This is the first of a series of interviews sponsored by the Entrepreneurial & Innovation Section of the Society of Actuaries.  Each participant is an actuary that has chosen an unusual professional path, whether in an area where few actuaries have been before or in a traditional area but with a new business model or a new role.  What these actuaries share in common is their entrepreneurial & innovation spirit.

 

In this interview, Stephen Camilli, shares with us highlights of his career that started as an actuarial assistant at Hewitt Associates.  Little he knew then that his actuarial education was going to serve him well in a variety of roles that for most actuaries lie outside the boundaries of the possible.   Stephen shares his views about the non-actuarial skills he developed along the way and discusses certain aspects of exam preparation.  As a former literary agent, Stephen also recommends some of his favorite books, including one written by a prisoner (a famous one) in a concentration camp.


Are you leading a virtual team or work virtually?  Hear about some ideas for a virtual "dream team".  At the 2016 Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Frank Chechel, Zohair Motiwalla and Anne Katcher led an interactive workshop which took participants through two virtual team case studies.  This podcast shares a summary of the best ideas coming out of that session.


Tax Section: Product Tax Implications of the Adoption of the 2017 CSO Tables

This article is part one of a two part series addressing product tax implications of the adoption of the 2017 CSO Tables. Part 1 describes the mortality requirements of sections 7702 and 7702A​. From the October 2016 Taxing Times. Written by John T. Adney, Craig Springfield and Brian King. Read by Dan Theodore, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: TT_Oct2016_2017_CSO_Part_1_32kbps_10Dec2016.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 4:16pm CST

Predictive Analytics and Futurism Section: Ensemble Predictive Modeling

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about ensemble predictive modeling.  The most accurate predictive models are not any single predictive model; they are ensembles of different models.  This discussion explores what types of ensembles are common, and some of the theory that explains their surprising power.  Understanding some of this theory can help you identify problems or individual models that might benefit most from ensembling.


Investment Section Chair, Jeff Passmore, FSA, EA, FCA and Vice-Chair Kelly Featherstone, FSA, ACIA discuss the council strategic plan to double the value of Investment Section membership for the next five years.

Direct download: Investment_Podcaast_-_Double_for_Five_Initiative.mp3
Category:Investment & Risk -- posted at: 2:59pm CST

Joe Slater FSA, MAAA talks about how under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all groups with 50 or less employees will eventually be subject to the ACA’s modified community rating rules. While some groups will see lower premiums than they would have without the ACA, others will see significant premium increases. Though self-funding has historically only been a realistic option for groups with at least a few hundred employees, the premium disruption and potential loss of business caused by the ACA has incentivized insurance carriers and third party administrators to develop self-funded product offerings for small groups. These products are commonly referred to as Level Funding products.

Direct download: Health_Podcast_-_Level_Funding_with_Joe_Slater.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 5:11pm CST

Predictive Analytics and Futurism Section: Decision Trees

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about decision trees.  Decision trees are an important class of predictive models that are not often covered in traditional statistics classes.  Although it is becoming more rare to use a single decision tree, they are an important building block in at least two of the most prevalent ensemble learning methods in use today.  This discussion tries to lay the groundwork so the next sessions can focus on RandomForests and Gradient Boosting Machines.


Dave Petta, FSA, MAAA and Karen Shelton, FSA, MAA discuss their article on Private Exchanges published in the May 2015 issue of HealthWatch  Listen as they describe the tenets of Private Exchanges, how they differ from Public exchanges and their current outlook.

Direct download: Health_Podcast_with_D_Dillon_K_Shelrton_and_D_Petta.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 9:43am CST

Cindy Levering was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to the ERISA Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans effective 2016 as the representative of the Actuarial consulting profession.  Cindy and Andrea Sellars discuss the background, structure and activities of the Council as well as the opportunity and impact Actuaries have at the table. 

Direct download: Pension_Section_-_ERISA_Advisory_Council_with_C_Levering.mp3
Category:Pension -- posted at: 11:11am CST

Grace Lattyak and Andrea Sellars have a discussion about the Real Deal Study, a look at retirement income adequacy at large companies.  This study by Aon Hewitt projects retirement income adequacy individually for more than two million employees and uses that data to form insights about the state of retirement income adequacy among employees of large companies.

 

Direct download: Pension_Section_-_Retirement_Income_Adequacy_with_G_Lattyak.mp3
Category:Pension -- posted at: 10:59am CST

This podcast features Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviewing Gayle Brekke, FSA, MAAA on the topic of Direct Primary Care, a topic which is also covered in her article in the May issue of Health Watch.  This podcast introduces the direct primary care model, and outlines how it can improve care coordination, ensure that chronic conditions are well-controlled, reduce health care spending and improve the doctor/patient relationship. 

 

Direct download: Health_Section_-_Direct_Primary_Care_with_G_Brekke.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 3:29pm CST

This podcast features Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviewing Sabrina Gibson, FSA, MAAA, and Jenny Gerstorff, FSA, MAAA on the topic of Medicaid encounter data, a topic which is also featured as the cover article of the latest edition of In the Public Interest. They discuss how various stakeholders collect, transfer, and use encounter data to understand healthcare benefits provided under managed Medicaid programs throughout the country.

Direct download: Health_Section_-_Medicaid_and_Encounter_Data_w_S_Gibson_and_J_Gerstorff.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:42am CST

In this podcast, Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviews Kristi Bohn, FSA, MAAA, EA, MSPA on a state regulators insight regarding rate reviews.

Direct download: Health_Section__Rate_Review_with_Kristie_Bohn.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:40am CST

Woolford London, ASA, MAAA, Chair of the Actuary of the Future Section Council has a conversation with Sarah Walsh and Yi Yang on developing soft skills, working in different fields and his experiences being an actuarial student and working as an actuary.


Melissa Carruthers, FSA, Senior Consultant at Deloitte Canada has a conversation with Sarah Walsh on her experiences working as an actuary in both traditional and nontraditional roles.


Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviews Greg Fann, FSA, FCA, MAAA on his May 2016 Health Watch article “Section 1332 Waivers: Coming Soon to a State Near You?”. This discussion covers the process of states applying for waivers of ACA rules, the role of actuaries in the process, current state activities, and the potential market benefits of innovative solutions.

Direct download: Health_Section_-_ACA_Update_with_Greg_Fann1.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 9:35am CST

In this podcast, Patrick McGinnis, author of the recently released book, The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job, shares his thoughts on how actuaries can leverage their unique skill set into being part-time (10%) entrepreneurs.  Patrick will be offering a 75 minute webinar on this same topic with the SOA on September 21st.


Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq., reads “Chairperson’s Corner,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Dustin Hetzler, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: 13_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_03_Chairpersons_Corner.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:54am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “Socio-Economic Mortality Differentials and Concentration Risk,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Kai Kaufhold.


Listen in as Michelle Lerch, FSA, MAAA, reads “Editorial: The Intersection of Behavioral Economics and Life Insurance: How might Don Draper have sold Life Insurance,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Ronald Poon-Affat, FSA, FIA, MAAA, CFA, with Jason Hurley, FIA, by special invitation.

Direct download: 15_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_04_Editorial_Behavioral_Economics_v2.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:51am CST

Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq., reads the review of “’Moonwalking with Einstein- The Art and Science of Remembering Everything’, by Joshua Foer,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Dave Snell, ASA, MAAA.

Direct download: 16_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_34_Moonwalking_with_Einstein.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:49am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “How Can Life Insurers Improve the Performance of Their In-Force Portfolio?” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Andrew Harley and Ian Farr.


Listen in as Harindra Sebastian, FSA, FCIA, MAAA, MBA reads his article “Results of the 2015 Life Reinsurance Survey,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News.


Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq., and Michelle Lerch, FSA, MAAA, read “Q&A With Greig Woodring,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Reinsurance News.

Direct download: 19_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_08_QA_With_Greig_Woodring_v2.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:42am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “’RAPA’ Origins: Reinsurance Administration Professionals Association,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Greg LaRochelle.

Direct download: 20_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_30_RAPA_Origins.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:40am CST

Listen in as Sarah Tanner reads “Trees That Feed,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by S. Michael McLaughlin, FSA, CERA, FIA, MAAA.

Direct download: 21_2016_July_Reinsurance_News_27_Trees_That_Feed.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 10:38am CST

Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq., reads “Tales From A Journey of Discovery,” which was featured in the July 2016, Reinsurance News, written by John M. Bragg, FSA, ACAS, MAAA.


The Insurance Branch in IRS Chief Counsel’s National Office recently issued a Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) memorandum regarding the Dividends Received Deduction in the separate account partnership fund context.  The conclusions reached in the CCA constituted a victory of significance for the taxpayer involved, and while not constituting precedent, should benefit other life insurance companies in comparable situations.   From the June 2016 Taxing Times.   Written by Samuel A. Mitchell and John T. Adney.  Read by Dan Theodore, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: TT_June_2016_DRD_Guidance.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 9:25am CST

Predictive Analytics and Futurism Section: Penalized Regression

Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA, and Michael Niemerg, FSA, MAAA, about penalized regression.  Penalized regression can be thought of as the result of applying actuarial credibility to linear modeling.  They explain the statistical theory behind it and the practical reasons an actuary might apply it.  They also touch on some useful implementations that are freely available as open source libraries for R and Python.


Predictive Analytics and Futurism Section: Predictive Modeling Case Study – Life Insurance Underwriting

Listen in as Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA, from Milliman interviews Vince Granieri, FSA, MAAA, EA from Predictive Resources.  Vince presents a case study of applying predictive analytics to a classical actuarial problem: life insurance underwriting.  Vince walks us through building up his team, his capabilities and his models to provide more useful solutions with predictive analytics.


2016 Life and Annuity presenter, Nancy Reece, Executive Coach and Senior Leadership Consultant, and Kelly Hennigan, FSA, CFA, Chair of the Leadership and Development Section Council discuss the themes from the 360 Leadership workshop – specifically leading yourself as well as building trust in workplace relationships.  The discussion includes trust development and the concept of “triangulation”.


The treatment of foreign operations U.S. tax purposes is complex, and the addition of the insurance component adds to the complexity.  This article will give the listener an introduction to the treatment of wholly owned foreign insurance company subsidiaries of US insurers.  From the June 2016 Taxing Times. Written by Tim Branch.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: InTheBeginning_ForeignInsOps__June2016.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 2:27pm CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “Canadian Reinsurance Conference 2016: ReDefining Leadership,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by François Lemieux.


Listen in as Mark Tanner, FSA, MAAA, reads “Standalone Long-term Care- Is Now the Time for Reinsurers to Enter?,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Marc Glickman, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: Ep_11_Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_28_Standalone_LTC.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:31am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “Catastrophic Medical Excess Reinsurance Coverage and Claim Trends,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Mark Troutman.


Listen in as Michelle Lerch, FSA, MAAA reads “Reinsurance Girl,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Mairi Mallon.

Direct download: Ep_09_Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_08_Reinsurance_Girl.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:22am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “Enhanced Annuities: Caring for At-Retirement Needs,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Mick James.


Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq. reads “Suicide Facts and Prevention,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Jason McKinley, FSA.

Direct download: Ep_07_Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_32_Suicide_Facts__Prevention.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:06am CST

Listen in as David Elias, FSA, MAAA, reads “Editorial: Why the Clever and Lazy Might Make the Best Leaders,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Ronald Poon-Affat, FSA, FIA, MAAA, CFA.

Direct download: Ep_06_Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_04_Editorial_Clever__Lazy.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 3:01pm CST

Jeanette Cooper interviews Anna Rappaport about her work as chairperson on the SOA Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks. More information on this committee’s research can be found at https://www.soa.org/research/research-projects/pension/research-post-retirement-needs-and-risks.aspx

Direct download: Pension_Section__Post-Retirement_Risk_with_Anna_Rappaport.mp3
Category:Pension -- posted at: 12:20pm CST

Listen in as Michelle Lerch, FSA, MAAA reads “LEARN Goes Caribbean,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Michael L. Frank, ASA, FCA, MAAA and Larry N. Stern, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_18_LEARN_Goes_Caribbean.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:42am CST

Listen in as Mark Tanner FSA, MAAA, MBA reads “Zika Virus in Brazil,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Daniel Zimmerman.

Direct download: Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_12_Zika_Virus_in_Brazil.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:40am CST

Listen in as Shaun Daugherty, Esq. reads “Chairperson’s Corner,” which was featured in the March 2016, Reinsurance News, written by Dustin Hetzler, FSA, MAAA.

Direct download: Reinsurance_News_084_2016_03_03_Chairpersons_Corner.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:37am CST

Since the 1970’s, taxpayers purchasing and selling variable life insurance and annuity contracts have been wary of the “Investor Control Doctrine.”  Authors Ann Cammack and Frederic J. Gelfond provide a lively presentation of the history and issues.  From the March 2016 Taxing Times.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TTMar2016_InvestorControl_1.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 3:12pm CST

In this podcast, Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviews Juliet Spector, FSA, MAAA on payment reform models.  The discuss key risks, important payment reform team members, and pricing.  Juliet also gives her opinion on whether she thinks payment reform will be successful.

Direct download: Juliet_Podcast.Final.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 11:33am CST

Author Robert DeRose discusses the rapid pace of change within the reinsurance sector. From the November 2015 edition of Reinsurance News. Read by David Elias, FSA, MAAA.


Author Ronald Poon-Affat, FSA, FIA, MAAA discusses trends related to Reinsurance and the topic of reinventing present business models and product offerings. From the November 2015 edition of Reinsurance News. Read by Mark Tanner, FSA, MAAA. 


Cross Validation and Bootstrapping are two important resampling techniques that aid in training predictive models.  This episode focuses on how to use these techniques to train models that generalize well to new data.


In September 2015, the Tax Court issued its opinion blessing residual value insurance contracts as “insurance” for federal income tax purposes. Authors Jean Baxley and Sheryl Flum provide a brief backdrop to the “what is insurance” issue, summarize the Tax Court’s opinion in RVI, and offer observations regarding some of the potential implications of the decision.  From the March 2016 Taxing Times.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TTMar2016_RVI_v_Commissioner.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 12:41pm CST

Dan Theodore reads "In The Beginning…A Column Devoted to Tax Basics – How Are Nonqualified Annuities Taxed?" from the March 2016 issue of Taxing Times written By John T. Adney.

Direct download: TTMarch2016_ITB_NQAnnuities.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 10:26am CST

How can you and your company be successful in the predictive analytics space?  This podcast dives into an actuary’s experience with making a move into a predictive analytics role within the marketing domain, and shares insights into how companies are building successful analytics programs.


Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviews Rex Durington, FSA, MAAA on his December 2015 Health Watch article: Critical Illness Pricing Overview - 2015 Update. The discussion covers the growing popularity of the product and topics from benefit design to product filing.

Direct download: Health_Section__Critical_Illness_Insurance_with_Rex_Durington.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 8:37am CST

How do storytelling elements like emotion, conflict, imagery and character help insurance companies sell their product to consumers or facilitate working with business partners? Andrew Steenman, FSA, MAAA interviews Nathan Worrell where Nathan explores the idea of using a story to frame insurance concepts. 


Dave Dillon, FSA,MAAA interviews Shea Parkes FSA, MAAA about his recent article on predictive modelling with electronic medical record data.  They discuss topics such as the usefulness of electronic medical records in analytics and the visualization tools used to produce the images in the article.


Dave Dillon, FSA,MAAA interviews Brent Plemons, a Health Insurance Specialist in the Rate Review Division of CCIIO, to get an inside look at the role of the Federal Regulator.  They also discuss changes to the filing process and URRT for 2017, as well as common problems seen in the prior year’s rate filings.

Direct download: Health_Section__Rate_Review_with_Brent_Plemons.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 7:52am CST

The bias-variance trade-off is a fundamental part of machine learning.  In this episode we explore the concepts behind it, and how it relates closely to actuarial credibility.

Direct download: Bias_Variance_Tradeoff_Final.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 2:51pm CST

Courtney Nashan interviews Andrew Webster, ASA from Validate Health, LLC and the intern Nate Pritzl about their experiences with the Society of Actuaries Student Summer Internship Program.

Direct download: Validate_Health_Summer_Internship_Interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am CST

This podcast introduces Machine Learning to actuaries by comparing and contrasting with concepts they are more familiar with.  It also explores who might benefit most from learning what aspects of Machine Learning.

Direct download: What_is_Machine_Learning_Final.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 8:47am CST

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