Inside story: Jo Lo

Jo LoWhat volunteer role(s)do you do for the IFoA?
I am in my second year of being chair of the new GI Research and Thought Leadership (GIRTL) Committee, a sub-committee to the GI Board.

How long have you been volunteering?
I started volunteering when I was a student in 2006-2007, contributing to the Best Estimate and Uncertainty Working Party. Since then I have been a member of other IFoA research working parties on a variety of topics. I was on the GIRO Committee for a number of years, before being one of the first members on the GIRTL Committee last year.

What’s involved in your role(s)?
Listening must come first. This could involve short informal free-flowing meetings with individual members of the committee, or pop-up calls between the more formal meetings.

What motivates you to volunteer for the IFoA?
I enjoy working with actuaries from different backgrounds with a variety of insights. Diversity is a good ingredient for yielding solutions to tricky challenges.

What have you/do you hope to achieve in your volunteer role?
It is great to be part of an effort to energise the GI actuarial community on collective research. For several decades, this has been a key pillar for the community, adding value to our clients. We risk forgetting about this in our hectic professional lives. It was fantastic to engage with a thoughtful group at GIRO on steering research.

Has this assisted your lifelong learning?
It has led me on to interesting CPD tasks. I have reviewed a number of fascinating research papers. Helping researchers at various stages of their work gives me a deeper insight into their final output.

Do you think volunteering has helped you in your day job?
When you look at how actuaries apply their skills to solving problems, there are many different styles. Volunteering on research working parties and committees has kept me in touch with these approaches in a way that just attending conferences would not.

Have there been any memorable moments?
I was asked to make closing remarks for a sessional last year on managing uncertainty. It was wonderful to see the thoughtful research presented and how well received it was. It was a good example of why the GI actuarial community needs member-led research initiatives.

How do you relax away from the office?
I love geocaching. It is a worldwide treasure hunt that takes me to interesting places, doing lots of steps and solving puzzles.

What would you say to others considering a volunteer role?
Find something interesting and be generous with your time.

Do you prefer a staycation or holiday abroad?
Staycation. The UK has beautiful countryside, and London has so much to see.

If you were locked in a famous building for one night...which would 
it be and why?

Lloyd’s Coffee House in the 18th century – seeing how insurance deals were underwritten, how they worked out premiums, and feeling the buzz.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career to date?
31 December of every year since I have been involved in reinsurance pricing. It is an amazing feeling when we have gone through yet another 1/1 renewal season!

Jo Lo is Head of actuarial research and development at Aspen Re, based in London, UK

To share your volunteer involvement or find out about volunteering for the IFoA, contact: debbie.atkins@actuaries.org.uk

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