Meet the Candidates - Carolyn (Coe) Bergh

FCAS - May 2006
ACAS - May 1999

Candidate Information

Biographical Information

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
May 1987

Current Employment:

Chief Actuary, Vice President and Actuary
Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA)
Boston, MA

CAS Activities and Publications:

Examination Committee: Advanced Ratemaking: Exam 8: 2006-2016

  • Grading: 2006-2008
  • Team Leader: Exam Creation and Grading: 2008-2012
  • Exam Creation and Pass Mark Panel: 2012-2016

Syllabus Committee: Liaison for Exam 8: 2008-2012

Other Actuarial Organizations:

CA WCIRB Actuarial (Chair) and Research Committee: 2012-2018
WCRIBMA: (Chair): 2012-2018
PCRB: Company Representative: 2012-2018
NCCI: Company Representative: 2012-2018

Other Professional Designations:

Member, American Academy of Actuaries MAAA): 1999
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU): 2020

Additional Biographical Information

Employment History - Prior Employers:

The Hartford – AVP & Actuary: 2012-2018
National Council on Compensation Insurance
Practice Leader & Senior Actuary: 2006-2012
Director and Actuary: 2003-2006
Bristol West Insurance Company: Actuary & Manager: 1999-2003
Providence Washington Insurance Company: Actuary & Product Manager: 1995-1999
Lancer Insurance Company: Actuary: 1992-1995
National Council on Compensation Insurance: 1989-1991
Aetna Property Casualty: 1987-1989

Other Relevant Information:

  • Run half marathons in support of friends and family
  • Bike MS 50 mile bike ride raise money for support of research
  • Previously known as the “body-building actuary”
Why do you want to serve on the CAS Board of Directors?

Honestly, I never had any desire to serve on the CAS Board of Directors, but over the past couple of years I’ve seen a few things that disappointed me and rather than be disappointed, I felt I needed to put myself out there to try and make things better. So what does “better” look like to me? Actuaries, not staff, driving the strategic focus and ensuring that there is member input into changes to policy prior to implementation. I do not feel that this was done well with several recent Board initiatives: the rescission of the Ratemaking Statement of Principles in December 2020 and the launch of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy in October 2020.

In the case of the Ratemaking Statement of Principles, it seemed to me that the focus to grow globally led to a rash rescission of the Ratemaking Statement of Principles, without consideration of those actuaries and regulators in the U.S. that rely on this Statement in the support of their rate filings and expert witness testimony. The Ratemaking Statement of Principles was ultimately reinstated, so that was good, but this misstep could have been avoided with more outreach to the membership, prior to making a decision. 

As for the DEI policy, in October 2020 the Board released a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy prior to getting member input. When membership voiced their concerns on aspects of the policy and language being used, it ultimately led to a survey soliciting member feedback and the policy was revised, slightly, in October 2021. There needs to be more transparency on how this policy is being executed. I have always felt that the CAS is a diverse membership that the main barrier to entry are the exams. Yes, the study material and exams are expensive and we can do more to support those individuals that have the aptitude and desire to pursue the career, but lack the means to invest in the process. There should be no aspect of identity that puts one individuals needs for support over another. I also agree that the outreach effort can be expanded so more people are aware of the actuarial profession. I personally have conducted educational outreach and recruiting efforts at the high school and university level over the years, as well with other professionals. I don’t know what “equity” means in this strategy and I’m not sure it has any place in the credentialing process.

I am running for the Board of Directors because I want to ensure the Board represents the membership’s views and that the CAS continues to be an organization that we can all continue to be proud to promote and support.

Candidate Issue(s) Identification and Discussion

Building Skills for the Future: The exam format and content are in the process of getting revamped to incorporate more aspects of predictive analytics throughout the curriculum. As someone that spent years on the examination committee in all capacities: grading, writing questions, exam creation and pass mark panel, I have some sense of the challenges in writing questions for new content. Actuaries, not professional exam creators, need to be the ones creating Learning Objectives and Knowledge Statements that will ultimately guide the questions that get tested.  How this gets communicated to the Students and Membership is going to be a test for the Board. If elected, I will leverage my past experiences to help ensure a smooth transition.

Implementation of Strategy: Whether we are discussing Building Skills for the Future, Diversifying the Pipeline or Expanding Globally the Board needs to ensure that it is soliciting input from its members and acts in a way that represents the broad consensus of its membership.  There should be a formal process, similar to exposure draft review that allows members the opportunity to provide comment and feedback in an open and transparent fashion. The CAS should be governed by actuaries and the strategy should be set and implemented with an actuarial focus and should be apolitical.  

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