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Inside story: Kate Dron, Partners Life – Life Insurance

Published on: 5 Apr 2022

Kate DronWhere are you based?

Auckland, New Zealand.

What volunteer role(s) do you do for the IFoA?

I lead the National Narratives workstream for the IFoA COVID-19 Action Taskforce.

How long have you been volunteering?

In this role, since the start of the pandemic – but I have done a variety of volunteer roles throughout my career.

What’s involved in your role(s)?

It has been interesting, as it has connected actuaries across the globe to discuss the pandemic’s implications for different nations. We have tried to provide the ‘story’ around the impacts, as well as looking at data.

What motivates you to volunteer for the IFoA?

Connecting with actuaries outside New Zealand and looking at the actuarial world through a different lens.

What have you/do you hope to achieve in your volunteer role?

Personally, to build better connections and a better understanding of what is happening with the pandemic at a global level. More broadly, to promote discussion and analysis at a global level and better understand what is driving experiences across the world.

What new skills or knowledge do you think you have developed?

That it is impossible to schedule one meeting that suits everyone! We have duplicate meetings – one for Europe and Asia (late night New Zealand time) and one for the Americas (early morning New Zealand time).

Has this assisted your lifelong learning?

Yes – volunteering provides a structured opportunity for learning, and you are doing something of value at the same time.

Do you think volunteering has helped you in your day job? 

It is a great way to build ‘softer’ skills. This gig has given me more and deeper insights into the pandemic, bearing in mind that New Zealand was slower to be impacted, and the impact has been less severe than elsewhere.

How do you balance your day job and your volunteer role? 

Most of the meetings have been early in the morning or late at night. And I try to choose volunteer activities that dovetail into my job.

How do you relax away from the office?

Family (two boys, two cocker spaniels, one husband). Reading. Food and wine. And the obligatory run.

What would you say to others considering a volunteer role? 

Just do it and have fun.

Who is your role model – in life or in business? 

Depends on my mood – I don’t like to restrict my options. I try to live by the maxim ‘just do it and have fun’!

What was your earliest dream job? 

Book reviewer, until I realised that as well as reading the book I also had to write about it.

What word best describes you?

Not ‘funny’, according to my family (personally, I think I am). Maybe ‘adaptable’?

Do you prefer a staycation or holiday abroad?

It’s very situational! I would love a holiday overseas, I’m just not sure whether I would be allowed back into New Zealand.

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

One with a great chef, premier wine cellar, good book and comfortable bed.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career to date? 

I have had many brilliant moments when people I have worked closely with have stepped up and gone on to bigger and better things – I enjoy ‘growing’ actuaries.

To share your volunteer involvement or find out about volunteering for the IFoA, contact: