Year of Graduation: 2013
Job Title: Origination & Structuring – Life Team
Tell us about what you do
I work for an Insurance-Linked Securities Fund that focuses on investing its assets where the key risk driver is an insurance risk. My focus is to find and structure transactions in the life and health insurance space so that they are suitable and meet our investment mandate.
A simple example of this are longevity swaps or financing transactions where the main risk of not being repaid is a biometric risk like lapse, mortality or disability.
Where have you worked previously?
Previously I worked in the Insurance Solutions Group team at Nomura in London, providing structured solutions for life insurance companies in Europe. These solutions were focused on capital relief and increasing capital for insurers under Solvency II. Before that I was at EY working in the financial services department.
How did you get into the field you currently work in?
I chose my undergraduate degree in Actuarial Science because I liked Statistics and Mathematics, however I had no idea if I would like insurance/reinsurance. Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I started to appreciate the difficulty of estimating future events and some of the techniques/models used for this in insurance. I followed through with this interest by getting an internship at Allianz in London working for their (non-life) capital modelling team. I found the job interesting at first, but soon realised that I needed to have a broader exposure to the insurance sector, including life insurance. So consulting was the next logical step. Eventually, as I understood more about insurance and what each different player in the market did, I decided to join an investment bank following my Masters degree at LSE.
What made you choose LSE Statistics?
LSE is a fantastic university in the heart of one of the main financial centers of the world. Being so close to potential employers and having a strong academic faculty allows its students to get a unique exposure to the required skills to become a well-rounded professional.
Also, the Statistics department has a strong reputation worldwide and the more finance/quantitative courses were very appealing to me given what I wanted to do after my Masters. LSE was also the only university providing a combination of statistics, finance and computational courses that were very interesting for me and the career path I had in mind.
What was the main thing you learned from studying at LSE’s Department of Statistics?
I learned many things during my time at LSE. I significantly developed my statistical, financial and computational skills, with the different courses offered by the department. The computational courses were very useful to put some of the theory learned in other courses to practise with some “real world” examples. These skills were also very useful during more technical job interviews I had.
What are some of your key memories from your time spent here, and why do you think it is important to remain connected to LSE?
I remember fondly of the times spent at the library with my colleagues, and all the people I met at the halls of residence. I am still in touch and good friends with many of them. In fact, I shared a flat with one of my colleagues for six years after completing my Masters! I still attend many events organized by the Statistics Department and the LSE. This is a good way to keep in touch with colleagues and listen to great speakers as well as getting to know the most recent graduates and expanding my network.
Do you have any hobbies or projects outside of work?
I love water sports (surf and spear fishing) and I used to kitesurf back home competitively. In London this is harder, so I play a lot of tennis and padel instead. One of my projects outside work is trying to build my own house!
What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Statistics?
I would say that it is one of the best investments in your future, both in an academic and professional way. If I could go back in time, studying at the LSE’s Statistics Department would certainly be something I would do again!
I would also add that it is important to make the most of all the resources provided by the LSE and the Statistics Department, which are many and build long-lasting friendships.
What is the greatest challenge you've had to overcome?
During my time as a Masters student, it was hard to apply for jobs and internships while preparing for exams and course work. Managing time efficiently is crucial and something that initially I was not very good at. It is also important to research the role you are applying to beforehand, to make sure you come across as a motivated candidate – as you can guess, this also takes time!
What has been the best experience in your career to date?
I am currently discussing with company CFOs and Chief Actuaries different financing and capital solutions for their businesses. This is very stimulating, because it involves strategically thinking about how to best meet their needs while taking into account my company’s investment constraints.