APR Annual Review Day 2020
On the 23rd of January we held our annual review day followed by our annual winter training day on the 24th. In this article we briefly recap the two days with a few highlights from 2019, our plans for taking the world by storm (we are nothing if not ambitious) in 2020 and a quick look at some of the training our staff undertook on the training day.
Highlights from 2019
2019 marked another record-breaking year for us at APR. It was hard to pick out the key highlights but if we had to name three, they would be:
- 14 new staff bringing our actuarial compliment up to 50, of whom 14 are qualified (technically as at January this year but what’s a few days amongst friends).
- We worked with 22 clients over the year across a total of 170 projects.
- Our highly successful APR charity day moved into its fourth year and raised over £13,000 for our charity partners.
Looking ahead to 2020
After patting ourselves on the back at a year well done in 2019, we looked ahead to 2020 and spent a productive session setting our 2020 objectives – the three main areas of focus being:
- Setting up a Dublin base to take our number of actuarial offices to three and enabling us to service our Irish clients more effectively.
- Further growing our consulting business, after making this a focused growth area in 2019.
- Further developing our focus on our people, to make sure we continue to deliver the high-quality training and development opportunities that make our staff so sought after, and also take steps to be as diverse and inclusive business as we can be.
APR training day
We pride ourselves on our training and so training is always a fundamental part of our annual review days, giving our staff an opportunity to gain some CPD and learn a new skill or two. This year we ran three different training sessions on the second day of the event in order to offer our staff some choice and make sure everyone received the training that was relevant to them:
- R – As this becomes an increasing focus in the profession, and the FIA exams, we have created an introductory R course and rolled this out to our first and second year students to help bolster their coding and analytic skills, all under the watchful tutelage of Deven Rickaby.
- Train the trainer – A key element of offering top notch training is having staff qualified to deliver that training. Our second training offering, delivered by Warren Wint, gave some of our staff the opportunity to take a day’s course in how to deliver training effectively. This focused on how to use learning objectives to create the course structure, as well as some practical considerations such as the use of voice and body language.
- Project Management – Our final training offering was to give some of our more senior staff a crash course in project management, run by Steve Browne. The aim of this course was not to turn our actuaries into full-blown project managers overnight but rather to give them the tools they might need to manage smaller actuarial projects effectively, both for our clients and on internal projects within APR.
The Train the Trainer and Project Management sessions were both preceded by a highly enlightening session by Phil Creswell on Data Visualisation, and how we can utilise this hot topic within our day-to-day work as actuaries.
And the fun part
Of course, no annual company event would be complete without the opportunity to do a bit of team building and socialising, so don’t worry if you were beginning to think we flog our staff to the bone and don’t let them relax occasionally. On the evening after our review day we had a very successful Taxi Treasure Hunt around central London, and nothing should be read into the fact that the winning team contained one of the partners, Tim Nash. After this we retired to Inamo in Covent Garden for some drinks and food to round off an intensive but enjoyable day.
As a closing note we would like to give a big shout out to the entirety of our central team for all their efforts in organising a very successful and fruitful two days.