Actuarial Education Team - new hires

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With a new education model approved for implementation beginning in 2019, Daniel Smith, Convenor of the Education Strategy Review Committee, outlines the background of three newly-hired actuarial educators at the Institute.

We have been investigating potential education models for over a year and have taken on board extensive feedback from members and other stakeholders on the initial design.  Towards the end of last year Council approved a new education model to be implemented over a phased timeline commencing in 2019.  Whilst there is much work to complete before a new program is finalised, we have moved to the implementation stage with the hiring of three experienced actuaries to fill the role of actuarial educators.

All three are passionate about education and we would like to introduce the new in-house actuarial education team.

Dr. Mike Callan FIAA:  Lead Actuarial Educator (Melbourne based)

Mike has experience in many areas of life insurance and wealth management across Europe through his role as Head of Actuarial for the continental European division of a large UK bank.  A challenging, yet rewarding, part of the role involved ‘grandfathering’ newly qualified actuaries into professional practice and helping them realise learning does not stop on qualification.

After a few years in one of the big four consultancy firms in Australia and a large life insurer, Mike moved to Monash University in 2014 to create their Part II program. Mike has found it an incredibly rewarding experience helping students transition from the well-defined mathematical subjects to the critical thinking skills required to provide advice to clients. Moving to the Institute to design and deliver Fellowship and Associate material is a natural step and Mike is looking forward to assisting in creating a world-class education system that creates a valued educational experience for students.

Amanda Aitken FIAA: Actuarial Educator (Melbourne based)

Amanda is an actuary with a range of career experiences, including leading the actuarial team at WorkSafe, co-founding Actuarial Edge, a boutique actuarial consulting firm, and mentoring and tutoring at high school, university and graduate level. Amanda particularly enjoys using her actuarial skills in new and exciting ways, outside traditional areas of actuarial work.

As a teenager, Amanda had high hopes of becoming a primary school teacher, until her grandmother steered her onto the actuarial path. Yet throughout her actuarial career, her passion for teaching has drawn her to a number of education related opportunities, including running Actuarial 101 style workshops for non-actuarial colleagues and coordinating MOOC study groups through the Data Analytics Working Group. Amanda is excited about combining her love of teaching with her actuarial skillset in the Actuarial Educator role.

Steve Holstein FIAA: Actuarial Educator (Sydney based)

Steve Holstein brings over 25 years’ experience as an actuary working in product pricing and development, capital management and consulting.  He has worked at MLC, BT where he headed the product development team, EY and Suncorp.  Steve was a member of the Institute’s Risk Capital Taskforce whose recommendations provided valuable groundwork for APRA’s capital review. More recently, Steve completed a Masters of Teaching at UNSW and has taught mathematics, from remedial to HSC extension classes, in public high schools. He has a passion for using technology to enhance learning.

Other HQ changes

Following moving her family to Melbourne last year, Sarah Tedesco has taken on a new role of Head of Strategic Projects and will oversee the new Actuarial Education Team and manage the implementation of the new Education Program and Continuing Professional Development Program Business Plan.  Tony Burke (who job shared with Sarah in 2017) has commenced in a new role of Head of Member Service Operations and will be focused on overseeing the member services team and managing projects in professional standards, IT and data analytics.

Education Volunteers

An immense amount of work is completed by members of the profession on a volunteer or paid basis ranging from tutoring to the setting of exam questions and marking of exams.  While some of these roles will be taken on by Staff Actuarial Educators over the next five years (with more roles planned to be recruited over the next three years), many member education roles will also remain.  Sarah, Mike and the team will be working closely with the Education Faculties, to ensure the current high standards to qualify will not change in a new environment.

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About the author

Daniel Smith

Daniel is a Principal of Taylor Fry and has been a consultant specialising in the general insurance and accident compensation areas for over 20 years. He is the Convenor of the Organising Committee for the 2022 International Congress of Actuaries (ICA), to be held in Sydney.

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