5 Minutes With… Pamela Hellig

Today, I’m excited to sit down with Pamela, Head of Insight Life Solutions to discuss her insights into the actuarial profession and her team’s experience with Mo.net.

Guy Shepherd: Pamela, before we dive into the specifics, could you share how you keep up with the ongoing changes in actuarial science?

Pamela: Absolutely, Guy. I find LinkedIn to be an invaluable resource for staying updated on industry discussions and publications. I actively follow individuals and groups with interests aligned with mine, such as IFRS 17, climate risk, and insurance regulation. Additionally, regular conversations with clients and colleagues, including our active WhatsApp group at Insight, keep me well-informed. It’s all about maintaining relationships and showing interest in key topics within our tight-knit community.

Guy: That sounds like a comprehensive approach to staying current. Now, Pamela, what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the actuarial profession?

Pamela: Can I share three related surprises?

  • That there are as many ways to be an actuary as there are actuaries!  You do not have to be the most technically minded person to add value to the profession – find the bits that come naturally to you and lean into them.
  • The actuarial community is just that – a community.  Any professional event is like being reunited with all your friends in one room.
  • Show a small amount of curiosity and enthusiasm and doors will open for you.

Guy: Those are indeed fascinating insights. Looking back, what has been your proudest moment as an actuary?

Interestingly, my involvement in presenting at the 2020 ASSA convention on the topic “Should we tax the anti-vax?” which advocated for using vaccination status as a rating factor before the COVID vaccine had become available.  This would become a very relevant issue in the months that followed and my research opened a lot of doors for me.

Guy: It’s intriguing how real-world experiences can shape our choices. Now, what aspects of Mo.net made it a compelling choice for Insight?

Pamela: Being a non-modeller myself, I reached out to some of my more technically skilled colleagues. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Very easy to learn and quick to pick up.
  • Quick to actually implement a working model, going from 0 to something working is fast.
  • Every variable is like it’s own fully fledged script allowing for full logic like for loops and variable declarations, within every variable.
  • Allows a super user to get as crazy as they want with external components; being able to create classes and doing proper object-oriented programming. It has all these advanced features, but you don’t have to use them or even know about them to make a successful model.
  • Tasks can also be coded to gain extra flexibility and do all sorts of automation.
  • Able to create a dll and executable so a model can be “used” and run from outside of Mo.Net by another programme.
  • It plays well with the other technologies. 
  • It works with git.

Guy: Some compelling reasons indeed. Can you share any specific outcomes or successes resulting from using Mo.net?

Pamela: Certainly. We successfully migrated the cash flow models of one of our clients from Excel to Mo.net in a very short space of time.  The migration has greatly sped up and derisked their valuation process.

Guy: That’s impressive to hear. Finally, Pamela, what would you say is the most valuable feature of Mo.net for your team?

Pamela: I would say the intuitiveness of the software.  Very junior members of our team (graduates a few months into their first jobs) have been able to pick it up within weeks, which has allowed them exposure to clients and projects they might otherwise not have seen.  It has also allowed them to focus on the important stuff: actuarial concepts and analysis of results rather than needing to spend all their time trying to understand how to use the software.

Guy: Thank you so much for sharing your valuable insights today. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

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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