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Actuarial Associate Profiles

In the profiles below, two APR associates give their thoughts on what attracted them to APR and how they have found working here.

Mujtaba Syed

Why did you want to join APR?

Like many other part-qualified actuaries working in industry, I had gained a very useful but somewhat narrow range of experience in my previous job, and I feared I would have difficulty changing practice areas in the future. APR offers exposure to a wide range of projects and actively takes employee and client preferences into account when making decisions on work allocation. I have only been here 6 months and have already had projects at two companies with roles in different areas where I am continuously learning.

How have you found working at APR so far?

After I joined I was pleasantly surprised by many of the other benefits of working here. For example, there is a lot of focus on employee training with regular internal tutor-led courses, self-taught courses using APR’s impressive training library and a yearly allowance for external training. There is a high level of autonomy on what employees can do to improve their skillset and in-house time can be used to carry it out.

Being an actuarially focused employer, APR has a larger actuarial team of which is more than many large employers. However, it also has the advantage of being a relatively small and growing company. It has a flat management structure and many opportunities to get involved in business development projects – opportunities that wouldn’t be available at a larger company.

Having employees working with different clients, there is the risk that they will not interact much and some people will not be aware of what is happening at APR. To help avoid this there is a wide range of regular social events we can get involved in such as coffee/games catch ups, special events and, most recently, a company-wide chess league. There are also regular updates from partners to all employees and information is shared on available client and in-house projects.

James Cooper

Actuarial background

My actuarial career started at Friends Provident during my Placement year away from my degree at the University of East Anglia.  Requested to return after graduation to (then) Friends Life, I joined the Retirement Income pricing team and, after two years, rotated into the International Marketing team, where we priced unit linked savings contracts for domestic and overseas markets.

I spent two years within this rotation before a merger with Aviva and subsequent restructures meant that our roles were relocated to other locations.  Having made solid progress with my exams what I yearned for most was to experience different roles beyond Pricing, and so a move away from Aviva seemed like the best step.

Joining APR

During my re-evaluation phase, I was lucky enough to be seated next to a current APR staff member at a SIAS networking event and was struck by the enthusiasm with which he talked about his various roles and his career at APR.  It was obvious that APR was a place that would bring out the best in me and give me the challenge I was looking for while giving me access to a wide range of projects and actuarial experiences.  After a short but perfectly engineered recruitment process and a couple weeks of intensive training on coding, financial regulations, best practices, project management and increasing my technical expertise, I was placed into my first project.

Current project

Since joining APR in August 2016 I have taken up a project preparing a company for the implementation of Solvency II Pillar 3 while working on their BAU Financial Reporting process; living and working in Birmingham has also given me the chance to explore a new city!

APR future

I have no idea which kind of actuarial role my next project might take me into but I know that I’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of locations, companies and experiences.  From meeting the APR partners and other students I get a real sense of community and belonging with everyone pushing towards bettering themselves, learning further and enjoying their work while producing the highest quality output.

To apply for Actuarial Associate role at APR, please click here.