Under the Spotlight with Avanti Patki

As a seasoned life insurance and wealth management actuary, Avanti Patki currently leads the pricing and product strategy for a young life insurer. 

Thriving on combining innovative actuarial know-how with managing relationships across diverse teams, Avanti has been recognised with the Young Volunteer Achievement Award and is the current chair of the Associates Advisory Taskforce. From crunching numbers to cracking bad actuarial jokes, Avanti is your ‘go-to actuary’ who has a knack for balancing risk and charm!

Why did you start volunteering with us?

While it may sound cliché, the true reason I began volunteering is that I aim to be the change I want to see in the actuarial profession. Actuaries today stand on the shoulders of giants and I love to be a part of that pyramid, lifting and pushing the future of the profession to new heights. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I get to meet a multitude of talented and friendly actuaries along the way

What did you hope to achieve by volunteering?

The holy trinity of achievement for me is community, contribution and change.

  • Community: Foremost, I love fostering real connections and creating a buzzing network with industry peers.
  • Contribution: The actuarial profession has helped me distinguish myself in the professional sphere. Being an actuary has lent my career gravitas and helped me secure a seat at the table very early on in my journey. This is a reflection of just how powerful the actuarial brand is and the value it creates for its members. I’d love to be able to give back to the profession so I can continue contributing to its greatness.
  • Change: The profession has come a long way since its birth. I would consider it a great achievement if I could influence its continued evolution, and volunteering is the perfect platform to do so.


Can you share any special moments from volunteering that made you proud?

My current volunteering role with the Associate Advisory Taskforce (AAT) has been an exercise in understanding the difficulties faced by actuaries holding the AIAA  (Associate) designation.

It makes me particularly proud that our team is in a unique position to influence the “user experience” for future AIAAs. Here’s hoping the work of the Taskforce today will yield tangible improvements for the AIAAs of tomorrow!

How do you manage volunteering  with your other responsibilities?

I answer this in acknowledgement of my position as an actuary who is neither a parent nor is currently sitting exams. I likely have the privilege and luxury of more time than some others in the profession!

My main rule for time management is choosing a small number of select commitments in a given period and doing them well.

Making sure I don’t over-commit or spread myself too thin has been key for me as it means I can meet my volunteering commitments while still hitting my work, health and recreational goals.

Did you learn anything new about yourself while volunteering?

Each of my volunteering roles has taught me something new about myself.

As a graduate actuary in the Young Actuaries Program, I discovered that I love collaborating with people, not just trawling through code on a screen. This realisation shaped the kinds of professional roles I would subsequently pursue.

The first time I hosted a panel at an actuarial conference as a young actuary, I identified that I needed to improve my listening skills. Learning about this blind spot was key in making me a better listener and communicator.

Now, chairing the AAT has reinforced my belief in the power of collective action and the importance of serving others with humility and empathy.

What advice would you give to someone who’s not sure about volunteering?

There are so many volunteering opportunities with the Actuaries Institute, so you are bound to find something that resonates with your personal values.

In my opinion, pushing through the initial discomfort of putting your hand up is well worth it, offering a chance to give back, a meaningful professional network and the opportunity to influence the trajectory of such a vibrant profession.

How do you think volunteering can help with building a personal brand?

Well, if one’s personal brand were a burger (and I like to think I know a lot about burgers!), then volunteering would be the secret sauce. It’s like adding that extra flavour to make your brand stand out in a buffet of plain old cheese-burgers. As a bonus, it comes with a satisfying side of making a lasting difference!

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