2021 In Focus Virtual Seminar

Event Details

-
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (ET)

About This Event

The Casualty Actuarial Society is proud to present the award-winning In Focus Seminar as a virtual event, October 13, 2021 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET. This virtual seminar features four sessions, each consisting of a short presentation intermixed with engaging discussions with speakers and other attendees.

The event will focus on the theme, Bridging the Gap: Technical Analysis vs Business Strategy for Tomorrow’s Culturally Empowered Actuary.

Event information

Casualty Actuarial Society’s Envisioned Future (from the CAS Strategic Plan)

The CAS will be recognized globally as the premier organization in advancing the practice and application of casualty actuarial science and educating professionals in general insurance, including property-casualty and similar risk exposure.

Continuing Education Credits

The CAS Continuing Education Policy applies to all ACAS and FCAS members who provide actuarial services. Actuarial services are defined in the CAS Code of Professional Conduct as “professional services provided to a Principal by an individual acting in the capacity of an actuary. Such services include the rendering of advice, recommendations, findings or opinions based upon actuarial considerations.”

Members who are or could be subject to the continuing education requirements of a national actuarial organization can meet the requirements of the CAS Continuing Education Policy by satisfying the continuing education requirements established by a national actuarial organization recognized by the Policy.

This activity may qualify for up to 6 CE credits for the In Focus Seminar for CAS members. Participants should claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CAS members earn 1 CE credit per 50 minutes of educational session time, not to include breaks or lunch.

**Note: The amount of CE credit that can be earned for participating in this activity must be assessed by the individual attendee. It also may be different for individuals who are subject to the requirements of organizations other than the American Academy of Actuaries.

Technical Specifications

This event will be held on Microsoft Teams. For the best experience it is recommended that attendees download the Teams desktop app. Attendees may also use the web version of Teams through the following compatible browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Teams is not supported in Internet Explorer 11 or Opera.

Contact Information

For more information on In Focus Seminar content, please contact Wendy Ponce at wponce@casact.org.

For more information on attendee registration, please email arc@casact.org.

For more information on the In Focus Seminar other than registration or content issues, please email meetings@casact.org.

For more information on other CAS opportunities or administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact the CAS Office at (703) 276-3100 or visit the CAS website.

Registration information

Registration Fees

 

EARLY REG. FEE ON/BEFORE BY SEP. 29

LATE REG. FEE AFTER SEP. 29

Individual, Member

$200

$300

Individual, Non-Member

$300

$400

Cancellations/Refunds

Registrations fees will be refunded for cancellations received in writing at the CAS Office via email, refund@casact.org, by October 6, 2021 less a $100 processing fee.

Planning committee

Anthony R. Bustillo (Chairperson)

Ismet Ibadullayev
Linda Jacob
Fiona So
Fang (Alice) Yang
Jasmine Zhang

Wendy Ponce, Staff Chair
Leanne Wieczorek, Staff Chair

Sessions

The following are the unique sessions that will be offered for this virtual event. The seminar will host sessions that provide various practical applications and insights across a broad spectrum of industry disciplines.

De-risking Everyday Manager-technician Interactions

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM, ET

During many interactions between managers and technicians, each party risks everything from their time to their reputation to the futures of their businesses. The resulting stress has the potential to focus both parties more on managing the fraught interactions than on the underlying problems at hand – which creates business risk. In this session we aspire to bridge the gap between technical analysis and business strategy by presenting several hypothetical interactions, exploring what each party to the interaction(s) can do to create a safer space for collaborative problem solving, and having an honest discussion about practical steps we can take to optimize the manager-technician relationship and achieve better business outcomes on the job.

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate motivations and responsibilities of each party to the manager-technician interaction.
  • Explain common pitfalls of manager-technician interaction and what each party can do to manage them.
  • Strike a reasonable balance of focusing on a problem compared to one’s own role as relates to the problem.

Speakers

Jim Weiss: Jim Weiss, FCAS, MAAA, CSPA, CPCU is AVP, Commercial Lines Modeling at Crum & Forster.  Previously he held various pricing, modeling, and data management roles at Insurance Services Office.  Jim is a past president of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater New York and has chaired or co-chaired various CAS initiatives including the Task Force on Education (2019) and Microinsurance Working Party (2016-2017).

Ralph Dweck: Ralph Dweck, FCAS, MAAA is a Senior Manager for Analytics Products at ISO/Verisk. Ralph leads the team that produces ISO’s Risk Analyzer predictive loss cost models. His prior work includes various roles in data products and increased limits ratemaking. Ralph previously presented at In Focus in 2019, when he discussed insights from filing a machine learning model for rating.

Actuaries in Non-Traditional Risk Spaces: Lessons Learned Moving From Insurance to Tech

11:45 AM-1:00 PM, ET

Actuaries are uniquely qualified to help many companies quantify and manage a host of new and emerging risks in industries beyond insurance. The transition is not always straight forward, with the business processes many of us are accustomed to navigating in quarterly pricing and reserving worlds in the P&C insurance industry, at times significantly different from the business processes followed in other industries. The transition from being in a function that is integral to a company's mission to playing important but supporting roles also has its own challenges. This session  will share the experiences of a few prominent actuaries in tech and their lessons learned for the benefit of others who may be considering similar transitions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand some of the critical soft skills required to succeed in tech.
  • Understand how to demonstrate and sell their value proposition as actuaries in tech or otherwise outside insurance.
  • Understand how to navigate the challenges of maintaining professionalism and actuarial rigor outside the heavily regulated space of insurance.

Speakers

Tetteh Otuteye: Tetteh is a seasoned risk & actuarial professional with expertise honed over the last ~2 decades. Tetteh is the Vice President of Risk Management and Chief Actuary at Cruise. He joined Cruise from Waymo, where he served in a similar role for the past two and a half years, building and maturing Waymo's Risk and Insurance team and capabilities. Prior to Waymo Tetteh held a number of actuarial and leadership roles in commercial insurance, most recently as Chief Actuary of Aspen Insurance. Tetteh leads a cross-functional team responsible for the development and execution of Cruise's risk management and insurance strategy. 

When he’s not neck-deep in risk management, Tetteh is either playing or watching soccer, reading or enjoying time outdoors with friends and family. He enjoys cooking, traveling and all water activities (including recently learning to sail). Tetteh loves to travel to new shores as well as visiting family and friends in his home country of Ghana, and his wife's family in Ethiopia.

Ruoshu Chen: Ruoshu is an actuary at Waymo and her responsibilities cover a wide range of topics, including actuarial modeling, risk advisory, policy oversight, data infrastructure and systems, claim analytics, etc. In this role, Ruoshu works closely with various internal and external partners to manage Waymo's risks, and collaborates with Safety Research and Data Science teams to come up with insights for the betterment of autonomous driving technology.

Prior to joining Waymo, Ruoshu spent 4 years at Uber, holding roles in different functions under the Safety & Insurance Team, from reserving to product analytics to safety data science. She helped launch Uber's Crash Detection model and contributed to many other safety features on the ridesharing platform. She also worked at AIG and Willis Tower Watson in earlier stages of her career, building expertise in reserving and stress testing. 

Monica Shokrai: Risk Consulting Lead & Actuary, Business Risk and Insurance, Google LLC, Mountain View, CA. Monica Shokrai is a Risk Consultant at Google and leads business risk and insurance initiatives for Google’s Cloud, Hardware, Payments and Search/Ads businesses. Monica provides risk advisory, insurance placement, and analytical support to Google. She also has played a key role in developing partnerships between Google and the insurance industry and is passionate about pushing innovation through combining her experience in both tech and insurance. Prior to her current role at Google, Monica focused on managing new and emerging risks through working closely with Alphabet’s Other Bets. Monica joined Alphabet in October 2018.

Monica has over twelve years of experience in the risk and insurance industry and is lucky to have seen the industry from multiple angles, having worked at a consulting and brokerage firm, a large commercial carrier, a startup and now in Google’s Risk Management department. Immediately prior to joining Google, Monica spent ten years working as an actuary, most recently leading the Global pricing team at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a graduate of The Wharton School where she studied Entrepreneurship and Actuarial Science.

Joshua Pyle: Joshua Pyle works as the Senior Director & Head Actuary for DoorDash, where he leads risk and insurance efforts within a rapidly-growing last-mile logistics space. He has 15 years of actuarial experience within the insurance and tech domains. His focus areas to date have been predictive modeling, price optimization/demand modeling, catastrophe modeling, and commercial and personal pricing. 

The Difficulty in Communicating Risk Information: Improving our Ability to Explain Complex Information to Others

2:00 PM-3:15 PM, ET

Communication is a vital part of the actuarial process. However, while actuaries are highly trained and skilled in quantitative techniques, they typically receive much less training in, and exposure to, effective methods of communicating their analyses and results to others. Indeed, it is difficult enough to communicate technical information, but this difficulty is magnified when the audience does not share the technical background, and/or it is information that they might not prefer to hear. This interactive session addresses the nature and challenges associated with communicating complex information about risks to others – to senior management in particular, but also to other internal and external parties. The session addresses communication in both normal and crisis-situation contexts, and describes practical considerations based on audience type as well as utilizes current research in communication to advise best practices for message delivery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Effectively deliver (often bad) news and information about risks through a practice session in which audience members will deliver bad news.
  • Analyze an audience and understand with whom we are communicating.
  • Understand interpersonal communication and the factors that impact trust.

Speakers

Rick Gorvett: Rick Gorvett is Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. He has a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Chris Morse: Chris Morse is Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at Bryant University. He is a faculty fellow for the Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences at Bryant and focuses on Risk and Crisis management and communication. He has a PhD from the Pennsylvania State University

Julie Volkman: Julie Volkman is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Bryant University and adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has a PhD from the Pennsylvania State University.

How to Simplify a Complex Problem? A Case Study on the Settler of Catan

3:45 PM-5:00 PM, ET

In this session, we will explore and discuss how we can break down a complex topic, in this case, the award-winning board game, Settler of Catan. How can we design a system (bot) that uses statistical techniques to help a player make better decisions? Join us as we explore system design and data management. We will also discuss topics in risk analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, behavioral economic theories, and constrain optimization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design a framework that transform a complex problem into modular subparts that is easier to work with.
  • Formulate specific metrics that is easy to understand and its pros and cons for decision making.
  • Understand incremental programming, and how to go having no prior experience to building a base program that can be continuously improved.

Speakers

Kenneth Hsu: Kenneth is an actuary at Uber Technologies based out of San Francisco, California. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Riverside in Statistics and Computer Science, and his Master’s degree from Columbia University in the City of New York in Actuarial Science. He has experience in pricing niche insurance markets such as rideshare and UberEats. He also performs and renders reserving recommendations to the business quarterly to help manage Uber’s insurance captive and its unique risks. Kenneth is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics. He enjoys hiking and playing board games on his spare time. 

Qike Chen: Qike is an actuary at Equitable Life Insurance Company based out of New York City. He received his BS from Polytechnic University and his MA and PhD from Princeton University, in Chemical Engineering. He was career changer and started at Equitable in 2016 (AXA Equitable back then) in the Actuarial Development Program and went through four rotations in financial risk management, hedging, life pricing, and inforce management. He recently joined the model validation team at Equitable. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). Qike enjoys playing chess and sports in his spare time.

Schedule

All times are EASTERN time.


EVENT

START

END

Session 1

10:00 AM

11:15 AM

Transition Break

11:15 AM

11:45 AM

Session 2

11:45 AM

1:00 PM

Extended Break

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

Session 3

2:00 PM

3:15 PM

Transition Break

3:15 PM

3:45 PM

Session 4

3:45 AM

5:00 PM

Sessions

The following are the unique sessions that will be offered for this virtual event. The seminar will host sessions that provide various practical applications and insights across a broad spectrum of industry disciplines.

De-risking Everyday Manager-technician Interactions

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM, ET

During many interactions between managers and technicians, each party risks everything from their time to their reputation to the futures of their businesses. The resulting stress has the potential to focus both parties more on managing the fraught interactions than on the underlying problems at hand – which creates business risk. In this session we aspire to bridge the gap between technical analysis and business strategy by presenting several hypothetical interactions, exploring what each party to the interaction(s) can do to create a safer space for collaborative problem solving, and having an honest discussion about practical steps we can take to optimize the manager-technician relationship and achieve better business outcomes on the job.

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate motivations and responsibilities of each party to the manager-technician interaction.
  • Explain common pitfalls of manager-technician interaction and what each party can do to manage them.
  • Strike a reasonable balance of focusing on a problem compared to one’s own role as relates to the problem.

Speakers

Jim Weiss: Jim Weiss, FCAS, MAAA, CSPA, CPCU is AVP, Commercial Lines Modeling at Crum & Forster.  Previously he held various pricing, modeling, and data management roles at Insurance Services Office.  Jim is a past president of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater New York and has chaired or co-chaired various CAS initiatives including the Task Force on Education (2019) and Microinsurance Working Party (2016-2017).

Ralph Dweck: Ralph Dweck, FCAS, MAAA is a Senior Manager for Analytics Products at ISO/Verisk. Ralph leads the team that produces ISO’s Risk Analyzer predictive loss cost models. His prior work includes various roles in data products and increased limits ratemaking. Ralph previously presented at In Focus in 2019, when he discussed insights from filing a machine learning model for rating.

Actuaries in Non-Traditional Risk Spaces: Lessons Learned Moving From Insurance to Tech

11:45 AM-1:00 PM, ET

Actuaries are uniquely qualified to help many companies quantify and manage a host of new and emerging risks in industries beyond insurance. The transition is not always straight forward, with the business processes many of us are accustomed to navigating in quarterly pricing and reserving worlds in the P&C insurance industry, at times significantly different from the business processes followed in other industries. The transition from being in a function that is integral to a company's mission to playing important but supporting roles also has its own challenges. This session  will share the experiences of a few prominent actuaries in tech and their lessons learned for the benefit of others who may be considering similar transitions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand some of the critical soft skills required to succeed in tech.
  • Understand how to demonstrate and sell their value proposition as actuaries in tech or otherwise outside insurance.
  • Understand how to navigate the challenges of maintaining professionalism and actuarial rigor outside the heavily regulated space of insurance.

Speakers

Tetteh Otuteye: Tetteh is a seasoned risk & actuarial professional with expertise honed over the last ~2 decades. Tetteh is the Vice President of Risk Management and Chief Actuary at Cruise. He joined Cruise from Waymo, where he served in a similar role for the past two and a half years, building and maturing Waymo's Risk and Insurance team and capabilities. Prior to Waymo Tetteh held a number of actuarial and leadership roles in commercial insurance, most recently as Chief Actuary of Aspen Insurance. Tetteh leads a cross-functional team responsible for the development and execution of Cruise's risk management and insurance strategy. 

When he’s not neck-deep in risk management, Tetteh is either playing or watching soccer, reading or enjoying time outdoors with friends and family. He enjoys cooking, traveling and all water activities (including recently learning to sail). Tetteh loves to travel to new shores as well as visiting family and friends in his home country of Ghana, and his wife's family in Ethiopia.

Ruoshu Chen: Ruoshu is an actuary at Waymo and her responsibilities cover a wide range of topics, including actuarial modeling, risk advisory, policy oversight, data infrastructure and systems, claim analytics, etc. In this role, Ruoshu works closely with various internal and external partners to manage Waymo's risks, and collaborates with Safety Research and Data Science teams to come up with insights for the betterment of autonomous driving technology.

Prior to joining Waymo, Ruoshu spent 4 years at Uber, holding roles in different functions under the Safety & Insurance Team, from reserving to product analytics to safety data science. She helped launch Uber's Crash Detection model and contributed to many other safety features on the ridesharing platform. She also worked at AIG and Willis Tower Watson in earlier stages of her career, building expertise in reserving and stress testing. 

Monica Shokrai: Risk Consulting Lead & Actuary, Business Risk and Insurance, Google LLC, Mountain View, CA. Monica Shokrai is a Risk Consultant at Google and leads business risk and insurance initiatives for Google’s Cloud, Hardware, Payments and Search/Ads businesses. Monica provides risk advisory, insurance placement, and analytical support to Google. She also has played a key role in developing partnerships between Google and the insurance industry and is passionate about pushing innovation through combining her experience in both tech and insurance. Prior to her current role at Google, Monica focused on managing new and emerging risks through working closely with Alphabet’s Other Bets. Monica joined Alphabet in October 2018.

Monica has over twelve years of experience in the risk and insurance industry and is lucky to have seen the industry from multiple angles, having worked at a consulting and brokerage firm, a large commercial carrier, a startup and now in Google’s Risk Management department. Immediately prior to joining Google, Monica spent ten years working as an actuary, most recently leading the Global pricing team at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a graduate of The Wharton School where she studied Entrepreneurship and Actuarial Science.

Joshua Pyle: Joshua Pyle works as the Senior Director & Head Actuary for DoorDash, where he leads risk and insurance efforts within a rapidly-growing last-mile logistics space. He has 15 years of actuarial experience within the insurance and tech domains. His focus areas to date have been predictive modeling, price optimization/demand modeling, catastrophe modeling, and commercial and personal pricing. 

The Difficulty in Communicating Risk Information: Improving our Ability to Explain Complex Information to Others

2:00 PM-3:15 PM, ET

Communication is a vital part of the actuarial process. However, while actuaries are highly trained and skilled in quantitative techniques, they typically receive much less training in, and exposure to, effective methods of communicating their analyses and results to others. Indeed, it is difficult enough to communicate technical information, but this difficulty is magnified when the audience does not share the technical background, and/or it is information that they might not prefer to hear. This interactive session addresses the nature and challenges associated with communicating complex information about risks to others – to senior management in particular, but also to other internal and external parties. The session addresses communication in both normal and crisis-situation contexts, and describes practical considerations based on audience type as well as utilizes current research in communication to advise best practices for message delivery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Effectively deliver (often bad) news and information about risks through a practice session in which audience members will deliver bad news.
  • Analyze an audience and understand with whom we are communicating.
  • Understand interpersonal communication and the factors that impact trust.

Speakers

Rick Gorvett: Rick Gorvett is Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. He has a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Chris Morse: Chris Morse is Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at Bryant University. He is a faculty fellow for the Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences at Bryant and focuses on Risk and Crisis management and communication. He has a PhD from the Pennsylvania State University

Julie Volkman: Julie Volkman is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Bryant University and adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has a PhD from the Pennsylvania State University.

How to Simplify a Complex Problem? A Case Study on the Settler of Catan

3:45 PM-5:00 PM, ET

In this session, we will explore and discuss how we can break down a complex topic, in this case, the award-winning board game, Settler of Catan. How can we design a system (bot) that uses statistical techniques to help a player make better decisions? Join us as we explore system design and data management. We will also discuss topics in risk analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, behavioral economic theories, and constrain optimization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design a framework that transform a complex problem into modular subparts that is easier to work with.
  • Formulate specific metrics that is easy to understand and its pros and cons for decision making.
  • Understand incremental programming, and how to go having no prior experience to building a base program that can be continuously improved.

Speakers

Kenneth Hsu: Kenneth is an actuary at Uber Technologies based out of San Francisco, California. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Riverside in Statistics and Computer Science, and his Master’s degree from Columbia University in the City of New York in Actuarial Science. He has experience in pricing niche insurance markets such as rideshare and UberEats. He also performs and renders reserving recommendations to the business quarterly to help manage Uber’s insurance captive and its unique risks. Kenneth is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics. He enjoys hiking and playing board games on his spare time. 

Qike Chen: Qike is an actuary at Equitable Life Insurance Company based out of New York City. He received his BS from Polytechnic University and his MA and PhD from Princeton University, in Chemical Engineering. He was career changer and started at Equitable in 2016 (AXA Equitable back then) in the Actuarial Development Program and went through four rotations in financial risk management, hedging, life pricing, and inforce management. He recently joined the model validation team at Equitable. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). Qike enjoys playing chess and sports in his spare time.

Schedule

All times are EASTERN time.


EVENT

START

END

Session 1

10:00 AM

11:15 AM

Transition Break

11:15 AM

11:45 AM

Session 2

11:45 AM

1:00 PM

Extended Break

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

Session 3

2:00 PM

3:15 PM

Transition Break

3:15 PM

3:45 PM

Session 4

3:45 AM

5:00 PM

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