The president of the Actuaries Institute, Daniel Smith talks about getting rid of the management of profit and loss, creating a benevolent dictatorship and the challenge of meeting compliance requirements.
It’s an extremely important industry and is beneficial to society. The uncertain nature of events and the need for long-term thinking make it a particularly interesting area for actuaries.
There are so many unknowns – so a perfect place for actuaries to assist with the understanding of risk and uncertainty.
How would you change the industry?
Get rid of management of the profit and loss at the expense of the balance sheet.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Duck! Second best advice was that you learn more by listening than you do by talking.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Create a benevolent dictatorship.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
Meeting the compliance requirements without reducing them to tick-a-box status and ensuring that the business is still flexible enough to grasp opportunities as they arise.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I suspect I better say being President of the Actuaries Institute.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Ouzo – I hate coffee.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
AFL – of the Collingwood variety.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Jesus – he’d save me money on the drinks bill and if that didn’t work then he can help me build a new deck.
Nelson Mandela – I’d love to hear his version of events and achievements.
Groucho Marx – someone with great one liners – he wouldn’t have much time to talk because we’d be listening to Nelson.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
coaching Collingwood or the Australian test cricket side having recently retired from a long and distinguished career. I wasn’t good enough for those, hence working in insurance.