Actuarial consulting career part 2 – system development

This is a continuation ofa post considering the relevance of an individual investment product development position to a career in actuarial consulting.

An old contact mailed me a couple of days ago asking my view on two possible actuarial positions. He was interested in whether either would be suitable preparation for a consulting or actuarial consulting role in future. I thought the answer might be of broader interest, so I’m copying it, with a little editing to protect the innocent into a couple of blog posts.

Please note this shouldn’t be taken as categorical always applicable advice – just some thoughts:

In-depth knowledge of policy systems and admin is a tremendously useful skill-set in its own right. Companies are always struggling with legacy systems, and the speed, efficiency and flexibility of current systems can generate a competitive advantage in getting new products to market, improving customer service and reducing costs. Although this role would introduce depth rather than breadth to your skills and experience, it could potentially be a stepping stone into a solo consulting career focussed on these areas. Alternatively, if you enjoy that sort of work, there is probably a long-term future for you at the potential employer moving up from coding to systems analysis and improvement.

All insurers struggle with these issues, and I can’t see how this will ever change. As insurance takes off in other developing markets (rest of Africa, Middle East and so on) there will be a range of new companies selling new products to new customers with new designs and special features. This role will always be in demand.