This month ACTEX is traveling to Thailand for our Actuaries Around the World series. Tommy Pichet, FSA, FIA, FSAT, FRM, MBA, MScFE (Dist.), B.Eng (Hons), is a qualified actuary with nearly 20 years of experience across Asian insurance, finance and employee benefit valuation and management. He has worked in the valuation of insurance and retirement benefits, product pricing and development, actuarial modeling and financial risk management, and M&A activities. He is president of The Society of Actuaries of Thailand (SOAT), and Chairman of the Actuarial committee of Thai Life Association Assurance (TLAA). He was awarded the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) Young Manager Award (YAMA) in 2012 from the ASEAN insurance industry and the National Statistician Award in 2016 from the Thai Statistical Association. He holds two master’s degrees from City University of Hong Kong in Financial Engineering and Business Administration. He is currently Managing Director and Founding Owner of Actuarial Business Solution Co., Ltd and is an honor lecturer at NIDA University.
(AL): What is the word for actuary in Thai?
(TP): In Thai script it is, นักคณิตศาสตร์ประกันภัย or แอคชัวรี (transliteration of actuary). In Roman script it is Nạk Khṇitṣ̄ās̄tr̒ prakạnp̣hạy.
(AL): What is your favorite part about being an actuary?
(TP): Being creative in engineering and evaluating financial products using statistics and financial mathematics.
(AL): Can you share an interesting anecdote or two from your career?
(TP): I once decided to quit being an actuary in my life due to hardships in the exam journey. However, I persevered down this path because I really like applying actuarial knowledge to the business world.
(AL): Do you have any advice for young people in your country interested in pursuing this career?
(TP): Find what you like to do and do it to the best of your ability. With passion, it will bring you to a prosperous journey in this career.
(AL): What developments on the horizon could affect future opportunities in your country?
(TP): Big data and an aging society
(AL): What have you seen from inside your company? Where do you think the changes to actuarial work in your country will happen in the next five years?
(TP): In the future, an actuary will not be a professional who only works in the insurance industry. There will be half of actuaries working in other areas.
(AL): What qualifications do you find most important for upcoming actuaries?
(TP): IT and language skills.
(AL): What is your favorite Excel function and why?
(TP): Vlookup function – basic and simple but very useful.
(AL): Do you have any non-actuarial hobbies?
(TP): No, actuarially related activities are my hobby.
(AL): How many practicing actuaries do you have?
(TP): The association (Society of Actuaries of Thailand) currently has 266 members.
(AL): Who are the main employers of actuaries?
(TP): Insurance companies (mainly life insurance companies as having a certified actuary is not mandatory for non-life companies)
(AL): Do the schools in your country have actuarial majors, minors, concentrations or do students study on their own or overseas?
(TP): There are many universities in Thailand providing actuarial science majors, minors, or concentrations.
(AL): What is the credentialing procedure like for an actuary in your country?
(TP): The association currently has no examination process hence the association uses the reference qualification/certification from the associations below:
- Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
- Society of Actuaries
- Institute of Actuaries of Australia
- Canadian Institute of Actuaries
- Casualty Actuarial Society
(AL): Do employers support the cost and time of exam preparation?
(TP): Some but not all.
(AL): Is there anything else you would like to add?
(TP): You will be the most fortunate person if your work and your hobby are the same. Love it, do it, and make it happen.