Inside story: Lisa Balboa
Where are you based?
I’m based in London.
What volunteer role(s) do you do for the IFoA?
Deputy chair of the Mental Health Working Party.
What’s involved in your role(s)?
Helping to shape our current and future focus areas. So far our work has been based on three workstreams: increasing life and health actuaries’ understanding of mental health; exploring touchpoints between mental health and life insurance; and data and modelling of mental health risks for life products. We’re considering topics such as digital provision of mental health services and encouraging consideration of mental health in the IFoA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work.
What motivates you to volunteer for the IFoA?
The opportunity to learn from colleagues and gain a diverse perspective. I enjoy gaining a global view and sharing market experiences.
What have you/do you hope to achieve in your volunteer role?
My main focus has been contributing to the data and modelling workstream. Our paper is due to be published in the British Actuarial Journal following our presentation at the IFoA Sessional Meeting. I hope it will encourage insurers to discuss additional product designs to support customers’ mental health needs.
What new skills or knowledge do you think you have developed?
Our working party has members spanning underwriting, adviser and policy expertise, as well as actuarial input. We’ve also engaged with mental health charities and medical professionals. I’ve enjoyed deepening my knowledge of the industry.
Has this assisted your lifelong learning?
The new perspectives I’ve gained have contributed to my professional growth and development. I’ve particularly deepened my understanding of the industry through discussions with working party colleagues.
Do you think volunteering has helped you in your day job?
I’ve learned the value of seeking input from a range of people involved in the customer journey when exploring product designs.
Have there been any memorable moments?
At the Data and Modelling presentation we gave at the IFoA Conference, I met working party colleagues that I’d been working with for two years in person for the first time! The conference was an opportunity for us to share our work and it was inspiring to get such strong engagement in the Q&A.
How do you balance your day job and your volunteer role?
The three workstreams helped everyone balance their day and volunteer roles. We offer support to one another in busy periods, and my employer is supportive.
How do you relax away from the office?
Swimming, yoga, and playing with my cats.
What would you say to others considering a volunteer role?
If there’s a working party on a topic you are passionate about and you’re curious to learn from others, then I’d highly recommend it.
Who is your role model – in life or in business?
What was your earliest dream job?