institution in Italy… but she needs to learn to speak Italian first!
My interesting/quirky hobbies… I collect and write with fountain pens. Writing with a nice pen just makes every day activities seem that little bit more special, whether it’s a long meeting or writing a shopping list.
My favourite energetic pursuit... is jogging. I participated in the Run Down Under challenge last year, which was great fun!
The sport I most like to watch… My partner used to be a football player, so I’m contractually obligated to say soccer.
The last book I read (and when)... I just finished reading David Walsh’s biography ‘A Bone of Fact’ - I read it to find out how he managed to make enough money gambling to fund a museum in Tasmania. Unfortunately, he didn’t provide enough detail to allow me to replicate his success.
My favourite artist/album/film… changes every week!
Where I studied to become an actuary and qualifications obtained... I studied at Macquarie University, completing a combined degree in Actuarial Studies and Law. I’m an AIAA and have my CERA qualification.
Why and how I became an actuary… I took actuarial studies in university because I enjoyed maths, but had always imagined that I would become a lawyer. It was only after I tried law that I started to seriously consider becoming an actuary as my career path.
I’d like to be brave enough to… live and work in another country one day. I’d love to live in Italy for a few years because it’s such a beautiful country with a great lifestyle, but I’m cognisant that it would be a huge challenge to leave my family and friends in Australia. Hopefully one day!
In my life I’m planning to change… how many languages I speak. I realise that if I really want to live in Italy one day I’ll need at least a passing knowledge of the language!
If I hadn’t become an actuary, I would be… a teacher. I’m constantly annoying all the little kids I know by trying to teach them “boring maths stuff”.
My work history… I began in the legal field, and spent just over 2 years at the Attorney General’s department dealing with cases of legal malpractice before I decided that law was not for me. I then went to Macquarie Bank in a variety of Credit Risk and Capital roles. Two years ago I moved over to Suncorp Bank to head up development of their non retail credit risk models.
What I find most interesting about my current role… The fact that my organisation was looking to develop entirely new credit risk models from the ground up. It’s been really enjoyable to do modelling starting from essentially a blank sheet of paper. It has offered me and my team a lot of opportunities for creativity and problem solving.
My role’s greatest challenges… helping end users of credit risk models to understand and use the models in an environment that necessarily involves a fast rate of change.
Who has been the biggest influence on my career (and why)... The fantastic women I’ve worked with who have believed in me and encouraged me to think intelligently about my career development and achieve more than I had thought I could.
My proudest career achievement to date is … Building from scratch first generation PD models across all of Suncorp’s non retail portfolios.
10 years from now, I will be … In a role that is both enjoyable and challenging.
Why I’m proud to be an actuary… Actuaries have exceptional problem solving and analytical skills, and for this reason the brand of actuary is a strong one that I am proud to be associated with.
The most valuable skill an actuary can possess is … curiosity. The best actuaries I’ve met are the ones who are able to challenge accepted thinking about solving problems, and who are constantly interested in learning new skills.
My best advice for younger actuaries… don’t have a fixed idea of roles that an actuary ‘should’ do. There are many different careers available for people with actuarial skills.
If I could travel back in time I would… give the younger me a Sports Almanac, like Biff in Back to the Future 2.
If I won the lottery, I would… still show up to work the next day! But there would probably be a long holiday to Europe in my near future!
Contact Danielle: firstname.lastname@example.org
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives CC BY-NC-ND Version 3.0 (CC Australia ported licence).
CPD Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.