Articles - A New Series of Lights Camera Actuary


The next focus for Bolton Associates’ Spotlight page, is an interview with a leading actuary within one of the market’s actuarial technology providers. As the world, including the Lloyd’s and London Market, look to use AI techniques, and automated modelling in our data-rich world, both self-starters and larger corporations have turned their gaze and interest to using technology and modelling to automate systems, generate prices and break boundaries.

 These providers to the insurance markets, know what both underwriters and brokers need, and how the actuaries within them can benefit from the tools and software they can provide. For the next few months Zoe Bolton will be talking to the senior actuaries in these firms, getting a brief insight into their career paths and visions for the future.

 This month Zoe talks to Amrit Santhirasenan Co-founder and CEO of Hyperexponential (HX).

 What is your current role, and how did you end up in it?

 I’m the Co-founder and CEO of hyperexponential (hx) – an analytical technology company that is building the next generation of pricing and data-driven decision-making software for the specialty and commercial (re)insurance market.

 What is the defining moment of your career to date?

 This is an easy one - quitting my very comfortable and well-regarded job as the Head of Pricing and Analytics at one of the largest managing agents at Lloyd’s to set up a technology start-up selling very modern technology to very traditional insurers!

 In your opinion, what prepared you best to take on your current role?

 While nothing can prepare you for the whirlwind that follows founding a tech start-up, I have built a lot of teams from scratch in my career. When I was 25, Catlin took a chance on me and sent me to Toronto to set up the actuarial function for their Canadian Hub – one of their six underwriting centres. My manager at the time likened it to being a Chief Actuary of a $100m Syndicate – the combination of new role, people, home and continent was definitely a baptism of fire! It was brilliant though and gave me the taste for taking a step into the unknown.

 What is the biggest challenge you face in your role within this market?

 The sales cycle (time from first handshake to signed deal) can be extremely long – most insurers are not used to working with cutting-edge tech and modern software delivery practices. However, the times are changing and there is a massive gulf between the most progressive insurers (many of whom we are glad to have as clients) and the bulk of the market!

 How does your actuarial training and background assist in your day-to-day role now?

 There is massive value in being able to understand and model the dynamics of a business’s finances, and understand financial risk – a start-up is an inherently very high risk, high reward venture, and having a handle on how to contain and balance such risks has helped me ensure hx is well-positioned to reap the rewards.

 When did you first join the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries, and what advice would you give to those students looking to emulate your career path?

 I started my career in November 2005. Advice-wise, my formula is extremely simple: find something you love doing, work extremely hard and be focused on your goals as well as what you’re putting in. If you’re smart and hard-working enough to make it through the exams, there’s not much professionally you can’t achieve.

 And most importantly, don’t waste time on things that aren’t making you happier, smarter, or a better person – sort those out and success follows. If it’s not working, learn from it and change it!

 If you had your time again, what would you do, career-wise?

 See above – I’ve very very few regrets in my career. Maybe I should have started hx earlier, but that’s ancient history in start-up time…

 Please share your favourite piece of trivia with our readers!

 I spent one of my university summers in the south of France, where I was arrested for a crime I didn’t commit. (I was released without charge!)

  

 Bolton Associates focuses specifically in the non-life actuarial space; now a team of six, we are the largest dedicated GI actuarial specialist in the market, whilst not sitting within one of the larger more generic insurance recruitment firms. 

 We work throughout the Lloyd’s market, often placing the Chief Actuary or CRO and building the teams underneath these individuals. During the relationship we often assist the client with the structure of their teams, be they product focused or skillset focused. 

 The key for all the consultants at Bolton Associates is to offer an exceptional service to every client, whilst managing the process with the utmost tact and respect for all parties. 

 We are all passionate about our market, and take great interest in the insurance world as a whole, keeping up with trends and changes, and maintaining our ever-expanding network. 

 Whilst it may sound trite, it is true that we are good at what we do, because we enjoy what we do.
 
  

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