Our office tends to be interdisciplinary. As a consultant managing the Amsterdam health practice, I also occasionally work with people from the non-life and life practices.
We really are a team and willing to take the extra step to help a colleague. Many of us have quite a lot of experience, which is the reason our practice is attractive to young, less experienced actuaries—they can learn a lot!
The best thing about my job is the diversity of the assignments and the entrepreneurial environment in our office. I am involved in a wide variety of projects, from Solvency II work with insurance companies in the Netherlands to a microinsurance project in Nigeria with the Dutch Health Insurance Fund.
The work of an actuarial consulting firm is very relevant in today's economic environment because there are increasing regulatory requirements on capital and risk assessment. Actuaries are well equipped to advise on risk-assessment issues and dependencies between different risks. Actuarial consulting firms can explain difficult issues around risk assessment and add value to the actuarial function within insurance companies.
One of the more gratifying projects I worked on was a primary care business case for a health insurance company. The client requested an analysis of the financial performance of select primary care clinics, as well as a validation of the tools used to monitor these clinics. The client was not very familiar with the impact of risk equalization on financial performance.
Statistical analyses can be hard to explain, so I wrote a comprehensive report with clear messages for management. The client was very pleased with the report and good contacts were established with the board of the health insurance company.
I have three children so I have to manage my work/life balance very well. I like the fact that my work is flexible, which makes it possible to be home when it matters—around dinner and bed time. I can do some work, if needed, in the evening.
Besides spending time with my children, I like to cook and read. Both my favorite authors are Dutch—Connie Palmen and Geert Mak. Palmen's first novel The Laws was shortlisted for the 1996 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Geert Mak is a Dutch author and historian who writes about the history of the Netherlands, though he has also written quite extensively on European history.
Indian food is my favorite cuisine.
Milliman is an organization where everything is possible once you find your way. Our goal is to do projects that we enjoy and, of course, earn money while we're doing those projects. Employees who work hard are absolutely rewarded for that, more than in other companies, at least in my experience.