5 Minutes With… Cornelius Franken

Author Su Berry

Software Alliance’s Su Berry spends 5 minutes with Cornelius Franken, Founder and Managing Director of CJF Consulting to discuss his experience with Mo.net and the benefits it has brought to his actuarial modelling processes.

S: Hi Corné thank you for meeting with me. It’s great to connect again. I’d love to know, when did you first encounter the Mo.net Platform and what were your initial thoughts on the software?

C: It was in 2007. I was the appointed actuary for a start-up life company back then and I had the task of projecting our future capital requirements. At first, this was done in Excel, but I soon realised that Excel was not ideal for the exercise. One could do simple projections, but once you start to evaluate a large portfolio in different scenarios, you quickly get into a rather complex modelling challenge for Excel. You lose the overview of the calculations and can so easily make a simple error, for example not summing all the cells in a column – this happened to me many times in the past!

At that point, I started looking at actuarial software solutions. I had experience with one of the major players in the market, but their software package was too expensive at that time for our start-up budget. I then stumbled across Mo.net, either through the UK Actuary magazine or at the IFoA’s annual life convention. During the 30-day trial period I was quickly hooked and within a short space of time and no prior experience of the software, I could build cash flow projection models. By the way, these models were still in use when Solvency II came our way a couple of years later and gave us a good head start with the Solvency II implementations.

S: You mentioned you had experience with another actuarial solution. Did did you explore any other alternative platforms or solutions before deciding on Mo.net?

C: Over the years I have had experience with a couple of alternative platforms. But I have not come across another platform which is as easy to get into as Mo.net. For example, just installing an alternative actuarial solution took me more than a day and many international calls to their client service.

These days I see many companies going the open-source route. With students now coming out of varsity as proficient R or Python programmers, these software solutions have some obvious attractions. However, building an actuarial cash flow projection framework is a challenge of a different kind.

I am quite fond of both R and Python, but Mo.net is still my go-to solution for actuarial modelling. It provides a framework where one can set up actuarial products and projections. With the open-source solutions, one must set up the modelling framework yourself and maintain it as new packages or new software versions are released. This update and software maintenance job SAL takes over for us Mo.net users. Smaller teams do not have the time and budget to build and maintain such a modelling platform.

S: Wow that’s great to hear, and we’re glad that we can handle the maintenance burden for you. Are there any other specific benefits or advantages of the platform that you’ve noticed over the years?

C: One of the key advantages for us was the integration with Excel. We could easily summarise and analyse the run results within Excel, which made it seamless for our workflow. The software is modern, open-source, and well-documented, which I cannot fault and its interaction with other Microsoft products and the Windows operating system is excellent and provides a cohesive user experience.

S: Thanks Corné, so in summary, how would you describe your overall experience with Mo.net?

C: My overall experience with Mo.net has been exceptional. It has become my go-to solution for actuarial modelling. Mo.net has significantly improved our efficiency and accuracy in projecting future capital requirements, giving us a competitive edge in the industry.

This post is part of the #5minuteswith series of articles from people in the #actuarial #finance and #riskmanagement space. If you would like to be involved please get in touch:

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