The global network of actuaries is awesome and has introduced me to lots of great people.
Jas is a qualified actuary with over a decade of experience in Australia and the UK. He has held roles, primarily in the Life and GI space, at direct, reinsurance and consulting companies. He has an unparalleled network of connections within the actuarial profession, with strong personal and professional relationships across Australia, NZ, Asia Pacific, and the UK, as well as throughout the insurance sector. Jas is now MD of Australia’s largest specialist actuarial recruitment and executive search firm, SKL Executive.
Why are you proud to be an actuary?
The training is so comprehensive and equips you to deal with the multi-faceted issues you face in running businesses of all sizes – big, medium and small. The global network of actuaries is awesome and has introduced me to lots of great people whom I love interacting with and engaging in intelligent dialogues and discussions with.
What is the most valuable skill an actuary can possess?
I would say courage. Courage is rare generally, but if you combine courage with amazing technical actuarial training – the sky is the limit.
What is your best advice for younger/ rising actuaries?
Learn to “think” and not just focus on passing exams. Make lots of friends and build a strong network of like-minded people. Experience life and broaden your horizons and “live life” as time will not come back.
What’s something an outsider wouldn’t know about your industry?
Never believe the stereotype. Actuaries are incredible fun sociable once you get to know them and awesome friends and colleagues.
Any other cities/countries you have worked in?
In the early stages of my career, I worked in the UK. I started in Peterborough for a year, then moved to London for 2 years. It was a fantastic experience and I would recommend anyone to work overseas if they have the opportunity. I am also well connected in Singapore and Hong Kong and regularly visit both of these places for business.
What’s the most interesting trend for 2023?
End of COVID-19 lockdowns, travels emerging and establishing of “new norms” of working and living.
Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities for actuaries?
Advancing the traditional work and incorporating within the advancements in data analytics and new sophisticated tools to play with data and relay it to the management in bit sized, understandable and useful bits without diluting the full message.
What do you do to recharge each day?
I like to start the day with some form of exercise, either with my personal trainer at the gym, yoga, playing squash or playing golf. I also take time throughout the day to do stretching, and doing my 10,000 steps.
What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I love playing golf and play most weekends. I also enjoy learning new languages (French and Mandarin) – don’t ask me how and why I took up this hard challenge but I foresee this to be a lifetime challenge 😊. Of course, I love spending time with my family and 2 young children and extended family and friends.
What’s the phone app you use most?
Apple Health App.
What is your favourite random fact?
Most English words come from French – my French tutor proudly repeated this every week.
What is on your bucket list?
Global Golf Tour and playing around top courses in the world.
If you had millions of dollars, what would you do every day?
Explore the world in my own private sailing boat, playing lots of golf and interacting with smart, innovative and optimistic people.
If you lived 500 years in the future, what do you think your profession would be?
It would still exist which shows my belief in its strong fundamentals and quality people it attracts.
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