I wanted to leave a bureaucratic corporate culture. Here at Milliman, the culture is very flexible and innovative, so I can do more exciting work. Before joining Milliman, I was a manager in a Japanese life insurance company. After moving to a senior position, my work shifted from technical issues that I really enjoy to general management. I was tired of having to get consent from many executives and negotiate with many other departments in order to do something new.
Japanese interest rates had historically been quite low and the existing interest rate model did not work well. About seven years ago, variable annuities products became very popular in Japan, and it was in this area that I first collaborated with my colleague from Milliman's Chicago office, Ken Mungan. The Chicago team had developed an economic scenario generator and I modified it for the Japanese economy. I added some interest rate models to be applicable to a low-interest-rate environment. Recently, most developed countries have moved to very low interest rates, so the lessons learned from Japan will probably be quite useful in other countries.
Companies are much more concerned about risk than ever before. Many companies incurred large losses because of poor risk management during the financial crisis. Now they need our help to enhance their risk management systems.
It's very common for us to work with Milliman offices in other cities around the world, such as Seattle, New York, Chicago, London, or Sydney. Providing consulting services in Japan, it is useful to communicate with professionals who have a wide range of experiences and expertise. The Chicago office, for example, has an excellent team of actuarial, capital market, IT, and quantitative development. We work together on many projects in close communication.
Milliman is different. At most Japanese companies, even if you have little work to do you still have to stay at your desk from nine to six. We can work anywhere or any time, as long as we satisfy the client by providing good quality of service on time.