I love the diversity and the constant challenges that come with this job. Every mission is different, and every time, we need to come up with new solutions. It is impossible to get bored. Also, I never feel alone when facing a problem: There is always somebody at Milliman, in the Paris office or in some of the global offices, who may have already worked on a similar issue and who is more than happy to discuss this with me.
At Milliman, everything is done in such a way that young consultants can progress quickly and can very quickly take on responsibilities. Milliman does not hesitate to trust its employees, even when they are young, and let them do important projects as well as interact directly with clients.
I really appreciate that my managers were confident in me when I joined Milliman. That helped me to progress more rapidly than I would have in another consultancy. At Milliman, all initiatives are welcome. Milliman does not hesitate to invest and take risks to support innovative projects suggested by consultants—for example, launching a new service offering or rolling out a new software product.
The trust that clients have in Milliman’s expertise enables us to work on the most interesting projects. That trust has grown over time, but it needs to be demonstrated by our daily work on every single project. Every Milliman consultant contributes to this relationship of trust.
I am often surprised by the large variety of skills and competencies which are needed to successfully manage client projects. This is the reason why there is such a high diversity of profiles at Milliman, which is a real asset.
For a number of years now, financial skills have been sought after in life insurance. Following the development of MCEV and Solvency II, the valuation of insurance companies depends more and more on financial market techniques. IT skills are also becoming increasingly necessary, especially for large industrialization projects linked to Solvency II. In Paris, we are also developing a service based on the techniques of “machine learning,” for which we anticipate significant applications in insurance companies.
Technical competencies and expertise are important but not sufficient. Following Solvency II, actuaries are more and more in the center of client organizations, and actuarial results constitute key elements in decision making at the top management level. Actuaries, therefore, have an educational role and need strong communication skills to adapt to an audience that does not always have the same technical background.
Working in a business organization is very different from the academic world. Most of the skills and knowledge that I use every day, I have acquired since I started my job. But that does not mean that I do not use my academic and scientific background. My studies help me to develop the right framework, especially when it comes to statistics and finance, and to find the right solutions.
I would advise a young recruit who takes on his first job to be very pragmatic. In the academic world, people like complex issues because this makes problems more interesting. However, in the world of business, clients prefer simplicity. Whenever possible, we should always give preference to the simplest approach, the most direct solution, even if this looks less “elegant” from a mathematical standpoint.
The ideal Milliman consultant likes to work in a team, and is curious and open to continued learning. I would tell a new Milliman employee to reach out to colleagues and to ask as many questions as possible as this is the best way to learn. I would also tell that person not hesitate to disclose which issues he finds most interesting and on what type of project he would like to work. We always try to engage consultants on projects which they find most interesting so they can grow professionally and personally at Milliman.