CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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May 2018

Interview with Warren D’Souza

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Warren D’Souza, FCIA

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I attained my FCIA in 2014. I wanted to be an actuary because I was good at math, actuaries earn a good income, and they enjoy relatively low stress in their jobs compared to other professions.

2. Who inspired you to pursue an actuarial career?

In my first year at the University of Waterloo, I became good friends with a guy in the actuarial science program. I was in a general math program at the time. Since I was already math inclined, my friend encouraged me to try actuarial science.

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

The actuarial exams are very challenging; much more difficult than university exams. I did pretty well on the preliminary exams, but I found the FSA exams especially challenging. It took me a while to realize that the method to passing (for me) was memorization. I fought that for a while which slowed my progress. It was tough to fail exams, but I’m happy that I stuck with it. It’s definitely an accomplishment that I’m proud of.

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

I’m currently a senior consultant at Aon in the retirement practice and I’m also a people manager. In retirement consulting, we help our clients manage their pension plans. We do design, funding, accounting, administration, and legal work with respect to pension plans. Recently, a lot of our work concerns settlement of pension liabilities, de-risking, and winding up pension plans.

5. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of the work. It’s challenging and stimulating to work on different projects from week to week.

6. What are your short-term career ambitions?

My short-term career ambitions are to continue to grow in my role as a senior consultant and to take on more responsibility, with the goal of progressing to the next level.

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

The rules for defined benefit pension plans are constantly changing with the economic environment, so there is a lot of work to do for our clients now and in the future. In 15 years, I can see myself in retirement consulting in some sort of leadership role.

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

After becoming an FCIA, I thought about volunteering with the CIA, but I wanted to do something that was relevant to retirement consulting as well. So I decided to volunteer for the Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting (PPFRC). The PPFRC prepares guidance and educational notes for actuaries working in the pension field. The material we produce helps pension actuaries do their work.

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

If I had more of a risk-taker personality, I would have liked to become a professional poker player. Poker is such an interesting game as it combines logic, math, psychology, and gambling. And it’s fun!

10. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy movies (especially superhero movies), poker, playing squash, travel, trying new restaurants, and spending time with my wife and daughter.

11. Where is your dream vacation destination?

My dream vacation would probably be one of those exotic destinations with the overwater bungalows. Like Fiji or the Maldives.

12. What is your motto?

Honesty is the best policy . . . except in poker.

Warren D’Souza is a member of the Pension Plan Financial Reporting Committee.


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