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School of Mathematical Sciences

Staff Spotlight - Meet Actuarial Science Teaching Fellow, Lloyd Richards

We interviewed Actuarial Science Teaching Fellow, Lloyd Richards, to learn about his career journey and his work with students at QMUL.


What was your journey to qualifying as an actuary? 

After graduating with a maths degree I began my career with one of the leading medium-sized consultancies, Barnett Waddingham, in 2010. Despite having zero exemptions from the actuarial exams, Barnett Waddingham’s study package supported my progress through the exams whilst I was learning the job, and I qualified as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA) in 2016. I have since added the Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA) and Chartered Statistician (CStat) designations.

 Can you tell us about your career to date?

I started my career at Barnett Waddingham in 2010. The firm has around 200 qualified actuaries and many more students, and in my office joining on the same day were 3 other graduates; so from the beginning I was part of a culture where everyone around me understood the exams and balancing work and hobbies with study. This allowed me to make good progress through the exams while learning the ins-and-outs of the job at a firm that is well known for its actuarial advice. 

Shortly before qualifying I took the opportunity to join a niche consulting outfit as their 7th employee. Founded by an actuary and a transformation expert in 2012, BaxterBruce was advising some of the leading insurers in the market in subjects I was interested in from the Enterprise Risk Management exam. I enjoyed the work and the culture of the team so much that, when the company was bought by Crowe, I decided to stay. I have now been at Crowe for 8 years and in that time worked my way up to Managing Director and heading the actuarial practice. 

Over the last few years, my career has changed again and I have begun to focus on sustainability and climate change. Actuaries have a very important part to play as trusted advisors to those organisations that are best able to effect meaningful change, and as expert communicators of complex advice. My role now primarily involves helping companies understand both the potential impact of climate change on their business, and also the impact their business is having on the climate.

How long have you been teaching at QMUL?

I have been teaching at QMUL for 5 years. Many of my earliest students are now well underway in their first graduate roles and I occasionally see them at conferences or even client meetings!

What do you teach and how can your professional experience help QM students?

I teach Actuarial Professional Development to first year students. Professionalism is a really important part of being an actuary and our professionalism and ethical behaviour is one of the factors that distinguishes us from people doing similar work and ensures we are trusted by those we work with. In this module I try to give students an idea of what the day-to-day job of an actuary is like and share options for career paths and progression. This is drawn both from my own professional experience and through a series of guest lecturers; colleagues, clients and other industry contacts who kindly give up their time to tell my students about their jobs. The actuarial profession is really varied, and by inviting guests from my network I can give my students insights into areas I have never had the opportunity to work in. 

What do you enjoy most about working with QMUL students?

QMUL students are exceptional in so many ways. I love being one of their first touchpoints at university and giving them that insight of where the career can take them. They are exceptionally focused on success, and seeing students set up the highly successful Actuarial Society was a real high point. But by far my favourite moments are when students I have taught end up working at companies I know, and I get to hear from my contacts how well my former students are doing in their careers. 

What are the benefits of doing a degree in actuarial science at Queen Mary and how does it prepare students for the profession?

There are many routes into becoming an actuary and lots of people in the profession joined through a pure mathematics background. One of the specific advantages of studying actuarial science at Queen Mary is the focus it has on the profession that allows students to really hit the ground running when they start their careers. By the end of their first year students will have been introduced to 10 or more practising actuaries from different backgrounds through the Actuarial Professional Development module and have a real understanding of what the work involves. Students are able to leverage these contacts for careers advice and that can really help in securing a role. There is also the benefit of being able to secure exemptions from the early actuarial exams and so QMUL students can qualify as actuaries much faster than I did!



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