Meet the Candidates: Kathy Olcese

Candidate Information

  • ACAS:  Nov. 1990
    FCAS:  July 1993

    Education:

    B.S. Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, May 1985

    Current Employment:

    ISO/Verisk Analytics, Industry Liaison

    CAS Activities and Publications:

    Member, CAS Trust Scholarship Subcommittee, 2003-2006
    Member, Examination Committee, 1994-2004 and 10/2020
    University Liaison, 1999-2007 and 2015- current
    Chair, Task Force on General Business Skills Training, 2000-2001
    Chair, Committee on General Business Skills Education, 2001-2003
    Speaker, Moderator:  CAS RPM, 2016 and 2018
    Mentor, CAS Student Central Summer Program, 2020

    Other Actuarial Organizations

    Trustee, The Actuarial Foundation Board of Trustees, 2009-2015
    Emeritus Trustee, The Actuarial Foundation Board of Trustees, 2017-current
    Chair, The Actuarial Foundation Committee on Consumer Education, 2009-2015
    Member, American Academy of Actuaries
    Speaker, Be An Actuary Event, Feb. 2021

  • Employment History - Prior Employers:

    Allstate Insurance Company, 1985-2010

    • Actuarial pricing, product management, risk management, finance

    Zurich Insurance Company, 2010-2017

    • Senior leadership roles in actuarial, underwriting and product development

    ISO/Verisk Analytics, 2017 – current

    • Senior leader of Personal Lines Product, 2017-2019
    • Industry Liaison, 2020 - current

    Civic Activities:

    Math Motivators, tutor (volunteer)
    Lemons of Love, volunteer at Lemons on the Links
    Swim Across America, volunteer at event

  • One of the principal roles of the Board of Directors is to set strategic direction for the CAS. The current CAS Strategic Plan, 2021-2023, sets out ambitious targets and serves to move the CAS toward new and expanded horizons. These new and expanded horizons, articulated in the Strategic Plan’s Envisioned Future, include a future in which “CAS members are sought after globally for their insights and ability to apply analytics to solve insurance and risk management problems.” To achieve this envisioned future, we need bold leadership and the capacity to transform. 

    Throughout my career, which has spanned traditional actuarial roles as well as business executive roles, I have been involved in transformative change. This has included leading through organizational change, such as leading a newly centralized underwriting function, and leading through change that was happening in the industry, such as managing important industry relationships during the introduction of catastrophe modelling into ratemaking. In my experience, change involves taking risks, focus and commitment, and sometimes needing to redirect. I want to serve on the CAS Board of Directors and leverage my experience in leading change to enable the CAS to achieve our envisioned future.  

    The Student and Academic Central programs, which have grown and matured considerably in recent years, can support our pipeline diversification efforts with further development. The efforts of our membership will be key in diversifying the actuarial work force. Recent Roundtable sessions have focused on the topic of diversification, which not only serve to advance the discussion but also create an opportunity for actuaries to build communication and leadership skills as they shape the future of the CAS.

    In the past year, I have had several opportunities to connect with actuaries early in their careers and with students considering an actuarial career. I am inspired by their intellect, energy, and the passion they bring to the industry and for the actuarial profession to make a difference in the world. I’m committed to support and refine the strategic direction to ensure we achieve the ‘envisioned future’ to which CAS members of this generation and next generation aspire.

    I would consider it an honor and privilege to contribute to the continued success of the CAS by serving on the Board of Directors.

  • Issue #1:  Relevance of Professional Value of Actuaries

    Actuaries are relied upon for their technical skills and the ability to apply those technical skills to business problems. The CAS core curriculum, which supports the development of these technical skills, needs to keep a strong focus on data and analytical skills.  The core curriculum also needs to continually evolve as the requisite technical abilities change.  The professional value of the actuary however goes beyond the application of the technical skills. To be relevant to employers and to the market, actuaries also need to bring strong competencies around communicating and creative problem solving. I think actuaries are uniquely positioned by both their training and expertise to help develop solutions for complex challenges facing our industry. I think there is more opportunity to tap into this unique skill set of actuaries to solve these complex problems. I’m personally interested in ensuring that as we build skills for the future, we ensure that actuaries also have the opportunity to develop skills beyond the technical.  I’d love to see an increasing number of actuaries broaden their range of influence, both within and outside the insurance sector. Within the insurance sector, this broader level of influence includes senior leadership positions in Product Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Business Units. Outside of insurance, leadership roles in the technology and banking sectors could be considered by actuaries.

    The CAS has enhanced the professional education curriculum to include opportunities to develop skills beyond the technical skills; for instance, adding sessions at seminars in the areas of data visualization, presentation of actuarial insights and expanding influence within an organization. 

    As a CAS Board Member, I would welcome the opportunity to guide the continued expansion of the CAS curriculum to enable broader levels of influence and expanded professional opportunities for actuaries. 

    Issue #2:   Diversification of our Pipeline

    The growth in the membership of the CAS is, I think, a testament to the growth in the need for the skills actuaries can bring to help solve business problems. To continue our growth trajectory, we need to continue to diversify our pipeline. The CAS has already committed to increased outreach efforts and continues to expand its Student and Academic Central Programs. The CAS has also partnered with the SOA in forming the Joint Committee on Inclusion, Equity and Diversity. I think we can also do more work to enlarge and communicate the CAS ‘Brand’. We can promote the multidisciplinary aspects of our profession and increase the visibility of the impact of our work.

    As a CAS Board Member, I would commit to helping the CAS expand its efforts to promote the career and reach more potential candidates from diverse backgrounds.

  • Candidates respond to member submitted questions

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