Tim Yip, Director at Taylor Fry, features in the latest edition of the special Young Actuaries Advisory Board (YAAB) ‘Under the Spotlight’ series.

A summary of myself in one sentence…I’m friendly, curious and occasionally pedantic.

Why did I join the YAAB?…I was relatively disengaged with the Institute for a few years after qualification. However, over the last two years, through random chance, I became involved in a number of different working groups and committees. I greatly enjoyed the experience, and put my hand up for the YAAB to help encourage younger members to get involved with the Institute sooner.

What do I enjoy the most about being involved with the YAAB?…Having the chance to have a voice in Institute strategy through a direct line to Council.

Tasting an aged Rauzan-Segla in Napa Valley.

What has my experience been as a younger actuary so far in my career?…Humbling. As Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. – I credit almost all of my development as an actuary to working with and learning from brilliant people at my workplace.

What excites me about the influence the YAAB has on the future direction of the Actuaries Institute?…In my view, young member views are key to the long-term strategic initiatives of the Institute. I am excited by the opportunity to take part in acting as a conduit as part of the YAAB for young members to make their views known and championed to the Institute.

In high school, I wanted to be…A nuclear physicist.

My interesting/quirky hobbies…I am an avid wine enthusiast and collector, and a fan of all things Star Wars.

My favourite energetic pursuit…Snowboarding – I use almost all of my annual leave on this.

An overcast day at Vail.

What gets my goat…Imprecision and non-justification of assumptions.

I’d like to be brave enough to…Get a motorcycle license.

Not many people know this but I…Attended a David Duchovny (Fox Mulder of X-Files fame) concert in Wollongong. 

David also graciously signed my printout of the classic “I want to believe” poster, which now has pride of place at my workstation.

Short description of career…I joined Taylor Fry after completing an Actuarial Studies honours degree and a Math degree at UNSW, where I have remained since. My career to date has been in the traditional general insurance space – I’ve been involved with Appointed Actuary work, as well as valuation work for corporate workers’ compensation self-insurers.  

I became an actuary because…I wanted a commercial career that involved a high amount of mathematics.

Where I studied to become an actuary and qualifications obtained…Bachelor of Commerce (Actuarial Studies, Honours)/Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Statistics) at UNSW

I am most passionate about…Career-wise – giving high quality, pragmatic advice to my clients. And snowboarding.

Who has been the biggest influence on my career (and why)…The brilliant people I work with at Taylor Fry (too many to name here) – I’ve been immensely privileged to work with them, I wouldn’t be where I am now without their support, coaching and mentorship. Also, my university thesis supervisors in my honours research year – they moulded my mind to think more critically and precisely – this has been the basis of my consulting style.

Why I’m proud to be an actuary…I am proud of being a member of a profession that has an established reputation for being honest and trustworthy.

The most valuable skill an actuary can possess is…The ability to communicate the results of a complex modelling exercise in a clear and coherent way, understandable to an informed lay-audience.

Actuarial capabilities I use in my current job…Application of the control cycle, and the constant requirement to justify (whether it be quantitatively or qualitatively) all assumptions made, and uncertainties inherent, in advice I provide.

One of the most creative applications of actuarial capabilities that I have used in my career…Application of GLM modelling to help measure the impact of social policy reform in New Zealand.

Catch up on more Under the Spotlight profiles.

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