I was looking for a challenge. I'd worked in actuarial software for almost a decade in London and I needed a new challenge. An ex-colleague and friend was working for Milliman in the United States. He explained that Milliman gave its people the freedom to pursue initiatives and new opportunities. Milliman's innovative and entrepreneurial culture was very appealing to me, and I became the first employee in Milliman's London office for financial risk management.
I grew up in Australia, so when I started a family I knew I wanted to move back. When I told Milliman this, I expected them to say, "We enjoyed working with you and wish you well." But instead they said, "That's great! We should open an office in Australia." I was given the opportunity and the autonomy to build an entirely new business here. Milliman opened a door for me that probably wouldn't exist elsewhere.
I opened the Milliman Australia practice in 2007 with one employee: myself. But we were able to grow quickly because of Milliman's administrative infrastructure and its global reach. We now have over 15 staff and room to grow even more.
Milliman always seems to be at the forefront of new technology and improved communications. We were one of the first corporate entities in Australia to implement the TelePresence video conferencing system. I have daily meetings with my colleagues in Chicago and it's as if we're sitting in the same room. It has absolutely transformed our communication. When I invite clients to sit in on these meetings, they immediately recognize Milliman's commitment to working on an international scale. A lot of companies talk about being global firms, but they rarely back it up the way Milliman does.
Quite often I hear people in business talk about generating returns for shareholders, but in our work, we focus on helping people experience comfort and dignity as they grow older. It's my passion and I think it's a noble goal. People are living longer all over the world. Will they have enough money? Will they be heavily reliant on the government? How will governments cope? There are so many complex variables involved. We try to educate consumers and providers so that they can make the best possible decisions.
We wouldn't be Australian if we didn't get to the beach on weekends. I have young children, so in my family, most of our activities are focused on our kids. We do a lot of sports and socializing with friends. Once a year, we try to go on some kind of overseas trip. I encourage everyone in the Sydney office to take time away from work and recharge their batteries.
I don't see myself working anywhere else. The culture of Milliman is a perfect fit for me: the freedom, the responsibility, and the challenges.