Introduce Yourself - Christopher McRae

Christopher McRae

1. Why did you become an actuary?

I enjoy math and thought actuarial science was the best way to make a living by it. I actually only found out about the field a couple years into university through my wife’s guidance counsellor, who had suggested it for her.

2. When you tell people you’re an actuary, what do they think you do?

Some type of accountant.

3. Who has inspired you the most during your career? Did you have a mentor in your early career?

My dad—he was the treasurer for a multinational company, but later learned how to make a living through financial market arbitrage after turning down transfers to France and the U.S.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Building financial models.

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

Hopefully an engineer or builder of some kind.

6. What are your hobbies?

Running (I do a half marathon every year as I can manage it without serious training, but would like to try a marathon before I die) and hobby farming (we had some chickens and turkeys last year).

7. What is your favourite music, book, and film?

Music: U2 (for the U2 fans reading this, In a Little While and Walk On are my favourites).

Fictional book: ThePilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (really more of an allegory than fiction).

Movie: Braveheart (especially love the faithful Irish character in this movie).

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

For a pure holiday, I’d like to return to Spain, which I visited with my high school class in grade 9—an amazing and beautiful country. A more meaningful trip would be to visit Israel; however, due to cost and safety concerns I probably wouldn’t want to attempt it until my children are a bit older.

Christopher McRae is director, segregated fund hedging, retail markets risk management, at Manulife.

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Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires