The 12th Annual Australian Insurance Industry Awards showcased the unique contribution of actuaries to the industry. ANZIIF’s Dimity Mannering reports.
Numbers don’t lie. It is a truth universally accepted (in the insurance industry at least. Those times you end up at a dinner debating with someone who declares a set of statistics irrelevant… they don’t work in insurance).
This is why when actuarial firm Finity was announced the Professional Services Firm of the Year at the Australian Insurance Industry Awards in August, the crowd acknowledged the win with due reverence. It was undeniable: six times a trophy does an exceptional business make.
But it is a rare Industry Awards when actuaries are not recognised for their contribution to the industry. On this point the data, as usual, doesn’t lie.
This is the sixth time Finity has won the Award (after five wins they were inducted into the Hall of Fame). Actuarial firm Taylor Fry took out the title in 2014. And while competition for the Professional Services category is fierce (consulting, accounting and law firms all vie for the same title – an extremely ambitious group), the actuaries so often emerge the victors.
This is, of course, due to the significant contribution that actuaries make to the insurance business. Their data and insights are key to innovation, decision-making and business success. It flows from this that there is a natural respect for numbers and those who work with them.
But Australia’s actuaries don’t only provide data; they also rack up their own impressive stats: they present at tens of events, write research papers by the ton, and provide generous financial support to industry projects. These are the numbers that prove their contribution, and they speak just as well of the figure-loving souls as the cold hard data that they gift to the industry.
‘Evidence and data dictate everything the insurance industry does, and so it is natural that we respect those who work fluently with numbers. But we also recognises another side of it: that actuaries provide incredible thought leadership and support insurance businesses far beyond what might be expected – the industry sees this.’ said Prue Willsford, CEO of ANZIIF, which co-hosts the Awards with the Asia Insurance Review.
This is a sentiment Estelle Pearson, Finity Managing Director, shares.
“As an independent firm of just over 100 staff Finity is incredibly proud to be awarded the title of Professional Services Firm of the year for 2015.
The award is recognition of not only the work we do, but it also recognises the valuable role actuaries play as professional advisors to the Insurance industry. The contribution made by actuaries these days goes well beyond the traditional roles of loss reserving and product pricing and takes actuaries into areas of advice including capital management, risk management, product development, corporate strategy and of course big data. Finity strives to deliver value to its clients across all of these areas while also sharing insights at an Industry level through our regular publications and forums. We have a real passion for insurance so winning this award is like winning an Oscar!”
The winners of the 2015 Australian Insurance Industry Awards are:
Small Broker of the Year
Consult Insurance Solutions Pty Ltd
Medium Broker of the Year
GSA Insurance Brokers
Large Broker of the Year
Underwriting Agency of the Year
Small-Medium General Insurance Company of the Year
Hospitality Employers Mutual Limited
Large General Insurance Company of the Year
Life Insurance Company of the Year
Innovation of the Year
Professional Services Firm of the Year
Service Provider to the Insurance Industry
Women’s Employer of the Year
Insurance Australia Group
Youth Development Employer of the Year
BT Financial Group
Young Insurance Professional of the Year
Katherine Ashby – (BT Financial Group)
Insurance Leader of the Year
Mike Wilkins (IAG)
ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award
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