First in Class: The First FSA Completes the GI Track

Achille FSA Graduation 3 (2)

Achille Sime, FSA, CERA, MAAA, FIAF, is the first FSA to complete the General Insurance (GI) track. Achille’s journey to become an Actuary has taken place across three continents: Africa, Europe and North America.

Born in Cameroon (Africa), Achille went to school and showed early aptitude for math. In 1997, he moved to France (Paris) for college, debating whether to become an engineer, and deciding instead to pursue a career as an Actuary. In 2002, he majored in Applied Mathematics at the University of Paris Dauphine while completing the requirements to qualify as a member of the Institut des Actuaires in France.

His early career in France as a Fellow of the Institut des Actuaires (FIAF), included positions at AXA France and PwC, where he was a Senior Actuarial Associate, dealing with clients as varied as AIG, Groupama and Swiss Life.

His move in 2005 to work for PartnerRe Global in Miami, Fla., prompted him to start pursuing the SOA credentials. “The company switched from being a branch office to being a U.S. insurance company, so I needed to satisfy all the U.S. requirements,” Achille explains. “I needed to get U.S. credentials because there is no reciprocity between France and the United States.”

Once Achille achieved the ASA credential, he took a step back to focus on his family so his wife could dedicate herself to pursuing accreditation as a CPA, and continued pursuing his credentials again in 2012, with full support of his employer. “I’m grateful for the support I received from the actuarial team at PartnerRe,” Achille explains. “With a proven track record, the exam policy was amended for me to complete the General Insurance track.”

Choosing General Insurance

Achille’s journey as an actuary has evolved since his college years. “Coming out of college, I was very passionate about quantitative finance, which is typical of students graduating from University of Paris Dauphine,” Achille explains. “As such, I had clear preference for the Life actuarial practice early in my career. However, a few years later and after significantly more exposure to the General Insurance field, I started to enjoy the diversity of the issues and the various aspects of the products.”

One of the features Achille enjoyed about the General Insurance track was that the Ratemaking and Reserving exam was combined. “From my experience in both pricing and reserving, I know that it is not always obvious for all actuaries to gain insight from the necessary feedback loop between the two,” he explains. “The Ratemaking and Reserving exam seem to have been carefully designed to ensure that this is well understood, with case studies to highlight this further.”

Achille also appreciated that the modules had practical applications. “The Applications of Statistical Techniques (AST) Module provided good knowledge of advanced business analytics techniques with particular emphasis on practical application and the use of R software,” he notes. “The Decision Making and Communication (DMAC) Module provided great introduction to the next phase of our actuarial career, in which we are expected to make significant contribution to business and decision making.”

Looking at the Future

Today, Achille is the Owner/CEO of his own company, SL FINANCIAL, Inc. “The idea of entrepreneurship emerged as the solution to provide advisory services for a Bermuda reinsurance and capital market specialist (Horseshoe Group) while pursuing other business ventures and balancing family life” he notes. “I’m excited about the challenges ahead, whether in an advisory role in the convergence between global reinsurance and capital market risk financing or more traditional ratemaking and reserving role for small insurance entities in the U.S., or returning for the right opportunity to make a significant contribution to an organization.”

Although the journey to achieve his U.S. credentials wasn’t always easy, Achille was never discouraged and is proud to be part of the process, volunteering to write questions for the ERM exam. Achille is also a member of the CAS/SOA Joint Risk Management Section and has recently joined the SOA Entrepreneurial Section.

When it comes to candidates going through the exams, Achille had one solid piece of advice: “Don’t give up because it’s frustrating sometimes,” he notes. “Take a step back and have the necessary courage to come back.”

 

Achille FSA Graduation 1

Achille Sime, FSA, CERA, MAAA, FIAF and 2015 SOA President Errol Cramer, FSA, MAAA

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