Meet the Candidates: Yvonne Palm

Candidate Information

  • ACAS: November 2010
    FCAS: November 2011


    Bachelor of Arts, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA
    Mathematics (Honors) & Economics (Honors), Phi Beta Kappa

    Current Employment:

    Chief Risk Officer, African Reinsurance Corporation, Lagos, Nigeria.

    CAS Activities and Publications:

    International Member Services Committee (2011-present)

    • “CAS Actuaries Abroad” Roundtable article, November 2016
    • UK Representative, IMSC Outreach Program (2011– 2019)
    • Africa Representative, IMSC Outreach Program (2019–present)

    Professional Education Policy Committee (2011-2016)

    CAS Brand Marketing Task Force (2013-2015)

    Candidate Liaison Committee (2007–2009)
    Future Fellows Articles:

    • “Actuaries From Around the Globe” series
    • Insurance vs Consulting
    • Advice from Seasoned Actuaries

    Other Actuarial Organizations:

    The 400 Club, a membership input initiative at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (2018-present).

    Other Professional Designations:

    Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK (2013)

  • Employment History - Prior Employers:

    Travelers: Lead Corporate Actuary (Lloyds), London UK, Feb 2015 – Nov 2019
    Markel: Actuary, London UK, May 2012 – Feb 2015
    Ace (now Chubb): Reserving Actuary, London UK, Nov 2010 – April 2012
    Ernst & Young: Senior Actuarial Analyst, Atlanta GA, July 2006 – Nov 2010

    Membership and Activities in Other Organizations:

    Various working groups for Nigerian Actuarial Society, working to introduce local professional standards (Jan 2021 to present)

    • Risk Based Capital Working Group
    • Annuity Standards of Practice

    Various industry presentations and panels in Nigeria (2020-present)

    • IFRS17: Overcoming Implementation Milestones and Roadmap Risks in Nigeria (May 2021)
    • Reserving Tips for your Year-End Rush (January 2021)
    • COVID 19 – Potential Risk Implications for the Insurance Industry (April 2020)

    Awards and Recognitions:

    Grinnell College Horn-Theophilus Award (2006) The Horn-Theophilus Award is to recognize graduating economics majors who have made service to others a part of their Grinnell College career and who plan to maintain that commitment in the future.

  • I would like to serve on the CAS Board of Directors to bring some international flavo(u)r to the Boardroom, which is key to achieving the CAS 2021-2023 strategy.

    Diversity of thought is essential in the Boardroom for the CAS to continue to stay relevant in these rapidly changing times. I have worked in both the US and the UK, and am now one of only 3 CAS-credentialed actuaries on the African continent. Not only would I increase representation on the Board in terms of gender, ethnic and geographic diversity, I would bring some very unique opinions with me as I am able to appreciate the views of individuals in more developed economies while understanding, and living every day, the issues faced in less developed economies.

    One of the pillars of the CAS strategy is to grow globally; it is therefore imperative that there are representatives on the Board who understand what it is like to live and work in other countries. Working outside North America, I have seen how other actuarial associations have a stronger foothold internationally compared to the CAS. However, I truly believe the CAS has a lot to offer international candidates in terms of a quality actuarial education, and a firm foundation to equip them to adapt to the times.

    As developing nations continue to experience technological leaps, experts in these nations will have to develop home-grown, sustainable solutions to the new problems they will face. Actuaries, in particular, property and casualty actuaries, have the necessary skills to drive many of these solutions forward. The CAS could therefore have a significant role to play in building up thought leaders around the globe who will drive sustainable development in their communities. I intend to contribute to this movement by being on the CAS Board; having a seat at the table where we can develop effective strategies to broaden the CAS international reach.

    Lastly, if I am successful, I would be the first CAS Board member to be based on the African continent; can you imagine what that would do to inspire up-and-coming actuarial students based in Africa and around the globe? Let’s make it happen!

  • Global Outreach: In a recent Town Hall with CAS leadership, we were shown how current trends indicate that future growth for the CAS will be coming from international markets. I believe having more international members in the Boardroom will help significantly with this effort as you need people around the table who understand these markets and have experienced what it is like to work outside the US. With significant advances in technology and digitalization given a boost by the pandemic, the world is really becoming a global village. The CAS now has a significant opportunity to reach those in developing and frontier markets and showcase its talent and expertise in the areas of general (property and casualty) insurance, data analytics and risk management.

    Keeping up with the times: We have noted how the SOA has recently changed its credentialing approach to give credit for college courses; this is similar to what the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK already does. I am not for this model of credentialing as I believe it becomes much more difficult for an actuarial body to maintain a uniform standard because it opens up the credential to the subjectivity of university professors. Having said this, I am very much aware that the CAS may need to adapt if it wants to stay relevant globally and appeal to future generations. I believe there may be a compromise that could be made here if needed. Perhaps the relevant CAS exam can be offered formally in these colleges as a final exam in order to receive the CAS credit; the move to electronic exams as a result of the pandemic actually facilitates this. I do think, however, that thorough research is required in order to come to a position on the best way forward – one that will allow the CAS to still stay relevant while protecting the integrity of the CAS credentials.

    Developing dynamic actuaries: Part of making the CAS future-proof will involve training actuaries to be able to learn continually so they can adapt to a changing environment. While to some extent the rigor of the current exam process already instills this discipline into actuarial candidates, we may need to put more focus into keeping already experienced actuaries fresh and helping them learn to learn. I was extremely pleased to hear about the possibility of micro-learning at the last CAS Town Hall as this is very much in line with my thinking. Learning to learn and adapt will be a key to success in the future; “non-traditional” actuarial roles may well become mainstream. It is becoming more and more common for someone in my network to join an Uber or an Amazon; not to mention the introduction of the Revolutionary Actuary role at Tesla. We should place ourselves in a position that each CAS-credentialed actuary is prepared for change and can adapt accordingly.

  • Candidates respond to member submitted questions