CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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September 2016
 
 

Spotlight on New Fellow Apundeep Lamba

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1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I wanted to be an actuary since I was in grade 8. Similar to other actuaries, I have always enjoyed mathematics and wanted to pursue something related as a career. However, my imagination only took me as far as an accountant. Luckily, my grade school had a career fair where the math faculty from the University of Waterloo hosted a booth. This was the first time I heard about being an actuary and the impact actuaries have on the financial well-being of society.

2. Who inspired you to pursue an actuarial career?

My dad inspired me to pursue this career option considering my interest in mathematics and finance. He was familiar with the actuarial career and knew it would be a great fit for me. He has been supporting and motivating me to do the best I can.

3. What was your experience of the actuarial exams? Did you experience any particular challenges?

The actuarial exam process is fairly thorough and comprehensive. This also makes the exam process very interesting because of the variety of topics. As an undergrad, I underestimated the difficulty of the exams and had trouble passing the first one. It was a good lesson, as it encouraged me to be thoroughly prepared for the exams to avoid having to retake them. After graduating from university, the biggest challenge I found was to strike the right balance between life, work, and exams.

4. How did you find the transition from being a student to becoming a young professional?

The co-op program at my university gave me an excellent start in my career as a young professional. It also helped me identify the interpersonal skills that are essential in the workplace. This made the transition very smooth from university to my first job.

5. What is your current professional role? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?

I recently took on a new challenge at Swiss Re to lead the actuarial management department in Toronto. I am now responsible for both life and health and property and casualty (P&C) corporate actuarial functions. My team is responsible for valuation, capital planning, stress testing, and financial reporting. My favorite part of the job is talent development and management. It is very important for me to see everyone in my team succeed and achieve his or her professional goals. In addition, as a member of the executive team, I work with the senior management in the shaping and implementation of our Canadian strategy.

6. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The impact we have on helping society rebuild/recover. I have always found it easy to relate the work we do as actuaries and the direct impact we have on people. Behind all of the numbers, there are people that benefit from the products that our industry sells. We are helping build a more resilient society and this is what makes the job so fulfilling for me.

7. What are your short-term career ambitions?

My short-term career ambitions are to focus on my new role and the team. In addition, I will be spending time learning the life and health business.

8. Where do you see yourself professionally in 15 years?

Actuaries are well-positioned with a unique skill set that is highly relevant for all functions within a (re)insurance company. Professionally, I hope to continue developing my technical and leadership skills.

9. What has been your involvement with the CIA since obtaining your FCIA designation?

I am a member of the P&C Subcommittee for the Continuing Education Committee. Our subcommittee is responsible for identifying and organizing the P&C topics for the CIA meetings and webcasts.

10. What career would you follow if you weren’t an actuary?

Those who know me know I enjoy a good cup of coffee. As an alternate career, I would probably open a café with my wife. She is excellent at cooking/baking and I would be the barista.

11. What are your hobbies?

I am extremely curious and enjoy learning, so reading and travelling are some of my favourite hobbies. In addition, I love driving, music, food, and of course making coffee.

12. Where is your dream vacation destination?

My dream vacation would be to spend a month driving from Lisbon (Portugal) to Monaco (France) visiting the coastal villages along the way. I would probably be stopping along the way to take in the sights and enjoy the food. I hope to time the trip so I reach Monaco to attend the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco.

13. What is your motto?

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." – Steve Jobs 

Apundeep Lamba is senior vice-president and head, actuarial management Canada at Swiss Re.


If you would like to be featured in Spotlight on New Fellows, please contact CIA English editor Bonnie Robinson at bonnie.robinson@cia-ica.ca.

 

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