An Actuary Like Me – Rade Musulin

The actuarial profession has provided me with a very strong platform to have a rewarding career. The professionalism standards and “brand” of actuaries opens many doors for one’s career. 

Rade Musulin has had a diverse career which has included a lot of “non-traditional” work, including catastrophe modelling, agriculture, reinsurance, public policy, and climate risk. Originally from the US, Rade has worked in countries across the world, and is now a Principal at Finity Consulting in Sydney, Australia, focusing on extreme events and climate risk. Previously he served as the Chief Executive Officer of FBAlliance Insurance, Chief Operating Officer of Aon Benfield Analytics Asia Pacific, and Vice President Operations, Public Affairs, and Reinsurance for the Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Companies. Rade has served as Chair of the Actuaries Institute Climate and Sustainability Working Group, Chair of the International Actuarial Association’s Resource and Environment Virtual Forum, and was Vice President – Casualty for the American Academy of Actuaries from 2016 – 2018.

What is the most valuable skill an actuary can possess?

Understanding the difference between a mathematically correct answer and the right one. Sometimes the two differ, particularly when one mixes social and public policy considerations. 

What is your advice for younger/rising actuaries?

Plan to continually refresh your skills and do not think your learning or training stops when you finish the exams. 

What’s something an outsider wouldn’t know about your industry? 

As the Institute at one time said, we are about “more than maths” — something an outsider wouldn’t know about our industry. Our real skill involves translating Greek into English, making complicated analytics useful in the real world. 

Any other cities/countries you have worked in?

I have worked across the world in more countries than I can list off the top of my head, including North America, the UK, Europe, almost everywhere in Asia and, of course, Australia and New Zealand. I have been fortunate to have had a global career specialising in extreme events, and later climate risk. I have been active in the International Actuarial Association. 

Rade speaks at ICA2023 plenary session in Sydney

What’s the most interesting trend for 2023?

Inflation is back. I started my actuarial career in 1979 when inflation was high, interest rates were much higher, and the economic situation was just as confused. I am now seeing the same thing near the end of my career.  

Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities for actuaries?

I am biased as it is what I work in, but climate and sustainability would have to be high on the list. The economic transformation that will happen in the next few decades will be similar in scope to the industrial revolution or the internet. There are huge opportunities for actuaries to play a role in this. 

What is your favourite random fact?

My favourite random fact is that actuary had its roots in the Roman empire as “actuarius”, which referred to clerks who recorded various data for the Senate. We are part of an ancient profession. 

What is on your bucket list?

To holiday in some of the countries I have worked in, without my work laptop.

If you had millions of dollars, what would you do every day?

I am not sure I would do much differently as I enjoy what I do, though I would have a nicer car and, likely, a bigger house. 

If you lived 500 years in the future, what do you think your profession would be?

I would be a Starship pilot. 

What’s the phone app you use most?

As someone who has no Facebook account, no Instagram, and generally tries to avoid using my phone for much other than talking on it, I do not really have a most used phone app. Maybe the weather, so I can see the radar on my phone. 

What do you do to recharge each day?

I am a vociferous reader in many areas. In particular, I read global news feeds to realise that, no matter how difficult things look locally, there are still many other places which have it much tougher.

What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?

I like to hike, kayak, and go outdoors in my free time.

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