Charles Pollack

Title… Chief Actuary

Organisation… Youi Pty Ltd

Summarise yourself in one sentence… A competitive person who is always willing to call a spade a spade but then at the end of the day spend quality time with the family

My interesting/quirky hobbies… Plane spotting and train spotting

My favourite energetic pursuit… Cycling up a hill somewhere, followed closely by rowing

The sport I most like to watch… Le Tour (and it coincides nicely with EOFY late night work!)

The last book I read (and when)… QF32 – some time in 2013

My favourite artist / album / film… Steve Winwood

The person I’d most like to cook for… My wife and kids

I’m most passionate about… People taking responsibility for themselves and their actions

What gets my goat… The handout/ entitlement mentality

I’d like to be brave enough to… Spend a month with no means of electronic communication

In my life I’m planning to change… The amount of time I allocate to reading (do more)

Not many people know this but I… Paddle my kayak to work when my timetable permits

Four words that sum me up… Focused, energetic, fun, creative

What I wanted to be when I grew up… Train driver (before high school), Pilot (high school)

Why and how I became an actuary… In 1989 the Pilot’s dispute put an end to any aspirations of being a pilot that I had. Actuary sounded interesting and tapped into all of the things I was good at in school. At that time a marketing pack went around to schools and my Maths teacher put me on to it, so off to Sydney I went

Where I studied to become an actuary and qualifications obtained… Macquarie Uni – B.Ec.

My work history… Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance for a couple of years (finance department gave me the best all-round view of an insurance company that I could ever hope to start with, and a great understanding of the GI P&L), FAI for three years including 12 months in the marketing department, Suncorp for nearly 10 years, then Youi for the last five years

What I find most interesting about my current role… The opportunity (and organisational willingness) to (take the risk to) make changes that improve things

My role’s greatest challenges… Balancing the ‘creating’ side with the routine ‘non-negotiable’ work

Who has been the biggest influence on my career (and why)… At work, my manager at FAI – Ian Heppell – who inspired me to be creative in my role and gave me the opportunity to learn some really cool and valuable techniques. Overall, my wife Melissa who has supported me for over 20 years, including moving cities and moving to a less secure ‘start-up’ opportunity at a time when we were renovating our house

My proudest career achievement to date is… GIPE – Suncorp’s ‘GI Pricing Engine’

10 years from now, I will be… Probably still kayaking to work

Why I’m proud to be an actuary… We can work behind the scenes to make a difference to everyday people

When I retire, my legacy will be… GIPE already is one ‘legacy’ (don’t mention the word legacy and insurance systems – that is nearly always a bad thing!). Throughout my career hopefully I have helped others I have worked with/managed to develop their own skills and make their careers meaningful

The most valuable trait an actuary can possess is… Thinking outside the square

If I were president of the Institute, one thing I would improve is… Market ‘Actuary’ to schools more effectively

At least once in their life, every actuary should… Take a risk

My best advice for younger actuaries… Develop good skills working with and analysing data – they will take you a long way

If I could travel back in time I would… Take a bit more time to smell the roses

If I win the lottery, I would… Take a bit more time to smell the roses

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