Under the Spotlight with the YAAB – Timothy Lam

Timothy Lam, President of the Young Actuaries Program NSW and Data Analytics Actuary at Gen Re, features in the final edition of the special Young Actuaries Advisory Board (YAAB) ‘Under the Spotlight’ series.

A summary of myself in one sentence…Passionate in the development of younger members in our profession and bringing innovation to the life insurance industry.

Why did I join the YAAB?…I was part of the YAAB Task Force last year, and wanted to follow with implementation over the first year of YAAB and see where we can get to!

What do I enjoy the most about being involved with the YAAB?…Meeting and working with other passionate young actuaries across the world.

What has my experience been as a younger actuary so far in your career?…Opportunities are always out there for those who are willing to explore, and for me I have been lucky enough to be given opportunities to learn and grow as a young actuary.

What excites me about the influence the YAAB has on the future direction of the Actuaries Institute?…A structured arena for young members to be heard and included in the strategy and future of the profession!

My interesting/quirky hobbies…Basketball Referee – something I have dropped for five years since I started working fulltime but have picked back up since the start of this year. This might come as a surprise, but there actually are a couple of referees around who also are actuaries!


I’d like to be brave enough to…Skydive.

Short description of career…I spent the first four-and-a-half years working in consulting across traditional and non-traditional engagements. Earlier this year I joined Gen Re as a Data Analytics Actuary in Life Insurance.

I became an actuary because…Initially, it’s because I walked into Open Day at UNSW and did not know what actuarial studies is, so I gave it a try. Since working though, I continued to study to become an actuary because of our ability to balance technical and business needs whilst maintaining equity for society.

What I find most interesting about my current role…Balancing innovation with business constraints.

My role’s greatest challenges…Building a bridge between traditional analysis and more advanced analytics analysis for both actuarial and non-actuarial stakeholders.

My proudest career achievement to date is…Given the opportunity to present the Graduation for the 2014-2018 Lump Sum Experience last year.

Why I’m proud to be an actuary…Longstanding profession with such strong skillset that we can probably contribute in any industry!

The most valuable skill an actuary can possess is…Ability to analyse technical work and communicate effectively.

If I could travel back in time I would…Take a gap year between end of university and work.

Timothy receiving the Actuaries Institute’s Andrew Prescott Prize in 2018 from then-President Barry Rafe.

Actuarial capabilities I use in my current job…Various but if I am to pick two:

  • Communication
  • Application of Control Cycle:
    • Traditional – e.g. Experience Analysis
    • Non-traditional – e.g. Software and systems development

Skills actuaries should enhance to become more effective in my field of work…Statistical knowledge.

One of the most creative applications of actuarial capabilities that I have used in my career…A key actuarial capability is being able to analyse and communicate effectively to stakeholders. When I compare how I refereed five years ago and how I do it now, my ability to analyse and communicate efficiently and succinctly has contributed to better game and player management.

The most interesting or valuable job or project I have worked on in my career and why…KPMG’s Dynamic Risk Assessment. I worked with a small team of global professionals, none of which are actuaries, but all of which are more technical and/or have stronger business sense than me. The amount of knowledge and experience I have learnt over the two years there cannot be described by words and will have a lasting impact on my career.

The advice I would give aspiring actuaries to be able to do my job…Don’t be afraid to make propositions.

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