The Role of an Actuary: Learn, Grow, Adapt


Anders Holm was recently promoted to Chief Actuary of SiriusPoint International. In this blog, he reflects on his career and tells us why furthering his skills, stepping outside of his comfort zone, and being open to new opportunities is his recipe for success.  

I’ve been an actuary for over 15 years and have seen the role grow and diversify considerably during that time. Being able to expertly use statistical analysis to assess risk is a prerequisite of the role but other transferable skills and training have become increasingly important. And that’s why continued learning and stepping outside of my comfort zone has become a real focus for me. 

During my time with the company, I have been given the opportunity to complete two notable external leadership programs, and as I take on my new role as Chief Actuary of SiriusPoint International, developing my leadership skills has been incredibly valuable. 

In 2016, I completed a training program on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP is based on the belief that our thoughts, language patterns, and behaviors are interconnected and that by being aware of this connection, we can use it to achieve goals and improve our overall wellbeing and mindfulness. While NLP is not a precise science, it offers various benefits that may vary slightly depending on individual perspectives. To me, NLP is about discovering and effectively utilizing our internal toolbox. The training emphasized understanding personal values and their alignment with the organization, which is a good start for making an impact at work. As SiriusPoint launches a newly refined purpose, vision and values, now is a good time for us to consider how we can effectively incorporate the company’s core values and behaviors into our daily practices.  

Last year, I participated in a leadership program hosted by the Stockholm School of Economics. This opportunity allowed me to further my knowledge of personal leadership and to gain a broader perspective on business, organizational dynamics, and governance. It’s helped me to build confidence, to challenge my own comfort zone, and to develop my own approach to leading others, something I aspire to do with compassion and energy. I believe that talent alone is not enough to guarantee success; perseverance, hard work, and the ability to overcome obstacles (grit) are crucial factors in achieving success. 

To me, it is important to understand the difference between formal competence and actual competence.  I am proud of my actuarial qualification from 2013, but if I stop there and continue to do the same things as I did yesterday, at some point, I will be left behind. Change is here, not only within SiriusPoint, but in society in general, in terms of technology, and organizational structures, and in the world around us. It’s because of my continued training that I now lead by being present, curious, and open-minded to learn new things and to seek new perspectives, and I challenge my team to do the same. In my view, the one with the most perspectives wins, which I consider an important success factor that provides an edge. To honor one of our core values “collaboration” my team and I prioritize “office first”, as face-to-face interaction not only simplifies collaboration but also strengthens our teamwork and the team dynamic.  

My personal recipe for success is:  

  1. Work in a business that you find interesting and challenging.   
  2. Work with colleagues that are curious and dedicated.  
  3. Work with a manager that can help you forward and to develop.  
  4. Have fun on your personal journey  

I am delighted to say, my personal tick boxes are all green!

Written by SiriusPoint